|Get rid of mail and bills lying around, and put important papers away. You don't want to have any type of paperwork lying around while your kitchen is a flurry of activity. Make sure all your surfaces — backsplash, counters and floors — are sparkling clean. |
(Credit: Capoferro Design Build Group)
|This is often forgotten, but it can be pretty embarrassing to have someone offer to help warm up food and see a gross, food-splattered microwave. |
(Credit: Mueller Nicholls Cabinets and Construction)
| Avoid running the self-clean cycle on the oven right before a big party — it's actually really stressful on the oven and can cause it to fail right when you're about to put your turkey in. Instead, do a quick cleaning with a wet rag around the top burners, and leave the rest until after the new year. |
(Credit: Camber Construction)
|The refrigerator is bound to be used a lot during a big meal — opened and closed constantly and filled to the brim with heavy dishes. Make sure the door handles and gaskets are tight, clean the cold air vents and replace any burned-out lights. Make sure the vents aren't blocked by food or condiments so that the fridge stays nice and cool throughout the evening. |
Remove your refrigerator shelving and wash it in the sink with dish soap. Dry the shelves with a dish towel, and make sure they're secure when putting them back in the fridge.
(Credit: Rebekah Zaveloff)
|No matter how careful you are, food and gunk manages to collect at the bottom of a trash can. Use a holiday party as an excuse to clean trash cans. Take them outside and wash them with a garden hose and dish soap. Disinfect them with a cleaning spray. Make sure you have extra trash bags, too. |
(Credit: Mullet Cabinet)
|Make sure your dishwasher will run efficiently with a large number of dishes in it. Check the drain and clean off any residue, and make sure there's no broken glass or lost utensils in the bottom. Wipe off the rim of the door and the door gasket, using white vinegar and a sponge to remove any gunk. |
(Credit: Camber Construction)
|Have your knives sharpened so you don't end up hacking away at your honey-baked ham. Or sharpen them yourself if you know how — be careful. |
Take inventory of any basic supplies that you're missing, and purchase or borrow them before the party. Check your utensils, cookware, serveware, spice cabinet, cooking oils, canned goods and other pantry necessities.
If you're serving your meal on nice serving plates, clean them up and get them ready to go. Polish silver, wash plates and wash and iron cloth napkins.
|If small children are going to be around, make sure everything is childproof. Set aside a special area outside of the kitchen for children to hang out. But make sure that plugs in the kitchen are covered, lamps and other glass items are away from table edges, and stairways and other dangerous areas are blocked off. |
Check your smoke detector and CO2 detector batteries, and replace them if needed. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand, too.
Take a look at your first-aid kit, and replace any missing materials. You never know when someone is going to cut themselves, get burned, or slip and fall.
(Credit: Boor Bridges Architecture)