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4 Steps for Your Post-Holiday Kitchen Cleanup

by Dale Dauterive

1. Quick Cleanup 

Tidying up after your holiday feasts should begin while you’re cooking. When you’re completely stuffed and the button on your slacks is ready to burst, you’ll be thankful you won’t have to waddle over to the kitchen to find a sink full of pots and pans. Clean the dishes as you go—once you have your plates and utensils soaking in warm, soapy water, then you can get those dinner rolls or cookies in the oven. It’s also a good idea to keep track of spills and wipe all kitchen surfaces immediately. Prepare pies and casseroles in dishes that come with lids so they can be covered and stored in the fridge instead of having to be transferred into a separate container. 

2. Prepare for Messes 

Having a game plan for post-holiday cleaning can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to quickly wrap up the household chores. If you need help tidying up, keep a wicker basket near the dining room table to store all placemats, tablecloths, and table runners. Make sure to have plenty of clean utensils and dishware set out and ready to go so you don’t have to run the dishwasher before setting the table. Clean out your fridge and freezer so you have room to store all the leftover ham and keep extra recycle bins, trash cans, and clean kitchen cloths available so you can easily wipe up any spills.

3. Ask for Help 

After eating a large meal, everyone wants to sit back and watch their favorite holiday movie until they fall asleep—dishes are the last thing on anyone’s mind. But much like taxes, dishes will always be here. But the fewer pie pans and skillets you have to worry about post-meal, the easier the cleanup will be. 

Rinse all decorative plates and kitchenware ahead of time and soak large roasting pans before placing them in the dishwasher. While the cycle is running, don’t wait until it’s complete—continue to wash some dishes by hand so you can get the job done in one shot. If you need assistance, ask someone to be in charge of drying and putting the dishes away while you clean. 

If you’ve taken the challenge of hosting the event and preparing the meal, then you should be able to get some help from your guests with the cleanup. There are many cleaning tasks that are easy to lend out: clearing the table and removing all glasses and silverware, storing leftovers, scraping plates into the garbage, drying the dishes, and taking out the trash are all tasks you can distribute to reduce the time on your kitchen cleanup so you can get back to enjoying the most wonderful time of the year. 

4. Freshen up the Fridge 

As previously mentioned, cleaning out your refrigerator should be one of the first steps before and after the holiday meal. Organizing your fridge is a much easier task if you take it one shelf at a time. Keep a trash bag handy to toss all old food and light a candle just in case you discover some unsavory smells. All the items you want to keep, put back in the fridge and wipe down all front surfaces, handles, and doors with a towel and cleaning spray. Once you place your food back inside, organize the contents of your fridge by food group—that way, you’ll be able to easily locate anything from that leftover honey-baked ham to extra cans of whipped cream for your last few slices of pie.

If you want to simplify your holiday cleaning, pay us a visit to shop our wide selection of cooking and cleaning appliances. Our expert staff will answer any questions you might have and find the right products to help you tackle your holiday messes with ease.