The holiday season is a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy time together, but hosting a holiday event can easily become stressful. For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home, so getting it organized and prepped for the holiday season can help you to stay relaxed and make sure you’re able to enjoy your time with loved ones.

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is offering tips for home owners who are looking to organize and prep their kitchen for upcoming holiday events.

“Hosting a holiday gathering is exciting for home owners, because it provides an opportunity to welcome the people you’re closest to into your home to celebrate,” said Joe Pryor, OAR president. “While entertaining can be stressful, getting your kitchen organized can help you get off to a bright start and allow you to focus on the important things, like spending time with loved ones.”

OAR is offering the following tips for organizing kitchens in anticipation of the winter holidays:

• Deep clean. This first step will lay the groundwork for all of your holiday entertaining. Take an afternoon to clean the oven, wash cupboards, disinfect counters, wipe down your microwave and organize even the most daunting of areas.

• Stock up. Make sure that you have a healthy stock of all of the go-to ingredients you’ll be using during the holidays. Nobody enjoys making a last-minute trip to the grocery store, frantically searching for a crucial ingredient when they should be at home with guests. Make a list of your most-needed ingredients, and buy multiple of each necessity before you get knee-deep into the holiday season.

• Get it together. Making a special place for like items not only helps organization, but it’s a great tool to help make you more efficient when cooking. For example, you can keep all your knives in the same drawer, your baking items in a specified section of the pantry and even spices in a special spice rack. You can also use adhesive labels so that even guests cooking in your kitchen can find easily everything they need.

• Make room. For many families, the kitchen isn’t just for cooking – it’s also a place to gather, socialize and get all hands on deck to prepare a feast. Clear the clutter from your countertops not only to allow more space for more cooking but also to make room for nosy family members looking to sneak a quick taste of the pumpkin pie. Designating an area specifically for oven-fresh items can help protect your counters from getting burned and keep guests safe from burns, as they’ll know to avoid that area.

For more creative ideas on how to organize your kitchen and pantry, find us on Pinterest at