Have you ever noticed how guests at a party always end up congregating in the kitchen? One minute someone has gone to make a drink, and the next, the kitchen has become the heart of the whole event.
With that in mind, it's worth spending a bit of extra time getting it sparkling before guests arrive. With New Year's Eve just around the corner, we've put together this guide for getting your kitchen party-perfect.
STEP 1 - Declutter
Banishing clutter from your worktops and surfaces will instantly make the kitchen feel more spacious and welcoming. It's easy for bills and paperwork to build up, but filing them away properly will not only prepare the space for your party, it will also help you feel more organised going into the new year.
If you're doing a last minute tidy, box away any clutter but don't let it be out of sight out of mind. Label the box 'TO DO' so that you remember to deal with it after the Christmas break.
STEP 2 - Clear the decks
Put away things like the pot of cooking utensils, the knife block, the bottle of olive oil and salt and pepper mills that normally hang around ready for action near the hob and get out clean tea towels.
If you have a utility room, can make space in a kitchen cupboard or even the cupboard under the stairs, put away the toaster and any other small appliances you aren’t planning to use when you’re entertaining. These include food mixers, sandwich toasters and kettles, if you’re not planning to serve hot drinks.
STEP 3 - Put away dishes
If space allows, pop the dish rack and cutlery drainer away. Of course, having an empty dishwasher means you can stack throughout the party instead of having dirty glasses and plates piled high next to the sink.
STEP 4 - Polish and shine
Shiny, smudge-free surfaces will instantly make your kitchen look more appealing. Start by dousing taps with white vinegar.
While it works its magic use a clean cloth and a surface cleaning spray such as Neat Anti-Bac to give surfaces a quick wipe-down. Rinse the taps, then use a fine microfibre cloth to polish them up and shine tiles and splashbacks. Don’t forget the exterior of the oven if it’s mirrored. Get rid of the worst smudgy fingerprints from windows while you’re all it.
STEP 5 - Put out glasses
No one wants guests rummaging through cupboards looking for glasses as the evening wears on, especially if you’ve used your kitchen cupboards to hide those last-minute bits and pieces you realised you overlooked when tidying. Head this one off by arranging glasses on the worktop for your guests to help themselves to if they need them.
STEP 6 - Pick your battles
If time is short (and it always is before a party), vacuum the kitchen floor and spot-clean food spills using a multi-purpose spray or a solution of multi-purpose cleaner and a clean cloth or sponge. Dry with kitchen towel. The same applies to the front of cupboards, which are easy to overlook in day-to-day cleaning.
STEP 7 - Empty bins
Empty the general waste, food and recycling bins so they’re ready for action again. If your bins smell bad, give them a quick wipe-down with anti-bacterial cleaning spray, dry and sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in the bottom before you replace the bag.
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