With the holiday season right around the corner, you’ll save yourself valuable time if your baking cabinet is organized in advance. To get started, follow these five basic steps and before you know it, you’ll be ready to bake cookies, cakes and other seasonal treats!
Step 1: Pull out all baking supplies and equipment.
If your baking supplies are scattered about the kitchen or are haphazardly tossed into a cabinet, start by pulling them all out so you can inventory what you have. You’ll want to check expiration dates on all products and toss out anything that is no longer usable. According to wikiHow, “now is the time to pare down your kitchen items to the items that you actually use. Getting rid of clutter will make it much easier to stay organized.”
Step 2: Clean cabinet surfaces.
With an empty cabinet, now is a great time to clean it! “Gather some good cleaning supplies and prepare to scrub every nook and cranny as well as wiping down the cabinet doors,” says wikiHow. “If your cabinets are made from unpainted wood, take care to use cleaning supplies that won’t damage them.” You should wipe away crumbs, dust and any dried liquids to avoid attracting bugs.
You may also wish to line the cabinet to protect surfaces from damage. Choose from vinyl, rubber, cork or any other type that best suits your needs and personal style.
Step 3: Decide what goes in the baking cabinet and what should go elsewhere.
If you have a large enough cabinet, you may be able to store all your baking ingredients along with measuring cups, cookie cutters, cake pans and even electric mixers and their tools. For smaller kitchens, however, you will probably need to store these items elsewhere.
A nearby drawer, shelf or cabinet is great for spatulas, rolling pins and whisks. “Nest and stack as much baking equipment as possible and store in a cabinet: mixing bowls, sheet pans and accompanying cooling racks, like-shaped cake pans, tart pans and muffin tins,” says Vivian Jao of Food Network.
Step 4: Place supplies in storage containers and label them.
If you don’t already have good containers for storing baking supplies, you may want to invest in some. It’s helpful to use containers that are easy to open, have wide openings to accommodate measuring cups and create an airtight seal to keep ingredients fresh.
You’ll want large containers to store flour, powdered and granulated sugar, oats, chocolate chips and the like. Medium-sized containers are great for brown sugar and special baking mixes. Use small containers for baking powder and soda, cornstarch and cocoa powder.
After you have the containers stocked and ready to go, you can label them. “I used the Martha Stewart kitchen labels from Staples. They come in two colors (red and aqua) as well as two sizes,” writes Toni of A Bowl Full of Lemons.
Step 5: Arrange supplies and place back in cabinet.
It’s helpful to arrange your baking goods by grouping similar items. “Keep dry ingredients together and wet ingredients together. Keep all bottled items together (corn syrup, molasses, extracts) as well as baking-specific spices,” suggests Jao. You may want to use bins or baskets to help you store these items together and keep them from sliding around or falling out when you open the door.
Once you have organized your baking cabinet, you will feel more prepared and probably more excited about your holiday baking projects. A functional and clean cabinet is a great way to make baking more enjoyable!