Get Organized Before The Holiday Rush (Tips From A Professional Organizer)
It doesn't matter if you’re preparing for the Purim Seudah, Passover Seder, or just a regular Shabbat, being organized in the kitchen is key to reducing waste and staying sane. Save yourself a headache (or two or three) by making time for cooking prep before you’re on the chopping block.
With these holidays quickly approaching, the best time to get organized is NOW! Who better to seek organizational help than from a professional organizer?
Rebekah Saltzman is THE organizing expert. She offers coaching, courses (that we can personally vouch for), and can save you serious time and energy in the kitchen. Below she shares 4 easy and doable cooking prep tips. Before you know it, they’ll be a new part of your routine. You can thank us later.
Your Pre-Purim, Passover, Shabbat Meal Prep Checklist
When ramping up to a holiday or Shabbat, your to-do list is long enough. Don’t risk forgetting an important to-do, cleaning task, or an ingredient on your shopping list!
You need all of the essentials mapped out on your agenda:
- shopping list
- prep schedule
- …plus everything else you need to get done!
Tip 1: Prepare All Ingredients Before You Light The Stove
Make sure everything is cut and measured (chefs call this mise en place) before you start actually cooking. This will allow you to stay on top of the cooking process. No more frantically looking for that seasoning you’re sure you have somewhere while trying to keep an eye on three pans cooking on the stove! If the professionals do it to save time, so should you!
Generally, staying on top of things is just a matter of avoiding having to multitask. As long as you can focus on one thing, and feel like you have the time to do it well, you'll keep feelings of stress and overwhelm at bay!
Bonus Tip: When you’re chopping and peeling, keep a separate bowl on the counter for all organic waste. This will save you from running back and forth to the bin after every onion or piece of garlic. Keep your cutting board clean so you can maintain a steady pace. Then, when you’re done cooking, take the scrap bowl right to your compost bin!
Tip 2: Batch Your Work Where You Can
Take a moment to think about the menu you’re cooking. Maybe there are multiple dishes that call for the same ingredients? There’s no need to chop an onion or squeeze a lemon for one dish and put it away only to take it out when you realize that the main course requires the same ingredients.
You’ll be amazed at how much time you can save by making a plan before you start cooking. Chopping and peeling things in batches instead of preparing per recipe will help you stay on top of the prep work!
Bonus Tip: When you’re planning out your meal, there might even be things you can make way in advance! If you’re able to spread out your workload, you should.
Tip 3: Clean As You Cook
Remember that mise en place thing? With all ingredients prepared, there’ll be plenty of moments when you’re staring at veggies cooking or sauces simmering. If you don’t have to spend time peeling, chopping, or otherwise preparing your ingredients, why not use that time to clean as you go?
Bonus Tip: Keeping a bowl with hot water and dish soap in your sink, ready to soak dirty dishes as you go, makes the cleanup a lot easier. Goodbye to cleaning dirty whisks or utensils!
Tip 4: Don’t Do It Alone!
This is my favorite tip of all. With all the work that comes with it, it can be easy to forget that holidays are also about memorable family moments. Involving your family is the best way to do this!
Meal Prep Conclusion
These meal prep tips are going to make your holiday (Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, a regular Shabbat, or even Chanukah!) more relaxed and enjoyable. It may take time to make these tips habits, but practice makes perfect. Keep trying – eventually you will get better at it! Don’t give up!
Looking for another way to organize your life instantly? Then download this amazing and FREE Purim Planner now.
And for those of you already thinking about Pesach prep, Rebekah offers a 36-day decluttering challenge- Painless Pesach. We dedicated an entire article to this course last year, for those of you who are interested in reading more about it. She'll go through the process together with you, so that this year you’ll feel ready, relaxed, and, most importantly: free.