Most of us know how to declutter to some degree. However when I am entertaining a large crowd as I did this week for Passover, it is a major overhaul. My 900 square foot bungalow has to transform to a comfortable place to host 31 people.
The preparations started a month ago. Maybe even longer considering the all thinking and planning. When I am in major decluttering mode, it is serious business 😅, I know I can only keep things that will serve my purpose. I keep items I need for cooking and entertaining. If I do not need it for my guests to sit or eat on, it gets relocated, tossed, packed, given away and dealt with in one way or another (no shoving under the bed).
The decluttering starts from the pantry, I try to use up the things I know I’m not going to use or need for the holiday and entertaining. I check for expired food and toss out for example a box of cereal with 4 Cheerios left in the box (thanks kids). I group and categories as I go. Next the fridge, it’s amazing how I lose track of old salad dressings and sauces at the back. Ewe one had mold growing on the top. Freezer cleared out aswell, the freezer burned ice cream, end pieces of bread floating in a random bag, and those frozen peas we keep around for BooBoos. Orphan plastic containers, go right into recycling. Ba-bye. Always clean as you go. I try to remember to wear gloves to protect my hands from all the washing.
With the cleaning done, menus planned and new space created, I could shop, prep and cook in advance. Love to freeze meats, desserts, sorbet and soups and check that off my list.
Now for the furniture placement. I changed the function of the rooms. I converted the dining room to the siting room and the living room is now the dining room. The living room was much bigger so it accommodates an extended table.
The front hall table, although very useful for my family usually, took up to much floor entry space for a crowd of people. Front hall mat was removed and a fresh one put down. We repurposed the front hall table in the new dining areas as a little server.
Thank goodness the weather is getting nicer, it felt good to box up most of the winter accessories with the heavy duty winter coats and place them in the basement for next winter. Now the closet was almost empty and had lots of room for everyone’s coat and shoes.
With my lists by my side and everything cooked, decluttered and organized. Food slowly defrosting, oven on 220, fresh fruits and vegetable prepped the morning of. I am feeling pretty confident.
Lipstick fresh, hair done. Guests arrive, the evening progresses fabulously. I sit with my friends, family for the Passover Seder. Hugs and goodbyes at the end of a late night. Clean up and I melt like a burning candle in my hot bath. The next night I do it again.
Oh how entertaining looks so easy when you are organized. It’s our secret.