The baubles are on the Christmas tree, the lights are twinkling bright and you’re all set for Christmas.

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At least you think you are until you start bringing home the festive fare and realise there’s no room in the kitchen for everything that goes into the celebratory menu!

Well don’t worry, along with feeding the Christmas cake with brandy this weekend, here are some simple steps to turn the kitchen into a joyful space with room to carve a big bird…

1. Ban those fridge frights

A box of baking soda will eliminate odours and tackle all those nasty stains and spills. Start by clearing out the refrigerator of any condiments that are pass their sell-by date, scrape out the nearly empties into smaller containers, and throw out old food and veg. You’ll be amazed how much more a clean and tidy fridge can hold.

2. Cupboard love

Take a good look at the kitchen cupboards and weigh up what you really need to reach for in the next fortnight. Tins of food that are taking up room can be stored in the garage or garden shed. Likewise, bulky items such as paper towels, large boxes of tea, and anything that can temporarily be downsized to make room for the oodles of family sized packs of crisps, cranberry sauce, gravy, brandy butter and tins of mixed nuts.

3. Crystal maze

Your stemware will be in the spotlight and whether you choose to bring out the best crystal, or serve the bubbles, G&Ts and after dinner drinks in standard glasses, they need to be clear, not cloudy and without any chips. Wash everything you plan to serve the drinks in by hand to make sure it’s sparkling clean and store away any wine glasses that aren’t up to the big day.

4. Work those work surfaces

Ahead of all the food prepping, work surfaces need to be disinfected and thoroughly cleaned. Remove anything that’s obsolete and collecting dust, such as the coffee machine that’s never used, or decorative jars that are standing empty. It may look bare, but you’ll be grateful when it’s time to start preparing all those smoked salmon canapés and pigs in blankets.

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5. Window dressing

Whether we wake up to a cold and frosty Christmas morning with some low winter sun, or a damp, dreary start, the kitchen windows should be clean and bright. After all, not only will it brighten your home, but brighten your mood when you have to get up early to start stuffing the turkey.

6. Top tableware

Laying the table and deciding which china to use on the big day is one of the highlights, especially when it comes to turning the table into a banquet fit for a king. To get a head start, take stock of the crockery and which plates you want to use for each course. Run them through the dishwasher if they haven’t been used for a while and store them in a safe place, ready for the main event.