Brand-new on our bookshelf, Simple Matters is quickly becoming one of our favorite reads for organization inspiration. From Reading My Tea Leaves blogger Erin Boyle, this thoughtful volume is filled with practical guidance for creating a purposeful, welcoming space. We recently asked Erin a question that's been on our minds for some time-- what's the best way to keep the kitchen organized while also being prepared for drop-in guests or party hosting? Below, she shares her essentials for entertaining and everyday use. 

Erin says, "Whenever I’ve moved house—which has been often—the process of packing or unpacking a kitchen has astonished me. We keep so much tucked in those cabinets and drawers. From the comestible spices and condiments and jars of dried goods, to the practical pots and pans, to the still-practical but also-festive dishes and tools that allow us to invite friends for entertaining and merriment. If you’re seeking a bit of simplicity in the kitchen, it can be helpful to streamline these serving pieces to what’s practical and purposeful but still lovely. Here are a few pieces that I find particularly helpful to keep on hand, whether for elevating the everyday or welcoming friends."

A Simple Carafe: A carafe can hold water or wine or juice with equal aplomb, and look good doing it. Being handleless also means that it stores easily when space is at a premium. Not for guests only!

A Beautiful Set of Mixing Bowls: Eminently practical for all manner of food preparation, a set of mixing bowls can also be effective salad bowls, or vessels for stacking bagels at a simple brunch, or—with the right mindset—ice buckets!

A Solid Cutting Board: With a bit of care, the same cutting board can be used to prepare and serve your crudités or cheese. Fancy food not required. On more harried nights, you can reheat pizza and slide it out of the oven and onto your board for a bit of instantaneous pizzazz. See what I did there?

A Classic Platter: If you’re set on a more traditional approach to serving, a creamy white platter will get you all kinds of mileage. A classic design will stand the test of time and complement just about any other dishes that you might have. 

A Bottle Opener: For beer or wine, and ideally for both, every adult kitchen needs a way to open a bottle of something festive. Cheers!

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