Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Would you like to ensure a stress-free holiday? Then mark your calendars and plan to clean, organize and prep a few days or weeks before the big day arrives. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Clean Out Your Coat Closet
Is your coat closet jammed full of jackets? If so now is the time to clean it. Your guests will need a place to hang their coats and set their shoes after they arrive. If you don’t have a coat closet take a look at the entry way to your home and decide where you might be able to place outerwear so its both well taken care of and out of the way.
Organize your fridge and pantry
About a week before Thanksgiving dig through your refrigerator and clean out any unused and unwanted items. Do you have old salad dressing hanging on the door or a mystery container of vegetables shoved in the back? Take a thorough glance around the refrigerator and purge or consolidate whatever you find. On Thanksgiving day you may need room for a large turkey, prepared side dishes and desserts. So take the time now to create space for those things.
Prep in Advance
Prepare as much food as you can a day or two before the holiday. Bake those pecan and pumpkin pies, make a large tray of mashed potatoes and fill a dish with sweet potato casserole. There is no need to wait for Thanksgiving Day to prepare these items. The more you prepare in advance the less you have to do on the actual holiday. This not only eliminates stress but it also allows you to spend quality time with your guests.
Prepare for Leftovers
If you plan to prepare extra food then prepare in advance for leftovers. Decide which containers you want to use to store that leftover turkey and which one works best for mashed potatoes and gravy. Think about what you might want to keep for yourself as well as what you might want to send home with others. If you don’t think you have enough containers to store all your extras look into buying a glass Pyrex set from Kohls. Drop a note or label in each container so your spouse, child or other beloved family member can pack the food without asking you where everything should go. If you want to send your guests home with food, consider asking them to bring their own plastic ware or buy paper plates that can be covered in tin foil.
Plan the Clean Up
Elect a family member or ask a volunteer to assist with clean up. This person can stand beside the sink and wait for dirty pots, pans, bowls and other kitchen equipment to be dropped. Cooking can move a lot faster when one person is focused on preparing the food and another is solely responsible for cleaning it up. It’ll move even faster if you can enlist a third person to help dry items as soon as they are cleaned and a fourth to put everything back in the cabinets or pantry.
Stress-free holidays do exist. All you need is a little advance preparation.