Are you hosting Thanksgiving in your home this year? Between cooking the feast and cleaning the house, this is no small task. It’s no surprise that many Thanksgiving hosts end up feeling more stressed than thankful this time of year. With enough preparation, however, hosting the family dinner can be as easy as pie. Follow these home organization tips from our Michigan closet organizers and enjoy a stress-free Thanksgiving.
Step 1: Start with the fridge, cabinets and pantry
The kitchen is the hub of every feast, but it can also be the hub for all the mess and disorder. Before planning the meal, empty each of these kitchen organization spaces. Donate unwanted food and toss expired food. Clean each shelf, and then put the items back in place. This allows you to see what you need to add to your shopping list while still saving plenty of room to house ingredients and leftovers. You should also go through the drawers and cabinets to make sure you have enough silverware and dishes for each guest.
Step 2: Get the recipes in order
Don’t forget to gather all the recipes you will need on the big day. Once you have them all, take the time to protect them from spills and splashes by mounting them at eye level.
Hang a pants hanger from a cabinet with the clips securing the recipes, or invest in a cookbook holder to keep the recipes off the counter and in plain sight as you work.
Step 3: Make a good impression with an organized entryway
The entry is the first thing your guests will see. Use your mudroom organization system for your guests to store their shoes, coats and bags. This is a much more sophisticated solution than draping coats over chairs and putting purses on countertops. If you don’t currently have a custom coat closet or a free-standing organization system, you can mount hooks in the wall or use a coat rack to hang your guests’ jackets, hats and purses.
Step 4: Filter traffic out of the kitchen
As it is, the kitchen is the most crowded place in the home on holidays. The last thing you want to do is make it more cramped by squeezing the table, chairs and your guests in that small space. Set up the beverage bar and appetizer trays in another part of the home, such as the living room. This will naturally keep most of the guests out of the kitchen while you work. Place the dinner tables in the living room or in a formal dining room if your kitchen eating space is small.
Step 5: Prepare for clean-up
The most dreaded part of Thanksgiving begins when the last piece of pie has been served and the family retires to the couch to watch the rest of the game. Fortunately, some of the pain of the post-Thanksgiving clean-up can be alleviated ahead of time with a few preparations.
1.) Clean as you go. Fill a sink with hot soapy water and add used dishes as you cook. Wipe down the counter frequently. Take a few moments to load the dishwasher and get the cooking dishes clean in the five minutes before you’re ready to call everyone to dinner. This will give you an empty dishwasher for the silverware, glasses and plates after the meal.
2.) Label containers ahead of time. Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Many of your guests will probably offer their assistance with the clean-up. By labeling containers for their respective leftovers, you can make it really easy for your helper to put them away. If you want to send food home with your guests, you may also want to purchase foil containers and disposable plates so that you don’t have to worry about getting your Tupperware back.
3.) Keep an empty trashcan in an easily accessible place. This will encourage your guests to scrape their plates and throw out napkins before bringing them to the sink.
4.) Line pans with foil. When the food is done cooking, you can simply throw out the foil and wash the pan without the soak and scrub that a greasier pan requires.
4.) Use a clean-up caddy. Keep a set of cloths, cleaning solution, carpet and upholstery spot cleaning spray, and trash bags in a caddy in the kitchen. This allows you to quickly clean any emergency mess that arises throughout the evening.
5.) Bonus: Take a shortcut with style. Rather than dirty a bowl with dips, crackers or vegetables, empty a pumpkin or squash and use it as a bowl. Squash comes in many shapes and sizes, so you can be creative and choose the types that perfectly complement your Thanksgiving décor.
Our home organizers make kitchen and pantry organization a piece of pumpkin spice cheesecake. Choose from customizable pantry shelves, including pull-out shelves and other fully customizable kitchen organization solutions. Our Michigan closet organizers want to change the way you feel about home organization. Contact us today to discuss how you can benefit from our high-quality, fully customized storage products, and eliminate the woes of disorganized storage areas.