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An Organized Thanksgiving

by Maria Gracia Join our newsletter to be notified when the newest Organizing Article is available. Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of remembrance, family, and gratitude;  not a holiday of stress and chaos. Here are 10 easy ways to stay organized for an enjoyable, stress-free Thanksgiving Day: 1. Leave cooking and cleaning behind…or limit it These days, many people opt to go out for Thanksgiving…and about 30% of restaurants in the United States are open for the holiday and ready to take your meal reservations. If you’re an extremely busy person, this may also work for you. If you don’t want to miss the feeling of being at home, perhaps you might have the main course at a restaurant, and later have pie and coffee at home. In addition, lots of supermarkets and restaurants offer fully cooked Thanksgiving dinners. You simply pick everything up and place it on your table ready to be served. If you must add a personal touch, make one special dish of your own. Otherwise, you cook the turkey and ask everyone coming to the celebration to bring a dish to pass. Be sure to find out what they’re bringing, so you don’t end up with three pumpkin pies or two sweet potato casseroles…and no salad or green beans. 2. Prepare for traveling If you’re traveling this Thanksgiving, be sure to make your packing list well ahead of time. Check items off as you’re putting them into your luggage. Bring your list with you and use it to repack when you’re ready to return home. By the way, I usually suggest that you travel a few days before Thanksgiving and come back a few days after the Thanksgiving rush, if possible. Otherwise, you’re going to spend a lot of time in airports, on the road, in line, etc. 3. Let’s talk turkey If you will be hosting Thanksgiving and making turkey, determine how much room you have in your freezer and refrigerator, and how many people you will be serving. Then, order (or purchase) your turkey. If you need more storage space, perhaps a neighbor or relative can help you out. Rather than defrosting a frozen turkey in water on Thanksgiving Day, defrost it a few days ahead in your refrigerator instead. This saves tons of time! 4. Check your inventory In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, take the time to check your supply of chairs, tables, dishes, glasses, pots, pans, crock pots, serving plates, and utensils. Arrange to borrow, rent, or buy anything you don’t have. 5. Plan your meal…on paper Plan your meal, from appetizers to dessert, on a piece of paper. Then, make a grocery list of all ingredients needed…either paper or using a phone app. Bring your list when you go shopping and check items off as you put them in your cart. 6. Plan your cooking/heating schedule…on paper Make an organized list of what you’ll be doing first, second, third, etc. (with start times next to each) for prepping and cooking your meal. In doing so, you won’t forget to put the stuffing in the oven or cook the gravy. Once you have this time table, tape it (with a tiny piece of tape) to a kitchen cabinet so it’s at eye-level. You won’t end up losing the list or having to worry about spilling cranberry sauce all over it. 7. Cook ahead Make any meals that you can well ahead of time, and freeze them. On Thanksgiving Day, just defrost, heat and serve. You will save tons of time, plus you’ll be able to join in the festivities without being stuck in the kitchen. By the way, I always make a few dishes that I can serve cold…no heating necessary. 8. Get ready the night before You’ll be happy you took care of a few things the night before. Set the table. Get the good silverware out of storage. Lay out your wardrobe…and your kids’ wardrobes. 9. Don’t turn down help If someone wants to bring a dish to pass, say yes. If someone wants to help out in the kitchen, say yes. If someone wants to help clear the table, say yes. Accept help from others. You don’t have to be a super-hero, shouldering everything yourself! 10. Don’t forget the important stuff Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be thankful for health, family, friends and all that life has to offer. Some people choose to say grace. Others prefer to simply have a moment of silence before dinner and football. Still others like to make time to read a Thanksgiving Story or a poem. Make a list of the things you want to do to make the day a special one and reference your list so you don’t forget the important stuff. Back to Organizing Articles Index
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An Organized Thanksgiving

by Maria Gracia Join our newsletter to be notified when the newest Organizing Article is available. Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of remembrance, family, and gratitude;  not a holiday of stress and chaos. Here are 10 easy ways to stay organized for an enjoyable, stress-free Thanksgiving Day: 1. Leave cooking and cleaning behind…or limit it These days, many people opt to go out for Thanksgiving…and about 30% of restaurants in the United States are open for the holiday and ready to take your meal reservations. If you’re an extremely busy person, this may also work for you. If you don’t want to miss the feeling of being at home, perhaps you might have the main course at a restaurant, and later have pie and coffee at home. In addition, lots of supermarkets and restaurants offer fully cooked Thanksgiving dinners. You simply pick everything up and place it on your table ready to be served. If you must add a personal touch, make one special dish of your own. Otherwise, you cook the turkey and ask everyone coming to the celebration to bring a dish to pass. Be sure to find out what they’re bringing, so you don’t end up with three pumpkin pies or two sweet potato casseroles…and no salad or green beans. 2. Prepare for traveling If you’re traveling this Thanksgiving, be sure to make your packing list well ahead of time. Check items off as you’re putting them into your luggage. Bring your list with you and use it to repack when you’re ready to return home. By the way, I usually suggest that you travel a few days before Thanksgiving and come back a few days after the Thanksgiving rush, if possible. Otherwise, you’re going to spend a lot of time in airports, on the road, in line, etc. 3. Let’s talk turkey If you will be hosting Thanksgiving and making turkey, determine how much room you have in your freezer and refrigerator, and how many people you will be serving. Then, order (or purchase) your turkey. If you need more storage space, perhaps a neighbor or relative can help you out. Rather than defrosting a frozen turkey in water on Thanksgiving Day, defrost it a few days ahead in your refrigerator instead. This saves tons of time! 4. Check your inventory In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, take the time to check your supply of chairs, tables, dishes, glasses, pots, pans, crock pots, serving plates, and utensils. Arrange to borrow, rent, or buy anything you don’t have. 5. Plan your meal…on paper Plan your meal, from appetizers to dessert, on a piece of paper. Then, make a grocery list of all ingredients needed…either paper or using a phone app. Bring your list when you go shopping and check items off as you put them in your cart. 6. Plan your cooking/heating schedule…on paper Make an organized list of what you’ll be doing first, second, third, etc. (with start times next to each) for prepping and cooking your meal. In doing so, you won’t forget to put the stuffing in the oven or cook the gravy. Once you have this time table, tape it (with a tiny piece of tape) to a kitchen cabinet so it’s at eye-level. You won’t end up losing the list or having to worry about spilling cranberry sauce all over it. 7. Cook ahead Make any meals that you can well ahead of time, and freeze them. On Thanksgiving Day, just defrost, heat and serve. You will save tons of time, plus you’ll be able to join in the festivities without being stuck in the kitchen. By the way, I always make a few dishes that I can serve cold…no heating necessary. 8. Get ready the night before You’ll be happy you took care of a few things the night before. Set the table. Get the good silverware out of storage. Lay out your wardrobe…and your kids’ wardrobes. 9. Don’t turn down help If someone wants to bring a dish to pass, say yes. If someone wants to help out in the kitchen, say yes. If someone wants to help clear the table, say yes. Accept help from others. You don’t have to be a super-hero, shouldering everything yourself! 10. Don’t forget the important stuff Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be thankful for health, family, friends and all that life has to offer. Some people choose to say grace. Others prefer to simply have a moment of silence before dinner and football. Still others like to make time to read a Thanksgiving Story or a poem. Make a list of the things you want to do to make the day a special one and reference your list so you don’t forget the important stuff. Back to Organizing Articles Index
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