10 Tips + a Bonus for An Organized Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of remembrance, family and thanks, 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.
These days, many people opt to go out for Thanksgiving, instead of cooking and cleaning at home. 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, and if you must add a personal touch, make one special dish of your own.
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 this 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. Otherwise, you’re going to spend a lot of time in airports, on the road and in line.
3. Let’s talk turkey.
First, determine how much room you have in your freezer and refrigerator, and how many people you will be serving. Then, order 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 and is less messy.
4. Invite guests in a snap.
If you haven’t already sent out invitations, you may consider simply calling possible guests instead. You won’t have to spend a ton of time writing and mailing, and you can usually get an RSVP immediately.
5. Check your inventory.
Check your supply of chairs, tables, dishes, glasses, pots, pans, serving plates and utensils. Arrange to buy, rent or borrow anything you don’t have.
6. Plan your meal.
Plan your meal from appetizers to dessert on a piece of paper. Make a list of all ingredients needed. Bring your list when you go shopping and check items off as you put them in your cart.
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.
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 (and your kids’) wardrobe.
9. 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 them.
10. Get moving.
We all tend to put on more excess calories than usual on Thanksgiving Day. After the last piece of pie, why not go out with your family for a fun Thanksgiving walk. This promotes good health and family time simultaneously!
Remember to be thankful! Even those in the most trying circumstances can find something for which to be thankful. As Americans, we live in the richest country on earth and we are blessed beyond the majority of the world’s population. Focus on your blessings, not on your wants this Thanksgiving. Be thinking ahead to what you want to share with your family and friends next week.