Once you’ve recovered from the big day, take these steps to make welcoming the next round of holiday guests easier!
Ah, Thanksgiving is over. Once the dishes are dry, the last overtime has ended and the guests are gone, what comes next? OK, I know, collapse in an exhausted heap. That’s good — go ahead and do that. Then it’s time to take on a few tasks that will make having the next big gathering at your house just a little easier.
Give the kitchen a thorough scrubbing. This is the toughest part. Once you’re done, reward yourself with another rest.
Clean the linens. Launder your tablecloths, napkins and other linens. During this busy time of the year, you deserve to drop them off at the dry cleaner if you wish — no guilt involved.
Organize and inventory the serving ware. Keep a notepad and donation bin handy. As you’re putting away your platters, bowls, pitchers, vases and other pieces, take stock: Was anything missing? Make a note to get it.
While putting things away, pay special attention to everything — are pieces lurking on the bottom of the cabinet that you never use? If you didn’t use those items at your big Thanksgiving dinner, chances are you never will, so consider donating them.
Stash rarely used items smartly. If you have Thanksgiving-specific equipment and decorations you use only at this time of year, find somewhere besides the kitchen to keep them together and organized. Valuable kitchen real estate is better put to use for everyday items.
Clean out the pantry, cupboards and refrigerator. Once the guests and leftovers are gone, take this opportunity to clean out the refrigerator and pantry. If you find canned or boxed food that hasn’t expired and you know you won’t use, place it in the donation bin — it’s a great time of year to give.
Restock. At the same time, take inventory with future holiday meals in mind. Use this chance to get your herbs, spices and staples organized for the rest of your holiday cooking, and make a list of things you need to replenish.
Prep for your next overnight guests. Clean up the guest room, wash the bedding and towels, and think about ways to make welcoming another round of overnight visitors easier.
Put your feet up. Congratulations! It wasn’t easy, but you’ve cut down the prep time for your next hosting gig. Your hard work means you’ll be organized and ready.
Tell us: Do you have any post-hosting rituals that make your life easier? Please share them in the Comments below!