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    Clean up and Organize for Thanksgiving


    Thanksgiving can be a stressful time of year.  Your family is coming to stay at your house and you want to make a great impression.  Organizing and cleaning in order to fit and impress all the extra people in your house can be just as stressful as cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.  However it does not need to be.  Always remember that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and this includes giving yourself a pat on the back for all your organizing strides this year.  I wanted to share what I do to clean the household for Thankgiving. 

    Try timing yourself doing the dreadful cleaning chores to see how long it really takes you.  Sometimes the thought of doing the task is more unbearable than the time it takes to do the task. Don't waste your energy doesn't pay.

    Another component to organizing success is to be a problem solver.  We as humans like to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.  Instead you should first think about what has not worked in the past for Thanksgiving.  Think about what has prevented you in the past from enjoying this day of thanks?  What has worked well?  Start making a list this year and you can refer to it year after year to create the ultimate Thanksgiving Plan.

    Communication with family can also very important.  Being with family is a lot of fun, but often times there are family members that you do not jibe with.  Remember that people are who they are and it is not up to you to change them.  This is not the time to resolve issues that have been left buried.  Letting family members know exactly what is expected of them is important as well.  This includes arrival time as well as things to bring and departure time.  Create a signup sheet for different chores that need to be done (clean up, cooking, shopping…).   Create guidelines for family members to follow (no one in the kitchen while cooking, no shoes worn in the house…).

    Establish your Zones.  Where is the Beverage Station, Desserts, Food Dishes, Glasses and Plates, Silverware…  Have temperature of oven and times to be cooked clearly labeled on the outside of any dishes that are in the refrigerator.  Cooking all the dishes and getting them out hot is one of the great challenges of Thanksgiving.  Creating a time map for cooking dishes can be a great help.   Have the kids make fun place cards to direct people where to sit.   Also create a lost and found bin, take a picture of it and send it out to family members so they can claim the things they forgot. 

    Finally have a post Thanksgiving meeting to determine what when well and what can be improved upon.  Ask the family for advice on what to improve and add it to your Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide. 


     Visit for more home solutions!


    New Uses For Old Things

    Ketchup Unclogger

    How to unclog ketchupInsert a straw until it reaches the bottom of the glass bottle. Shake the bottle, then pour, leaving the straw inside. The airflow provided by the straw breaks the condiment-stopping vacuum. January 2011,

    Picture Frame as Dry-Erase Board

    creative dry erase boardLet’s see—you need milk, eggs…and something to replace the stark white memo board that’s sucking all the style from your otherwise charming kitchen. Frame a pretty piece of fabric or paper, then write temporary to-dos on the glass with a dry-erase marker. January 2011,

    Beer Koozie as Shaving-Cream Holder

    Protect your bathtub rim from rust rings by slipping this foamy college relic over a can of Barbasol (rather than Budweiser). January 2011,


    Babysitter Notebook

    Working parents will welcome this new idea for communication. Use a small spiral notebook. On the inside cover place important information. For example, children’s names, birthdates, and any allergies or medications. Next list Doctors names and phone numbers, as well as emergency contact phone numbers. If there is an emergency the babysitter can grab the book and get out. The next use for this notebook is to have lines of communication between you and your babysitter. Before you leave in the morning you can write down things your sitter will need to know when your children get off the bus. The sitter can also write down things you should know as well. So if Dad gets home and can’t remember all the things the babysitter said, Mom can look in the book. This way everyone is in the line of communication.

    Keeping Toys Organized

    kids toy storage/organizationOne trick to keeping toys organized is to keep the storage containers open. This allows kids to see what they have and where it goes. Clean up goes a lot faster.
    One example of this is the storage bins you see in the
    picture. They are light weight and are easy for kids to use. These are great to store toys with lots of parts. Your child may take only the bin they need to play. Then have it handy to clean up when they are done, and put the bin back on the rack. Another great idea to use pop up laundry hampers to store balls.  This helps you use vertical space when storing balls which can be cumbersome.

    Scrunchie Solution

    scrunchie organizationThis is an easy, neat, and convenient way to store your children’s hair ties. Get a circular hanging belt holder and slide the scrunchies on. This makes it easy to see each scrunchie and remove the exact one you want.