5 Fast and Easy ideas to keep you organized and sane this Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-791.  Clean out your refrigerator

Before you come home with 25 bags of groceries, clean out the refrigerator and freezer. Toss old condiments and anything you can no longer identify.

2. Clear off the counter tops

You may not mind having appliances and accessories on your countertops during most of the days of the year but during any big food preparation and cooking season, you’ll be happier to have the additional space. Think about it: Coffee maker-yes, mixers-perhaps, toaster-no.

3. Location, location, location

I usually prefer to have my cooking spices in the drawers and cabinets close to my stove. However, when preparing a large meal, I set up a tray with the spices I need right at my fingertips. This is particularly helpful if you have guests who might be helping with the cooking – instead of them digging around in your cabinets, they will have easy access to everything needed.

The location rule also applies to the rest of your kitchen  – Are your dishes stored near the dishwasher?  Coffee and tea near the sink or coffeemaker? Are the napkins and placemats as close to your eating area as possible?  Store your items in a logical manner. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the contents of your cabinets if you find you’re your set-up is flawed. It is your space – make it work for you!

4.  Purge, purge, purge

Kitchen items seem to multiply magically. Take a few minutes to sort through your things with a critical eye. Do you have cheap knives that don’t cut; grill tools stashed with the spatulas; countless water bottles that you seldom use; chipped and/or ugly coffee cups? Get rid this stuff! Pots and pans and cookie sheets DO wear out and CAN be replaced. Get them out of your kitchen and reclaim every precious inch of your space.

 5. Pay attention to the details

Put your canned goods away with the label facing forward. Find a place to store and organize your mail other than the kitchen counter. Put your purse away in the closet. Get in the habit of always putting things back where they belong. If you put your things away after you use them you will never be faced with a cluttered mess again.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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