with Kimberly Greenwell, My Southern Home
The holidays are upon us, and we all deserve to be extra jolly this year after the last couple of years. Unfortunately, the holidays can also mean big stressors for many! Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, you can count on a large number of guests moving through your home, frequent nights where you’re dashing out the door to various parties and events, and new gifts filling your home. Give yourself the best present possible: A plan to stay organized will help reduce that stress.
Where to Start?
Think about where you’ll be spending most of your time this season: It’s most likely your kitchen! If you stay organized and efficient, your life will be a lot easier between preparing Thanksgiving dinner and organizing your annual cocktail party. You will want to be sure you are well stocked and have everything you need at hand to cut down on prep time.
Organize Your Pantry:
- Start by clearing everything out.
- Be brutal about what you do and don’t need.
- Invest in a Lazy Susan, baskets, and clear jars to keep similar food and items together.
- Label everything. It helps others find what they need and helps you maintain your system.
While getting organized is relatively easy, staying organized will be a challenge. So don’t forget to enlist your spouse and kids in keeping your pantry’s layout intact for the whole season.
Need some tips to translate this organizational energy to the rest of the kitchen? Try these tips:
- Keep your counters and island free of clutter at all times to avoid stress when it times to buckling down and cooking that much-anticipated holiday meal.
- Plan your menu ahead of time. Not only does it allow you to make sure you have all the ingredients, but you can also make sure you have all the right tools. You don’t want to wait until Thanksgiving morning to learn that you don’t have a basting brush or that you’re dangerously low on olive oil.
- Having a designated “trash bowl” to put away butter wrappers, potato peels, and other discarded items can make cleanup a lot more efficient.
- Wash dishes as you go and try not to let your counters get too dirty - this will save you a big, daunting cleanup at the end of the night.
Organizing Your Holiday Decor
Now, let’s turn our attention to one of the messiest and hectic elements of the holiday season: Decorating! You and your kids are probably excited to “deck the halls” and accentuate your home with bright lights, jolly Santa’s, and leafy ivy. But don’t get carried away—those boxes of decorations can easily pile up in your living room and hallways if you are not careful. Moreover, having a clearly defined organizational system will make the process of setting up your decorations all fun and stress-free.
When it’s time to take down your decorations, do your future self a favor, and don’t just shove everything into the nearest box. Instead, do this:
- Clearly label each box and store similar items together. For instance, your wreaths, Santa decorations, and candles each need their own container.
- Get clear, color-tinted bins so that you can quickly identify what’s in each box.
- Use extra-large bins for lightweight items like tablecloths and wrapping paper and smaller ones for heavier items.
- Store your holiday decoration-related boxes in the same part of your storage area.
The holidays are often regarded as the most fun and lively part of the year, despite the hustle and bustle they bring. By doing the grunt work of developing an organizational system now, you’ll be positioning yourself for a merry, bright, and stress-free December!
Kimberly Greenwell, My Southern Home
Kimberly Greenwell started My Southern Home in 2017 to educate consumers about home-related topics and introduce them to trusted professionals in their area. “My Southern Home” airs Saturday at 10 a.m. on MYTV 30 in Nashville and Sunday at 10 a.m. on WBKI-CW 58 in Louisville.