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10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 1 of 11

    1: Organize Your Bedsheets into Sets

    Organize Your Bedsheets into SetsMy linen closet looks like someone set off a bomb inside it. Which means that I’m always scrambling to find the right size sheet for the right size bed. You can avoid this by assembling little bed kits — get your flat sheet and fitted sheet and place them inside a pillowcase. Then, when you have to make up the beds for the holiday guests, it will be streamlined and simple.

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 2 of 11

    2: Keep a Running “How Can I
    Help?” List

    Keep a Running “How Can I Help?” ListIsn’t it the strangest phenomenon that our to-do lists can be long, but when people offer to help out, it’s hard to come up with an assignment for them? Keep a list somewhere in the kitchen of all the things that might qualify for this question. Here are a few to get you started: Pick up some finger foods and starters (cheese, crackers, fruit); figure out an activity for the kids (scavenger hunt?) and organize; bring referee whistle to preside over fights
    between in-laws.

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 3 of 11

    3: Make a Batch of Icebox Cookies

    Make a Batch of Icebox CookiesThis is just a fancy way of saying, make cookie dough, then roll the dough into a log shape and freeze it. This way you will always be a slice and bake away from warm cookies for the bake sale, the hostess gift, or the potluck. Wrap cookies in wax paper or plastic wrap and place in a tall drinking glass that has been turned on its side. This helps preserve the round shape of the dough — otherwise, one end will wind up flattening out.

    Try these pecan chocolate chip icebox cookies

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 4 of 11

    4: Prep Your Cooking Equipment

    Prep Your Cooking EquipmentMake sure you have all your cooking equipment for the big-ticket dishes in order: roasting pans, meat thermometer, roasting rack, baster, carving board, carving knife. If you’re trying a new fancy torte, look at the equipment requirements to make sure you don’t need an extra
    springform pan.

    Check out the Babble Best Kitchen Tools for Kids

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 5 of 11

    5: Wrap Gifts Ahead of Time

    Wrap Gifts Ahead of Time Wrap presents as they come in so you don’t have a mountain to wrap the night before. Unless you are one of those families who sits under the tree on Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed, listening to Christmas carols, drinking hot toddies while wrapping the loot and reflecting on the year’s events and how fortunate you are. That sounds a lot better than my Type-A suggestion.

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 6 of 11

    6: Buy Disposable Roasting Pans
    in Bulk

    Buy Disposable Roasting Pans in BulkStock up on disposable aluminum roasting pans… but not for roasting. They mold to whatever it is you are storing in them, which can come in handy when your holiday fridge
    is packed.

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 7 of 11

    7: Set the Table

    Set the TableIf your dining room table is not used every day, lay out everything you need so you can do a real-life inventory. Will you need more forks? More serving platters? More votives? How about the chair situation? You don’t want Uncle Hal sitting on the stool again this year. Laying things out where you can see them makes it easier to see what’s missing.

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 8 of 11

    8: Pack in Advance

    Pack in Advance If you’re traveling, pack the kids’ bags with clothes and toys they won’t miss in their everyday wardrobe rotations. And do the same for yourself, if you don’t wear the same thing everyday like me.

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 9 of 11

    9: Make a Huge Batch of Granola

    Make a Huge Batch of GranolaI always find myself going to the last piano lesson before the holidays and wishing that I had thought to bring the teacher a small gift. (Sort of like the one she got my daughter.) If you have a batch of this on hand, as well as a 12-pack of Mason jars (easily procured at any hardware store for $10) you will never find yourself in this disgraceful position again.

    Try this "I’ll Miss You" granola

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 10 of 11

    10: Prep, Prep, Prep

    Prep, Prep, PrepFinally, I have a guiding philosophy when it comes to planning ahead for the holidays: No matter how little the task, if it can be done in advance, do it in advance. When you are hosting guests, there ends up being about 2 million 30-second jobs. So order the ornament hooks, pack up a travel bag, get your cleaning supplies, wash your linens, order your wine — whatever crosses your mind, cross it off the list.

  • 10 Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays 11 of 11
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