Wednesday, November 20, 2013

7 Ways to Be Organized {and a little creative} For Thanksgiving.

I'd never make Martha Stewart's top 10 list of the most organized people. (if she even has a list ;)
I tend to procrastinate. I leave things until the last minute...
I'm the type of person who is usually running around sweating 10 minutes before guests arrive.

My husband says there is Liz and then there is Party Liz....he is not too fond of the latter.
Personally, I think Party Liz works well under pressure!
She works fast, she gets creative..but I guess she doesn't always have the best of attitudes. ;)
No one except Jeff and my family will ever meet her...unless you get to my house early for a party.
{P.S. If you come to my house for dinner, don't ever feel bad about being late! Ha!}

So yeah, I can be a little disorganized at times.
However, when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have organization down to a fine art.

The schedule. The crafts. The food. Yep, I've got it all together. (for the most part ;)

So, being I am a "have it all together type of gal"....I'm sure you'd appreciate a few tips and ideas from me. Nothing new, nothing you probably haven't heard of or done before....
Just a little inspiration for those of you hosting or helping host or just celebrating Thanksgiving.

1. Make a List
I have Thanksgiving dinner at my house each year. I make a list of everything...appetizers, dinner, desserts and drinks. Then I make another list for the grocery store. I do this the week/weekend before the holiday.  I also plan out breakfast for Thanksgiving morning. It's one less thing to think about the day of. Most of the time we have something simple and quick like store bought cinnamon rolls and fruit.

2. Make Thankful Place CardsEach year we make place cards for every guest attending. Each of the kids chooses (or is assigned, depending on the year) a person coming to dinner. They write on the inside of their place card why they are thankful for that person. They love this.

3. Make a Cleaning Schedule and STICK TO IT!We start cleaning the Monday before Thanksgiving. Trim gets washed, walls get washed, windows get washed...every nook and cranny in the house is cleaned.  This makes Thanksgiving Day SO much easier. All we have to do is a quick pick up and the house is ready for company.

4. Make Your Turkey the Day BeforeIf you are a "carve at the table" kind of family, skip ahead to number 5. If not, continue reading...

At our house, dinner will be served to almost 40 people...carving at the table isn't an option. I make two turkeys on Wednesday and put them into a giant roaster with gravy Thanksgiving morning. The turkey is so moist and flavorful.

*You can also make many of your other foods the day before. My mother in law has rubbed off on me, I even make my potatoes the day before like she does! It saves so much time on the actual holiday. Just put them in an oven safe pan, cover and bake until they warm back up. Add a little butter if you fear crispy, crunchy dried out potatoes.

5. Everyone Gets a Bath The Night Before
Clean your children, wash your own hair, lay out clothes the night before....big time saver.

6. Make Time To Remember
We dedicate a good portion of the month learning about the history of our country and the reason why we celebrate this holiday in the first place. We make the oh-so-popular-trace-your-hand-turkey, thankful quilts (made of paper) and read lots of books about pilgrims and Squanto and the Mayflower.

7. Don't Forget About Charlie Brown
Those old cartoons are the best!
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and The Mayflower Voyagers. A must watch.

...and there you have it.
Happy Wednesday to you.


  1. #3 and 5.. yes!!
    and #7 - well, of course!! ;))

    i'm so a last minute person like you - that's why i laugh we were put in charge of the next ffe!!!! hey.. we need to get in touch with PARTY LIZ for that. hee hee.

    you make me feel so normal and i love ya!! : )

  2. Um yes, we have party Shannon here too. Don't ever come meet her!
    Love your list and organization. Lists are my lifesaver, I love to cross things off as they get done.

  3. I love how you make me laugh. :) You are just the cutest!

    And great great organization tips! I'm going to share. xo

  4. Fun. If I had more room I'd LOVE to do this same thing every year. Since I don't, I just make my requisite side dishes and haul the crew to other people's houses for the day. ;)

  5. wow! great list! fun laughs! oh how I miss you! :)

  6. Liz!! you are amazing!!! these tips are so practical and yet perfect! i love how organized you are! (but, wait....have i a recollection of you once-upon-a-time painting the kitchen right before you were having company or something?!;)) just kidding you. i really love these tips and i'm going to take the time to jot them down since we are hosting family here on Thursday and i want to ENJOY the day calmly!
    happy week to you!

  7. LOL Party Liz!!! I thought I was the only one. This cracked me up and I love to know that my husband isn't the only one that doesn't particularly like his "party" wife! I will now refer to myself as Party Janna. Thank U!