Kitchen Fun: Thanksgiving Success = Staying Organized

Even though I am an organizational nut (remember how Staples is my favorite store?), I really do think that the easiest way to host a successful Thanksgiving meal is to have a well thought out plan in place. So, I thought I would share the super neato spreadsheets I created to make sure I knew what was next in the t-day game plan. If spreadsheets don’t do it for you, you might want to just wait for my next post… this one is for the nerds.

First, my checklist, which is really a time line of sorts:

I spent some time first deciding what I was going to make and then determining which of those things could be made or perhaps prepared ahead of time. This was nice because I was able to spread out the work over several days, which meant I could actually see my family while they were in town!

The other two spreadsheets I made had to do with shopping for the big day. First I made a comprehensive list of everything I was making and the ingredients each dish required.

Then I took all the information there and made one big shopping list that included everything I would need for the big day. I added a column for “store” so that I could note if I had items at home or wanted to get them from a particular place (for example, the only place I could find Challah was at the Fresh Market).

The final organizational idea I had was to make sure I had enough dishes to hold everything I was making. So, I pulled out all my serving dishes and labeled them with little post-its.

This ended up being super useful, because I found out I didn’t have anything for my stuffing! Thank goodness my mother-in-law could bring one down with her since they were driving… Not sure if you noticed in the above picture, but there are a few odd post-it notes (like on the candle) because my dad decided it would be really funny to relabel everything.

I, in my “I have way too many things going on right now” state, thought this was hilarious, obviously.

He also tried to rearrange my Welcome Pears to spell something… less welcoming… thankfully he couldn’t come up with anything.

So, that’s it! All my holiday organizing tips. Do you have any suggestions for ways to maintain your sanity (besides drinking heavily)? Would love to hear what you’ve done to make things run more smoothly…

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