Post-Thanksgiving Game Plan To Make Your Life Easier

Ah, Thanksgiving is over. Once the dishes are dry, the last overtime has ended and the guests are gone, what comes next? OK, I know, collapse in an exhausted heap. That’s good—go ahead and do that. Then it’s time to take on a few tasks that will make having the next big gathering at your house just a little easier.

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Give the kitchen a thorough scrubbing. This is the toughest part. Once you’re done, reward yourself with another rest.

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Clean the linens. Launder your tablecloths, napkins and other linens. During this busy time of the year, you deserve to drop them off at the dry cleaner if you wish—no guilt involved.

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Clean out the pantry, cupboards and refrigerator. Once the guests and leftovers are gone, take this opportunity to clean out the refrigerator and pantry. If you find canned or boxed food that hasn’t expired and you know you won’t use, place it in the donation bin—it’s a great time of year to give.

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Restock. At the same time, take inventory with future holiday meals in mind. Use this chance to get your herbs, spices and staples organized for the rest of your holiday cooking, and make a list of things you need to replenish.

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Refill salt and pepper shakers. It seems like a small thing, but if you have to do it when all your burners are fired up for your next feast, it’s going to be one more detail stressing you out.

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Prep for your next overnight guests. Clean up the guest room, wash the bedding and towels, and think about ways to make welcoming another round of overnight visitors easier. Try Alison Hodgson’s ideas for creating a guest room in a box.

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Put your feet up. Congratulations! It wasn’t easy, but you’ve cut down the prep time for your next hosting gig. Your hard work means you’ll be organized and ready.

Tell us: Do you have any post-hosting rituals that make your life easier? Please share them in the comments.