November for most people brings a fondness of the holiday season. Knowing Thanksgiving will be here in a flash, it’s time for planning what food we’ll bring to the table and scheduling visits with our loved ones. What we usually try to avoid thinking about, however, is the inevitable and vigorous clean up that comes after the Thanksgiving feast. Well, add this guide to one of the things you’ll be thankful for this season because here we’ll share a list of ways to have a low maintenance Thanksgiving this year. Whether you’re hosting a large gathering or an intimate dinner, the following tips will help to keep the holiday aftermath clean up to a minimum.
Set up a Wash Station
One of the greatest things you can do for yourself when preparing the holiday meal is to also prepare a wash station before guests arrive. There’s many ways to do this but the easiest way is creating, essentially, a dumping zone for all the silverware and dishes. This can be a simple task of filling either a large dish pan or one side of the sink with warm water and soap. Make sure you get it nice and sudsy. This way you and your guests can easily drop off the used plates in the soapy water making it much easier to clean later on (or even right after the meal if you can’t bare sitting dishes).
Use Disposable Yet Festive Utensils
Using your best ceramic plates and stoneware saucers can make for a beautiful table layout. Nevertheless, this means a mountain of dishes to wash after all that time you’ve already spent cooking. The work never ends! Using disposable alternatives is the best way to cut down on scrubbing while still keeping a festive look. Instead of using your own dishes and silverware for guests, opt into using standard aluminum pans and silver-colored plastic eating utensils to maintain a theme. Pair these with heavy duty disposable platter-style plates. This will keep a clean uniform look on the dinner table. If you want to add some extra flare, use disposable doilies to place under the pans or festive ribbon to tie around them that can be found at your local grocery or dollar store.
Keep Wipes Ready
Having cleaning wipes at your fingertips can be a life saver when moving around the kitchen in a hustle. If you’re a full on do it yourself-er, juggling turkey basting in the oven, stirring potatoes on the stove, and mixing a cake batter, things are bound to get messy. Let’s be honest, even if your workload is more minimal, spills and splatters is still high on the probability scale. This is where the wipes come in. Letting spills sit for awhile causes them to dry against the surface, stick longer, and as a result makes it harder to clean. Keeping wipes out on the counter allows you to have access to cleaning sticky spots quickly while still cooking. It also lowers the chance of procrastinating cleanup and working harder to clean the kitchen after guests leave.
Share the Load (Make it a Potluck)
The final way to ensure a cleaner holiday is by sharing the tasks of cooking. If you’re hosting the Thanksgiving meal turn it into a potluck where each person brings something to the table. It is called Thanksgiving, after all. Although some of the more prideful holiday warriors want to insist on doing everything themselves (you know who you are), this takes away precious time from being able to enjoy the day to its fullest. A potluck will accomplish multiple ways to cut down on cleaning and stress. One, you won’t have to worry about nearly as much food to cook. Two, this will result in less kitchen mess to clean. Three, the previous will result in less dishes to wash. Four, all of this will result in giving you more time to celebrate and appreciate the holiday with your loved ones as it was originally intended for us to do.
Whatever you decide to do this Thanksgiving, we hope this guide will help make the holidays just a little less stressful. To all the hosts this year we commend you for being a do it yourself-er and an advocate for bringing people together. Remember that there’s always ways to make it easier when tidying up after a large gathering. So whether you’ll be the host or the guest this holiday season, you can use these tips for yourself or share this blog for holidays to come.