OCTOBER IS FOR ORGANIZING
The Un-Fun Organizing Checklist!
If you already followed the tips to declutter your home, you may feel that you’re already prepared for the holidays. And decluttering is a great start. But there’s even more you can do. So go ahead, Organize Your Home!
Does the oven work? Do you have an oven thermometer to check the temperature? (Imagine an uncooked turkey – no – don’t!)
Does your garbage disposal dispose? Dinner preparation could be a big mess if it refuses to cooperate! (Do you want to hear my story of an overflowing disposal on Thanksgiving? Wait – you probably don’t want to hear that one either!)
Have you checked light switches (inside and outside) to make sure all light bulbs are working? And is there an appropriate light level in each room? Rooms have less natural light in November and December, and sunset comes early! Be sure the light level is comfortable.
If you’re not sure how much light you need, ask Google! It’s important to have enough light to create an inviting and comfortable setting for your family and your guests. (Don’t get scared off when Google mentions “foot candles” – they don’t mean YOUR feet!)
Is your furnace or air conditioner due for a checkup? If you live in a warm climate, using the oven for long periods of time could make your home feel uber tropical – and not in a good way! And in a cold climate – imagine holidays, guests, food on the table – and a furnace that isn’t working. (Did you see the old man and the furnace clinkers in “A Christmas Story”???)
Food Service Check
Do you have the dishes, serving dishes, glassware, and cutlery you’ll need for special dinners? Don’t forget serving spoons. Holiday dinners are likely to require large bowls for stuffing, large serving spoons for dishing up, and a very large platter.
If you don’t have a cupboard filled with Grandmother’s China and silver, check out Goodwill or thrift shops. No dinner guest has been known to die from using un-matched plates or mixed colors. It’s your table – feel free to set it as you please.
If you have children who’d like to decorate the table, so much the better! Their creations are likely to be the memories you’ll save for another year! (Besides, creating those memories will keep them busy for a while!!)
Project Management Check
If you’re me, you conquer the seating first (enough tables? chairs? highchairs? space to move around?) Next, you might set the table with matched, mismatched, or creative place settings, including water glasses, sippy cups, and plenty of wine glasses for the grownups. (Not to mention children’s festive contributions). What’s next?
The Secret Project Manager!
Did you notice that I didn’t mention the yellow post-it notes I placed in the serving bowls, along with the desired serving spoon? One note says “Stuffing” (or dressing if you’re picky). Another says “Mashed potatoes” or “Sweet potatoes.” Meanwhile, the hand mixer is set up on the kitchen counter, and a post-it on the mixer says “Carole.” That’s my daughter in law. Entrusted with mashing things perfectly! AND placing the mashed yummies in their respective bowls (she knows that I’m crazy but loves me anyway!)
At last, the guests are arriving, and you meet them at the door with joy – and a spreadsheet! Each guest gets a spreadsheet which lists their job and the order of processing the various tasks. Children take drink orders. Teens (who love fire) get to light the candles. Mothers oversee children (and move my place settings around while complaining about the lack of place cards). My husband serves as bar tender and takes drink orders while other fathers put wine bottles on the table. A grandparent with steady hands pours water into the correct glasses. (NO! That’s a wine glass!)
Over the Top??
You might think this was over the top, but everyone has a great time and enjoyed being part of a special dinner.
YES, OCTOBER IS FOR ORGANIZING!
You can make all of it fun. Just turn all that creativity loose. And PLEASE write to me in the comments to let me know how YOU have UN-FUN moments in October!