Clean-up time! OK fine, it’s everyone’s least favorite thing about Thanksgiving. Not only does it take time to wash all those dishes and safely put away all the leftovers, but it also means Thanksgiving is over. But there’s a lot you can do to make your Thanksgiving clean-up easier… and to make hosting next year’s dinner easier!
First of all, don’t stress about cleaning up. Just because you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy it. When it’s time to eat dinner, sit down and relax with your guests. Let yourself spend time with family and friends and take time to remember what the holiday is all about.
Not only do you deserve it, but your guests want to be spending time with you… not to mention, it’s no fun when the host starts cleaning up from dinner before everyone is done.
If you’re the type of person who absolutely cannot enjoy themselves if there’s still a mess in the kitchen, we’ve found that cleaning up and doing dishes as you go along tends to help. Once you dirty one dish, rinse it and place it directly in the dishwasher instead of stacking it in the sink. That way, when dinner is ready to be served the sink will be empty and all you’ll have to do is turn the dial on the dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, have a helper to actually wash the dishes right as they make it to the sink.
Once everyone is stuffed full with Butterball turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes and has had their fill of couch time and football, enlist some help in the kitchen and dining room. If everyone has a job, clean-up will go much more quickly and painlessly. Just make sure whoever is storing the leftovers knows what they’re doing and gets them in the refrigerator as soon as possible. We recommend using Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil for covering dishes and wrapping up leftovers.
After your guests have gone home or have passed out on your couch, we recommend sitting down and making more lists. Yes, even though the holiday is over, there are still more lists to be written! Keep track of the recipes that worked and what didn’t, including any changes you made. Be as detailed as possible. Trust us, when it comes to planning next year’s Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll be so happy you did!