Parties, family from out of town, laughter and lots of fun is what the Holidays are about, but the mess and clean up is also part of the celebration.
As a wife and working mother of two boys, I don’t believe we have to spend tons of time in the kitchen or for that matter cleaning the house if you plan ahead and are organized.
Here are 8 tips for a stress-free Holiday. You’ll even have time to seat and enjoy a glass of wine!
1. Out with Old and in With the New.
- Open your refrigerator and take a good look, is there anything you can throw away? The Holiday Season is the perfect time to clean up not only our refrigerator and freezer but also the pantry.
- Take everything out and look for the expiration date, i bet there’s some food even spices that have gone bad.
- This task will not only assure you the food still safe for you and your family to eat but will make up space for what you will buy to cook during the Holiday Season and you’ll have plenty of room for meals family and friends bring you.
2. Make A Master List
With extra people at home it’s easy to loose track of what food you have and when do you need to buy more.
- Have a list of essentials somewhere in the kitchen and tell everyone in your family to write the word BUY when you ran out of milk, eggs, bread, juice etc. This way you won’t need to make a trip to the supermarket everyday.
3. Don’t Be Superwoman
We know, you can do it, but let other members of your family help you.
- Does your son drive a car? He can help you by picking up your mom or father in law at the airport or take the ant to the store. This way your daily routine won’t be disrupted.
- Your husband, does he cook? He can help you prepare a few meals while you entertain your guests or do your daily chores. He’s part of the family, he should help.
4. Make Clean Up A Fun Activity For The Kids.
The goal is to reduce as much as you can your list of duties this holiday season and being a kid doesn’t mean they are free of responsibilities.
The holidays are also a great time to teach children about being responsible and organized but you have to make it a fun activity.
- Make a chart and write the names of your kids and a list of responsibilities, for example; Make my bed, put my clothes in the laundry basket, pick up my plate after I finish eating and reward them with stickers, you can make this activity as fun and creative as you want to.
5. Holiday Season It’s Not The Time To Cook Like A Food Network Star.
Must be nice to cook like the chefs on TV, where they use tons of bowls and utensils to prepare one meal, but obviously they are not the ones that have to wash the dishes after they are done cooking, in a real house WE ARE!
- Before you or anyone else in your house starts cooking, take out only the utensils and pieces of cookware you’ll need.
- To avoid washing 3 knifes for example, reuse the same knife to cut the meat, wipe it and use it to cut the veggies.
6. Don’t Accumulate The Mess.
- Wash as you go.
- After dinner, before you start washing dishes decide which leftovers you’ll be serving the next day. For example if there ‘s plenty of ham, leave it in the pot so you can warm it the next day. You can either put the pot in the fridge or if it’s a cold night, you can live it on the stove. This way you save time and energy by not washing the same dishes and cookware twice.
7. Keep A Clean Cooking Area.
Everyone that’s cooking with you should have a cloth with them so they can be constantly cleaning the kitchen surface where your are cooking, this way when your are done preparing the meals you don’t end up with butter, sugar and salt all over the place.
8. Save Time and Money
The holiday season is all about being with your loved ones but it’s also about spending money that’s why it’s important to find ways to save as much as you can.
Personally I choose double duty products, because I don’t only save money and time, I take care of my body. For example in the kitchen I use Dawn’s dishwashing liquid which cut grease and dissolve tough foods with only a tiny bit of Dawn Bleach Alternative, plus the liquid soap is so gentle on my hands that after washing the dishes I don’t have to rush to apply cream on my hands.
Using Dawn’s dishwashing liquid is the first step to make the washing dishes task less of a chore and more of an enjoyable activity.