How To Serve a Clutter-Free Thanksgiving

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Holiday Organization

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the morning with my good friend and anchorwoman, Eve Russo. We talked about how stressful planning Thanksgiving can be. As someone who is entering her 18th year hosting, I was able to share some simple tips for being the “hostess with the mostess” minus the hassle.

You can view the segment here:
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A Few Key Tips to Remember:

  • Have a welcome basket for out of town guests (contents include: spare toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, etc, magazines, and your wifi password)
  • Get creative with with festive labels
  • Printing a copy of the menu adds a nice touch and is a simple way to dress the table
  • Repurpose household items like mason jars to corral cutlery
  • Use decorative disposable placemats (great for kids to draw on, plus makes clean up a snap!)
  • Have disposable “tupperware” on hand to send guests home with leftovers (this way you don’t have to chase them down for yours!)

Don’t forget to download our FREE Thanksgiving Checklist!cropped headshot_HR_circle

 

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

xoxo-

Laurie

3 Organizing Hacks for the Thanksgiving Hostess

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Holiday Organization

This is my 17th year hosting Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday for a variety of reasons: the tradition, spending time with family and, of course, the food! I love to cook, but when it comes to creativity, I’m no Martha Stewart. That doesn’t stop me from adding my own touches to make my guests feel special.

Below are 3 simple organizing hacks that will leave your guests talking about you (in the best way possible!)

  1. Print Your Menu. I started doing this a few years ago and I love it! Whether you serve a sit-down meal or buffet style, it’s a nice way for your guests to see what you’re serving. Plus it takes the guesswork out of people asking, “what is that?”

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  1. Corral your Cutlery. If you are tired of remembering whether the knife goes on the inside or outside of the spoon, I have the perfect solution: Group your utensils together and wrap them in twine or ribbon. It adds a touch of informality, yet shows your guests that you went the extra mile to make your table setting decorative.

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  1. Is Anyone Sitting There? This tip applies if you are serving a sit-down meal. Create simple nametags and pre-assign seats at your table. This is a great project to enlist the help of little ones. Have them draw pictures, make cut outs or if you’re on the OCD side, you can design and print them from your computer. A nice touch that goes a long way.

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No doubt it can be stressful trying to pull off the biggest dinner party of the year. It’s not too late to print out our free Thanksgiving Checklist. When all else fails, make sure that you have plenty of wine handy! Try to relax and enjoy what’s most important- spending time with loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving!

5 Tips to a “Spook-tacular”Halloween Party

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Holiday Organization

Every year we host a Halloween Party for our close friends and neighbors. It’s fun to see everyones creative costumes and act like a kid for a night.

The weeks leading up to Halloween can get crazy, so finding time to plan my own party is the last thing on my mind.  Fortunately, I’ve got my planning down to a science, but it didn’t happen overnight. I’ve gone through my fair share of trial and error, but I am finally at the point where I can relax and feel like a guest at my own party.

If you are hosting a halloween party these 5 tips will help take the stress out of your next event:

1. Choose “finger food”. Most people are busy being social leaving food an afterthought. Items that people can grab with their hands have a greater chance of being eaten than something that requires utensils.

2. Pass the Hors d’Oeuvres.  Circulating food is the best way to make sure people eat. I used to put all my food out on a table in hopes that people would gravitate to it, but that didn’t always happen.  Taking a tray of chicken skewers around to your guests is a great way to distribute food while mingling with your guests.

3. Offer a signature drink.  We are drinkers and so are the majority of our friends, so a stocked bar is a must with our crowd!  To make your party unique, it’s nice to offer a signature drink to your guests in addition to your regular selection.  If you have a pitcher ready to go, it speeds up the line at the bar, which is always a good thing! You can offer a non-alcoholic version for non-drinkers and kids.

4. Have a playlist ready to go. Whether you plan on streaming music from Pandora or Spotify, or making a playlist from your iTunes library it’s a good idea to have your list ready to go for when the first guest arrives.  Good music truly does set the tone for your party.

5. Hire Help.  Depending on the size of your party and your budget, you may want to hire someone to help prepare, serve and clean up. It allows you to focus on your guests rather than worrying about getting dessert out on time.  Plus there is no greater feeling at the end of the night to turn around and see an empty sink! It doesn’t cost as much as you might think, and for $100 it is well worth it.

For a good laugh, here is a picture from our Halloween Party last year.  Can you guess who we are?

I’ll give you a hint: Miss Scarlet, with the revolver, in the conservatory…

Happy Organizing!