9 Classic Real Simple Tips (That We Love Repeating) Listen, we’ve been helping readers organize and prep for the holidays for a long time. These are the tricks that we tell our own friends and family in real life—and couldn’t resist reprinting for you. Facebook Pinterest Twitter Print Mail Save 1 Clear the Refrigerator. Photo by David Meredith Put vinegar, soy sauce, and unopened condiments and jellies in the pantry. (They will be fine.) Apples and potatoes can sit in a cool, dry place, like the basement or the car trunk. 2 Tape Up Recipes. Stick them at eye level on cabinets. They will be easy to see as you cook, and it keeps counters clear. 3 Use the Microwave. It’s like an insulated cooler. Keep dishes warm for up to 30 minutes inside. (Don’t turn it on.) 4 Hire a Teenager. Don’t coerce your nephew to eat at the little kids’ table; pay him $20. Everyone is happy. 5 Sit at the Head of the Table. You can slip away to the kitchen more easily. 6 Buy Eight Bottles of Wine. For 12 adults, plan on four bottles each of red and white wine. 7 And Don’t Open Any Yourself. It’s a great task for a guest milling around in the kitchen. Ask her to pour you a glass. 8 Resist the Urge to Clean Up Mid-Event. Clearing plates is OK; turning on a faucet is not. When the host walks away from the mess, everyone else relaxes, too. 9 Relocate for Dessert. Move to the living room! Guests can stretch their legs and switch up conversation partners.