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.
Clear the Refrigerator.
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.
Tape Up Recipes.
Stick them at eye level on cabinets. They will be easy to see as you cook, and it keeps counters clear.
Use the Microwave.
It’s like an insulated cooler. Keep dishes warm for up to 30 minutes inside. (Don’t turn it on.)
Hire a Teenager.
Don’t coerce your nephew to eat at the little kids’ table; pay him $20. Everyone is happy.
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.
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.