I'm so happy you stopped by today! I going to share...



Let's get right to it...

Oh wait! Before I reveal my best tip I just want to let you know that I am part of

The Better Late Than Never Thanksgiving Party

A group of creative and talented bloggers put their heads together to come up with last minute ideas that will help you have a picture perfect, less stressed Thanksgiving!

A big hug and thanks to Laura from TOP THIS TOP THAT who so wonderfully put this great party together! You are the best, Laura!

Make sure you check out the list of blogs at the end of this post.

Now for that BEST tip....

I can give you tips on setting a stunning Thanksgiving table... and tips on how to get candle wax out of your grandmother's vintage tablecloth. I can show you how to make darling Thanksgiving placecards and give you the directions for witty table games that will keep everyone at your table enthralled!

But I have a tip at surpasses all of that!

Drum Roll please...



Yes, that's it!  


 And not just any dishpans... but dollar store dishpans! Cheap, cheap, cheap dishpans!

What were you expecting? I know they are not pretty or chic... but they are magical!

This best tip revelation came about several years ago when I was hosting a particularly large and diverse group of family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner.

We all know how work intense Thanksgiving dinner is and how much preparation and clean-up goes into it. Lots of dishes... tons and tons!

I can't tell you how many times my guest's asked if they could help and I was so just too busy to tell them. At that point it was almost easier to do what needed to be done myself.

Then I had a lightbulb moment! 

It occurred to me to write down all the chores I had to do, one at a time, on an index card. 

And if the chore involved cleaning up, to drop the index card  into an empty dishpan. I stacked the index cards and the dishpans on my island.

When someone asked, I handed them a card or a dishpan and a card!

I didn't have to explain... it was on the card!  I didn't have to direct... it was on the card!

This worked so well that I do it every year.

EVERYONE pitches in! And everyone really gets into it.  

Especially at clean up time. Guests just grab a dishpan and do what the card in the bottom of the dishpan  says!

All dishpans are taken to the laundry room where a utility table is set up, covered with towels.

If you don't have a convenient laundry room, even a garage would work great!

My helpers fill the dishpans with a squirt of dish soap and hot water and everything start to clean itself. The linen's are collected in a separate dishpan and an enzyme detergent is added so the linens soak!

 The best part is that my kitchen does not look like a bomb filled with all sorts of dirty dishes and napkins blew up in it!

I have cards labeled in dishpans saying...

*pick up stemware
*pick up non-stemware glasses
*pick up salad plates
*pick up salt and pepper, butter and rolls
* pick up napkins and begin to soak
*pick up dinner plates
* put cream and sugar on the table
* set the table with dessert plates, forks and napkins (they also go in a dishpan)

Bobby is the chief dishwasher.

The dishpans come out from the laundry room one at a time and the content is washed. We don't use a dishwasher on Thanksgiving... too many dishes!

We talk and joke and love being together in the kitchen! No one (except Pop-Pop Jim) sleeps on the sofa.

When the dishes are dried they go back into a dishpans and back into the laundry room. I then can put them away at my leisure... and that usually means in a day or two later. But they are washed and dried and NEATLY organized in dishpans and ready for me when I can get to them!

While everyone is cleaning up my mom, sister and I usually pack leaftovers into containers to be taken home by everyone. All the leftovers except the one's the girls eat for breakfast on Friday morning, that is!

You can read about that and our other Thanksgiving Traditions HERE.

The pots and pans and bowls and roaster etc get the same dishpan treatment!

Because our family does not eat dessert right after Thanksgiving dinner, we have time to have fun while cleaning up.

I can't tell you how this tip has kept my sanity! I hate a kitchen piled high with unorganized dirty dishes spread out on every counter top and everyone waiting for "what's next" while I get more stressed by the second!

I don't have to ask for help or direct and oversee the clean-up... it just works all by itself!


And when we have a dessert buffet that evening, everything looks clean and tidy and you would never know that several hours before we were eating a huge Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings!

To clean up the dessert buffet is a breeze. We just use the same dishpan process!

I hope my Best Thanksgiving Tip Ever helps you have a very 

happy, organized, less stressed and fun day!

You don't want to miss other

Better Late Than Never Thanksgiving Party Bloggers

Between Naps on The Porch

Adventures In Decorating

Our Southern Home 

Stone Gable 

Top This Top That

And today is the last  day for

Thankful for Home Tours

Lots of beautiful home and fabulous Thanksgiving ideas!






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