Holiday

Making Halloween Organization Less Scary

· Holiday

As a child, the whole concept of Halloween seems too good to be true.  You get to wear a costume, knock on strangers’ doors, and ask them for candy.  Then, you pretty much eat as much candy as you want for an entire night. As a parent, Halloween can be downright scary.  Your pre-schooler changes his mind 4 times about his costume, your tween wants to trick or treat with friends (and no parent), and your teenager’s costume seems to be exposing an awful lot of skin.  And, you haven’t even started thinking about the costume you’re wearing to your friend’s annual Monster Mash. So, how can you enjoy the holiday while making sure it’s fun? Here are some tips that are sure to help.

  1. Take out your Halloween decorations two to three weeks before the holiday.  If you’ve gone to the trouble of buying and storing the decorations, enjoy them for a few weeks as excitement for the holiday builds.
  2. Begin to think about Halloween costumes as soon as the “back to school” fervor fades.  If you’re going to order a costume online, leave yourself enough time for it to be shipped to you and returned if the size isn’t correct. If you’re planning on making a costume, start early enough so you can enjoy the process with your child.
  3. Buy your Halloween candy early.  The prices for candy are the highest in the two weeks before Halloween.
  4. This is the perfect time to sort through your child’s dress up clothes.  Maybe you can find a costume your child wants to wear or some accessories that can be used.  It’s also the perfect time to purge the costumes that no longer fit.
  5. Sort Halloween candy by type and store in glass or clear plastic cylinders of different heights.  You’ll be amazed at how pretty the candy looks when stored this way.
  6. After trick-or-treating, invite your child’s friends over for a cake or cupcake decorating play date.  Unwrap the candy and place it in bowls in the middle of the table.  Then, give them each several frosted cupcakes or one cake to decorate.  The candy will stick to the icing, the children will have a great time, and you’ll be rid of the candy by the end of the afternoon.
  7. November 1st isn’t too soon to take down the Halloween decorations.  All things Halloween related should be put away by the weekend following the holiday.   Halloween books, pumpkin carving kits, Halloween decorations, and costumes should be stored in a clear plastic box with a lid (size and number of boxes depends on the quantity you have).  This should be put away, out of the way, until next year.
  8. Be realistic about saving costumes.  If you have a child that loves playing dress up, add it to the stash.  However, if there’s little chance the costume will be worn again, donate it.

 

 

Move on Over, Milk! How to Store Thanksgiving Leftovers

· Holiday

You’ve been to the grocery store too many times to count, cooked for a small army, made small talk with the relatives, and you’re still standing!  The problem is…now you’re standing in your kitchen, looking at your leftovers, and wondering how they will all fit in your refrigerator.  Entertaining is fun, but, if you’re anything like me, you’d rather have too much food than too little food.  So, inevitably, that means that when I entertain I have a ton of leftovers.  And while my best strategy is to send as much as possible home with my guests, here are some of my favorite food storage products for what remains.

 

Pyrex, Bake-Serve’N Store Containers

The PYREX® Bake-Serve ‘N Store containers with glass and plastic lids may be the most versatile item in your kitchen. Use the glass lid for baking, reheating and serving.  Then, when it’s time to store your leftovers, place the plastic lid on top and it’s ready for the refrigerator, the freezer, or to take on the go.  This glass is microwave, dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, and freezer safe.   I love that the containers nest, and rectangular and square containers take up less room than round ones. It just doesn’t get any better than this!  As Pyrex says, “One dish, two lids, and so many uses.”

http://www.pyrexware.com/index.asp?pageId=14&CatID=380&SubCatID=400

 

Tupperwear Vent’N Serve Containers

Tupperware’s containers have a unique venting system that allows steam to escape when reheating foods in the microwave. Like Pyrex, these containers also go from microwave to the refrigerator or freezer, just not the oven.  And, the Tupperware plastic stays cool to the touch when being removed from the microwave.

http://order.tupperware.com/coe/app/tup_show_item.show_item_detail?fv_item_category_code=4000&fv_item_number=P10059651000

 

OXO POP Containers

For dry goods, I love the POP containers. “They’re airtight, stackable and space-efficient, so your dry foods stay fresh and your kitchen stays organized. The Containers have a unique push-button mechanism that creates an airtight seal with just one touch. The button also serves as a handle to lift off the lid. The containers are designed for modular stacking so that you can efficiently organize your countertop and pantry. In addition, with their square and rectangular shapes, the POP Containers make the most of any storage space, while their corners allow for easy pouring. The POP Containers are available in 12 different sizes to meet your dry food storage needs.  All POP Containers are BPA-free”.

http://www.oxo.com/p-436-pop-container-big-square-55-quart.aspx


Bread Box

Instead of piling up your breads and bagels on the kitchen counter, a bread box is a stylish way of containing your carb clutter.  This one from The Container Store is sufficiently large, and the chrome is sufficiently neutral to look great in most kitchens.

http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10000733&N=&Ntt=chrome+bread+box

 

Fridge Binz, Stackable Storage for the Refrigerator

If your refrigerator lacks enough separate drawers and shelves, you’ll love Fridge Binz.  By stacking them in your refrigerator, you maximize the storage space that you have.  When your refrigerator is organized, you won’t stand around with the refrigerator door open while you’re looking for that special snack.

http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10027634&N=&Ntt=Fridge+Binz