Thanksgiving Storage Tips and Hacks: Kitchen Organization

Is it your turn to host Thanksgiving this year? Are you the “Martha Stewart” of the family who preps and organizes months ahead, or are you more the “Aunt Bethany” type who wraps her cat with the jello salad? If you’re leaning toward Aunt Bethany, this blog is for you.

Whether you’re cooking for 6 or 26, planning ahead is key to moving through Thanksgiving dinner with ease. From cleaning and organizing your kitchen all the way to packing up the Thanksgiving leftovers, these tips and hacks will help you have a stress free day.

If you don’t already have one, a self storage unit can be a big help during the holidays. It goes without saying that you can store decorations, large serving pieces, and small appliances. Self storage is also the perfect solution for getting that excess clutter off of the kitchen counter.

Universal Storage has a variety of types and sizes of self storage to suit your needs and your budget.

Get Ready for the Big Day

Tips to Get the Kitchen in Order

The kitchen is ground zero for Thanksgiving dinner preparation. You’ll probably start cooking several days in advance, and excessive clutter will slow up your progress. When the guests start arriving, your kitchen will be crowded with helpers, extra food, and a bunch of littles causing chaos. Organize your kitchen with the following tips so that your day runs smoothly.

  1. Clean: Give the kitchen a thorough cleaning and clear the countertops of non-essential items. These items can be moved to your storage unit. You’ll save time and be happy to have more usable counter space on the big day.
  1. Create Your Menu and Organize Recipes: If you haven’t already, now is the time to plan your menu. Organize your recipes on a digital device for easy reading. Digitizing your recipes takes up less space, allowing less time for searching and more time for cooking.
  1. Check Appliances and Equipment: Now that your recipes are organized, it’s time to make sure that you have the necessary equipment and supplies. The last thing you need is a dysfunctional appliance. Checking early gives you the time to replace or fix anything that’s not working.
  1. Clean Cupboards and Pantries: This is a great time to organize cupboards for extra storage space. Discard items that are no longer useful and temporarily store things that you don’t need for Thanksgiving.
  1. Clean the Fridge: You don’t need moldy leftovers taking up space in your refrigerator. You’re going to need space to store a lot of extra food before and after dinner. This is the time to purge your fridge, discard everything that has spoiled or expired, and rearrange what is left. Save the shelves for your Thanksgiving dishes and store other items on the door and in the crisper drawers.

Thanksgiving Hacks that Will Save Your Sanity

Everyone can benefit from adding a few thanksgiving hacks to this year’s Thanksgiving routine. Check out the following ideas to help you save time and space.

  1. A Cooler to Keep Food Cold or Hot: During the holidays, your refrigerator becomes the most desired real estate in the house. If you don’t have a second fridge, you can expand space by removing condiments and other items that you won’t need for Thanksgiving. Store them in a cooler packed with ice until the last guest goes home. On the other hand, if you find that you’re having difficulty keeping side dishes hot until serving time, line the cooler with foil and towels to keep them insulated and warm.
  1. One or More Slow Cookers to Keep Foods Warm: Since your stove will be in heavy use, slow cookers are a great alternative for keeping mashed potatoes warm and fluffy. A second slow cooker can keep gravy or other side dishes hot while you’re putting your Thanksgiving feast on the table.
  1. A Thermos Keeps Gravy Warm: If you don’t have an extra slow cooker, a tall, slim thermos is perfect for keeping gravy hot. When it’s time to eat, simply pour the gravy into the gravy boat.
  1. Increase Your Space Vertically: Make the most of storage and serving by increasing your surface area vertically. This means purchasing tiered trays and stands that enable you to stack items on three levels. This beauty from Williams Sonoma will add depth and interest to your presentation.
  1. Send Guests Home with Inexpensive Leftover Containers: Buy inexpensive, disposable leftover containers rather than sending people home with your plasticware or good dishes. Prepare ahead of time by purchasing containers from Amazon.


No amount of advance planning and organization will guarantee a perfect holiday. Relatives will argue, drinks will be spilled, and the turkey might be a little dry. Despite all of this, keep in mind that it’s the people who make the day. Be thankful for your loved ones and treasure your memories.