Thanksgiving Life Hacks

Though Thanksgiving is still a week or two away, planning ahead for the inevitable turkey, trimmings and family time will leave you equipped to handle the season like a pro. You'll save time, money and your sanity by preparing ahead.

This month we're focusing on the kitchen - the heart of the household and often the root of many of its problems. 

Address Refrigerator Clutter. Have you ever tried to fit half a turkey, two pies and five containers of leftovers in a fridge that's already full? Get rid of anything expired and create a mental inventory of what you can use now. This will free up space and, let's face it, leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving! You can learn about proper food storage and the shelf life of pretty much anything at
Another good tip is to create an "eat first" area of the fridge to encourage family members to participate in the clean-out. 

Clean Special Dishes or Utensils Ahead of Time. Your roasting pan, big spoons or special dishes that may have been sitting in the cupboard since last winter could probably use a good wipe down. Take some time now to locate and clean or polish those items you know you'll need to use in the near future. This is also a great way to make sure that if you loaned out anything, you get it back in time for the holidays.

De-Pile Your Table. If you're like most of us, the kitchen or dining room table tends to accumulate mail, homework, projects and various other items that can start to pile up. Use holiday entertaining as a good excuse to organize and put away table-top clutter now, instead of just hiding it away before the guests arrive.

Review Your Spices.  You can tell if a spice has lost its potency if you pour some into your hand and crush it slightly, then smell for good aroma and flavor. If the color, odor, or flavor are weak, they should be tossed. Old spices won't make you sick, they just won't have any flavor. Date all new spice purchases with a sharpie to keep track of their age. Here's a quick guide on their shelf life:

Whole Spices - up to 4 years
Ground Spices - 2-3 years
Dried Herbs - 1-2 years.

Delegating? Let People Know. Planning ahead is a great way to ensure that dishes and tasks are shared with those who are able to help out. Our blog on the topic of delegating and planning the Thanksgiving meal has a printable page to keep track of who is doing what.

Happy Organized Thanksgiving!

On the Blog

What an Organizer Wants You to Know About Productivity and the Cult of Busy
by Veronica Bishop

The word "productivity" has, in many ways, been the mantra of the past decade. And it refers not just to the accomplishment of lofty lifetime or business goals, but also to things like remembering to unload the dishwasher.

Today, the "Cult of Busy" (an almost proverbial reference to our addiction to filling our days with tasks, crossing them off and then waking up and doing it all over again), has been accepted as the new normal. Between text and app messaging, social media scrolling, productivity apps, browser extensions, calendar syncing, email and keeping up with the news, it's a wonder anyone has time for "regular" activities like walking the dog or bathing.
Like a phone addiction, the Cult of Busy is in many ways a compulsion. So what can we do to manage the mental load?

Portland Resources

Library of Things! 

Library of Things
Now here's some exciting news! The Lake Oswego, Clackamas County, Oregon City, and Milwaukie libraries have just started a "Library of Things". This is a borrowing system for stuff, allowing you to check out items as needed, while avoiding adding permanent clutter to your home. You can borrow things like food dehydrators, GoPro cameras, sewing machines, ukuleles - an array of non-standard but useful items. Other items include arts/craft, technology, and outdoor/recreation items. 

The Washington County Library of Things are at Beaverton, Sherwood, Hillsboro, Cedar Mill & Bethany, and Tualatin.

Visit your local library page to see if yours is participating! The page below is for the  Lake Oswego Public Library's Library of Things.

Grand Reopening of the Children's Book Bank
Thursday, November 14, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

If you have been following Organizers Northwest for a while, you will know that we LOVE supporting the Children's Book Bank. These wonderful folks do awesome work in our community, getting books to kids who need them most. They accept gently used children's books at their warehouse location, and are always looking for books featuring characters of color. More info here.

The Book Bank took the summer to reorganize their warehouse and are ready to reveal it to the world! Check out their new space, learn about new volunteer opportunities, do some crafting, listen to read alouds, and mingle! They will also be kicking off their participation in the Willamette Week's Give!Guide with giving opportunities. This event is free and family friendly!

Date: Thursday, November 14
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: The Children's Book Bank, 1915 NE 7th Ave.

Last Call for NAPO Oregon Shoe Drive - Soles4Souls

This is our last call to donate to the Soles4Souls shoe drive, organized by our Oregon NAPO chapter. Organizers NW is participating by collecting donations and bringing them in to the chapter meeting on November 20th.

s provides shoes and clothing to people in need, including those impacted by hurricanes, tsunamis, fire, floods, earthquakes and other disasters. They also utilize new and gently-worn shoes as a resource to help people with the opportunity to start and sustain a small business of their own, in which they sell the shoes to their local community.

Please help us collect shoes for this amazing organization! If you are a client of ours, please put aside gently worn shoes for us to collect at our next session! If you would like to drop off shoes for the drive, please get in touch with us to arrange a drop-off.

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