Blog | 8 Ways To Fool Your Family & Friends This Thanksgiving


Yes, it’s true: I want to help you fool your family and friends into thinking you did some serious organizing this holiday season.  You can ask for One Year to an Organized Life in your Christmas stocking and next year you’ll be sitting pretty.  For now here are a few quick things you can do to reduce the mayhem.  No one needs to view getting organized as one more dreaded item on an already crowded To Do list.

  1. Decide which rooms will be open to guests and which will be off limits. Close doors to the rooms it is verboten to enter and post amusing signs like this: ‘Do Not Open: Wild Dog (Cat) in Residence!’ ‘Keep Out: Mersa Thrives here!’ ‘Do Not Enter: This Means YOU!’ An invitation to dinner doesn’t have to include a tour of your home or announce an open door policy. Direct everyone to one guest bathroom and be sure soap, towels and toilet paper are in abundant supply.
  2. There’s one in every crowd: be ready for ‘The Snoop!’ Check under the guest bathroom sink, the medicine cabinet and the magazine holder.  Be sure that nothing is in residence that you wouldn’t want mentioned on the front page of The New York Times. You don’t want your mother to exit the bathroom wailing: “Why didn’t you tell me you are on the pill!”
  3. Make a stop at your local drug store and stock up on all the basics from aspirin and band-aids to heartburn relief and cough drops. It’s cold and fly season so be ready with extra tissues as well.
  4. Peer into your kitchen cupboards and drawers and fearlessly toss the no longer used, the broken, the outdated and the too numerous to count items.  Even if you don’t have time to organize, you will have given yourself a little breathing room.
  5. You scream.  I scream.  At Thanksgiving we all scream for leftovers. Stop at the local dollar store and pick up inexpensive, disposable food containers. Be sure you can easily send guests home with a favorite goody in a container you need never see again.
  6. Clean out the hall closet.  Have extra hangars and containers for hats, gloves and scarves. If you live in a cold climate be sure and have an umbrella stand and boot tray. Meet peoples needs at the door and they will assume every area of your home is this organized.
  7. Decide where the family will gather after the meal. Prep that room: eliminate piles, have pillows and throws ready, pull out board games and check pieces; be sure the remote has a fresh battery and the light bulbs aren’t ready to expire. But don’t go overboard: the majority of your guests will be in the kitchen with you!
  8. In the theater, on TV and in the movies lighting is a key element in telling the story and setting the mood. It’s no less important in your home.  Set the tone by controlling the lighting in each room. If you haven’t had a chance to deep clean the carpets, dust every nook and cranny or polish the silverware to its original luster install a dimmer switch and light a few candles. Voila!

When everyone expresses admiration for the way your home looks and how welcome they all feel just smile cryptically and say ‘Thank you!’ Don’t tell them the rooms they haven’t seen are in disarray.  It’s our secret.  Besides you’ve got all weekend to clean up before it’s tine for the December holidays. Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy family and friends.  It’s a reminder of all we have to be grateful for in our lives.  It isn’t a day to fret over a less than perfectly organized home!


Regina Leeds
‘The Zen Organizer’

Want more organization tips? Download Regina Leeds’ Home Organization Guides and visit Regina’s author page.

Regina Leeds (31 Posts)

Regina Leeds, an expert in organization, has helped bring order to home and work environments all across the United States for more than twenty years. Also known as the Zen Organizer, she teaches classes and delivers speeches on the art of Zen Organizing. Regina Leeds is the author of nine books including the highly successful One Year to ... series: One Year to an Organized Life, a New York Times best seller, One Year to an Organized Work Life, One Year to an Organized Financial Life , One Year to an Organized Life with Baby and her latest book The 8 Minute Organizer . She is also the resident expert organizer for Psychology Today.


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