How to Make Thanksgiving Cleanup Suck Less

November 27, 2019

© Alexander Raths |


Thanksgiving is one our favorite holidays, but there are a couple of downsides, primarily the huge mess you have to deal with after you're done with your annual feast. Luckily, Lifehacker has put together this handy list of steps you can take to make your Thanksgiving cleanup more manageable:

Stock up with the right supplies. First, get microfiber towels to contain drips around your carving board. Secondly, buy contractor bags, or really heavy-duty garbage bags for the inevitable food waste. This will help keep the smell down and will make it less likely that critters will invade your garbage before the next garbage pickup. Finally, acquire some paper or plastic garbage bags, and use a few to contain the turkey carcass. 

Empty everything before the party. This includes your washing machine, your garbage can, your dishwasher. After the meal use the dishwasher for plates and cups first, as they are the easiest and quickest to unload. Then move on to the bulkier serving dishes.

Hand wash your silverware after dinner. It's easy to run out of silverware during the main meal, and nobody wants to wait for desert because there aren't enough clean forks.

Deglazing is a form of cleaning. For any stove-top safe pans that have baked-on residue, put them on the stove and then crank the burner heat, get the pans warm, and then deglaze with two cups of water (but avoid with Pyrex.)