Better to give
Usher in the holidays with some thoughtful new traditions
It's your family's turn to host Thanksgiving dinner this year for your relatives and friends. Why not make the occasion even more special? In the spirit of giving, instead of sending out invitations with only the date and time, request that guests bring along a donation of clothing or non-perishable goods to give to charity. Be sure to send out invites early to give everyone ample time to sift through their homes looking for contributions, de-cluttering for the benefit of those less fortunate.
To Your Stations
On the day when your guests arrive, chances are most of them will have a variety of donations. Set up a sorting station to help organize the offerings of clothes, toys and food. Pick a convenient location, but one that's not in the way of traffic. Then either appoint a family member to greet guests with their gifts and sort the goods, or make it simple for guests to sort contributions on their own by labeling Roughneck containers with each category's name. The bins are large and sturdy; perfect for collecting and transporting the items to charity.
For the Thanksgiving celebration itself (not to mention Christmas, right around the corner) you'll likely want to pull out all the stops and lay out an impressive spread. But hunting around in the kitchen cupboards, dining room sideboard and basement storage room for your special-occasion tableware can be exhausting and can quickly numb the celebratory spirit. Instead of making "find the flatware" a regular household routine at the end of the festivities, take action now. Rather than depositing place settings—especially larger precious or delicate pieces like turkey platters, gravy boats, soup terrines—anywhere they may fit around the house, create a special space where they'll be safe from breakage and readily located. A dedicated space is particularly practical if your family only needs four or five spots at the table during the year; storing the extra settings (for eight or more) elsewhere can really free up cupboard space.
Everything in place
Rubbermaid's Roughneck containers are just right for this job. They have huge capacities (up to 54-gal.), and a great range of sizes, ideal for everything from placemats, napkins and wine glasses to platters, tureens and candlesticks. (Be sure to properly wrap delicate china and stemware first.) Each Roughneck is stackable for maximizing space, strong and shatter resistant with built-in-handles for comfortable portability, and has a tight fitting snap-on lid to keep contents free of moisture and dust.
Maintain the tradition
Stay ahead of the clutter and continue the charitable spirit throughout the year by designating space in the garage or basement for contributions. Put a Roughneck container labeled "Donations" there and place items in it year round. When clothes no longer fit, children outgrow their toys or there's too much food filling the pantry, simply take the supplies to their newly assigned zone. With an official drop-off space, everyone's less likely to shove unwanted goods under beds and to the back of closets. Then, the contents can be taken to charitable organizations every few months, where they're appreciated all year long.