What are kitchen hacks to make Thanksgiving dinner cleanup easy?
Thanksgiving revolves around food. You start preparing the turkey and sides hours, if not days, in advance. After you’ve spent the morning cooking, you probably would rather not dedicate the afternoon to cleaning up.

On the plus side, it’s never been easier to cut down on your time in the kitchen. There are now plenty of disposable items to allow you to have your dishes in the dishwasher and your counters clean in no time. You’ll be able to return to relaxing and having fun with your family, and truly enjoying the holiday.

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Shop this article: FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer 4800, “OCCASIONS” Heavyweight Premium Disposable Plastic Plates Set and Beistle Fall Leaf Tablecloth.

Line your cookware
Even the best dishwashers can have a tough time with baked-on dressing and turkey droppings. Where possible, line your pots and pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Better yet, invest in disposable pans that you can throw away once the cooking is done. If you have an electric coil stove rather than a flat-top one, you can also buy stove liners to protect against drips from your burners.

Have containers ready
A set of storage containers with lids
The best part of Thanksgiving dinner is having plenty left over for later. These Rubbermaid food storage containers come in a variety of sizes for storing any turkey and side items you have remaining. Instead of spending half the afternoon trying to figure out what to do with all that food, you’ll be able to put everything in the fridge and move on. If you have a houseful of people, you may also consider investing in dissolvable food labels. You can mark the type of food in each container to help your guests easily spot the items they want.

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Buy a food saver
A vacuum sealer machine
Food containers can be handy, but they also take up valuable refrigerator space. A food saver will not only store far more easily, but it also provides airtight sealing. So your Thanksgiving leftovers will be fresh far longer than if you’d put them all in containers. The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer 4800 even has a dishwasher-safe drip tray to keep your countertops clean while you’re sealing.

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Buy premade items
The turkey is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinner, but all those side items are important, too. Your family probably looks forward to your dressing and gravy, but you don’t need to home-make every item. Grocery store delis usually provide sides like cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, green beans, and rolls. You can even pick up a fresh-baked pumpkin pie and carrot cake. These items are provided in disposable dishes you can just toss after you empty the leftovers into containers.

Use disposable utensils and plates
A set of white plastic plates with gold borders
Paper plates and utensils may seem more like something you’d do at a picnic than Thanksgiving dinner, but disposable items have gotten far fancier in recent years. Premium disposable plastic plates are available in packs of 50, 120, or 240 and can be washed or tossed in the trash when you’re finished. You can also buy a premium silver-colored cutlery set that includes knives, forks, and spoons. Tossing all of your dishes and cutlery in the trash after dinner can cut your cleanup time significantly.

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Purchase a scrap trap
A plastic scrap trap with an included attached scraper
Scraping food off of plates is time-consuming, especially if your garbage can isn’t located near the dishwasher and sink. A scrap trap is designed to hang on drawers and doors to keep your counters clean. You simply open the cabinet drawer, if that’s where you hang it, and scrape your Thanksgiving plates as people bring them to you. When you’re finished, you can dump the entire contents in the garbage and put the scrap trap in the dishwasher with all your dishes.

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Cover your table
A table with a plastic tablecloth that has a fall leaves design
Chances are, you toss a tablecloth over your table before Thanksgiving dinner. At a minimum, you have placemats to protect your table. Instead of pulling out cloth versions that must be washed, a plastic tablecloth can be tossed in the trash after dinner. Whether you use a plastic tablecloth or one you already have, though, paper or plastic placemats can fast-track your clean-up, plus you can buy extras to use for the meals your guests enjoy throughout the weekend. You can even find tablecloths and placemats with festive designs.

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Use spray cleaners and paper towels
A container of oven and cookware cleaner on a blue background
You may normally use dishcloths and towels for cleanup. It’s more environmentally friendly and less expensive. But to free up time for just this one day, consider using spray cleaners and paper towels for wiping down surfaces like countertops. Astonish Oven and Cookware Cleaner can help with scrubbing all those pots and pans and Lysol All-Purpose Cleaning Spray can easily wipe down those counters. Once all your dishes are loaded, dish tabs will help you start your dishwasher quicker than liquid-based detergents would.

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Stephanie Faris writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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Expert Shopper › Holiday
Michaels’ ‘Big Halloween Sale’ will warm your cold, black heart
by Christina Marfice
October 12, 2023

Michaels
Turn your house into the spooky lair of your dreams
With Halloween only a few weeks away, it’s safe to say that spooky season is here. And if you haven’t decorated yet, the time is now — Michaels is having a Big Halloween Sale that will let you turn your entire home (inside, outside and everything in between) into a spooky lair straight out of a scary story.

From haunting Halloween florals to witches’ lair-themed décor, Michaels has all your Halloween decorating needs covered this year — and right now, it’s all up to 60% off.

Shop this article: Skull Flower Arrangement by Ashland, Tombstone, Skull & Floral Arrangement by Ashland, Touch of Nature 14-inch Frankenstein’s Bride Head

Buy all of these Halloween décor pieces from Michaels
white, purple, black and navy flowers inside a skull-shaped planter
Skull Flower Arrangement by Ashland

This spooky arrangement of white, purple, black and navy blue flowers is placed in a skull container, making for a perfect tabletop display for the Halloween season.

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black and maroon flowers and black plant parts with skull and tombstone decorations in a black planter
Tombstone, Skull & Floral Arrangement by Ashland

This arrangement makes a festive display for spooky season, featuring flowers, branches and leaves, plus a skull and tombstone — all arranged inside a stately flower pot.

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a wreath with silver skulls and purple roses on it
26-inch Silver Skulls & Purple Roses Wreath by Ashland

From a distance, this 26-inch wreath might look like a normal arrangement of flowers and fall branches. Get a little closer, though, and you’ll see that it’s also peppered with skulls to celebrate spooky season.

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a black and beige tabletop sign that says “Beware the Witching Hour”
Beware The Witching Hour Tabletop Accent by Ashland

This tabletop accent piece warns everyone to “Beware the witching hour.” A raven poses on the text of this Edgar Allen Poe-inspired décor piece, which will fit into any haunted mansion this Halloween season.

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A tabletop decoration shaped like a ouija planchette
8-inch Ouija Planchette Tabletop Accent by Ashland

Make your Halloween centerpiece a little spookier this year with this 8-inch Ouija planchette. It’s the perfect accent piece to add to any display, bringing paranormal energy to your Halloween décor.

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5 small test tubes with fake herbs in them mounted on a tabletop wooden stand
7.5-inch Creepy Test Tubes with Stand Tabletop Accent by Ashland

What creepy experiments have happened here? That’s what guests will wonder when they see this test tube display — each tube is filled with mystery experiments that may have already gone wrong.

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a bust head statue made to look like Frankenstein’s Bride
Touch of Nature 14-inch Frankenstein’s Bride Head

This Bride of Frankenstein bust will look right at home on any mantel, bookshelf or window ledge, bringing some stately décor to your home’s Halloween display. In full color, this bust is suitable to use indoors or outside, so you can also use it to dress up your porch or garden.

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a bouquet of artificial dark gray mums with sheer petals
Dark Gray Mum Bush with Sheer Petals by Ashland

Florals aren’t just for spring and summer anymore. These creepy, dark gray mums make a perfect Halloween display. They aren’t dead, but they look spooky — like they could have been picked right from the cemetery. Perfect for a spooky-season bouquet.

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Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Christina Marfice writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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