As we gear up for the peak of the entertaining season (how is it already November?!), it’s the perfect time of year to pull out some easy hacks to make hosting less of a chore and more of a party! I shared a few of my go-to tips for getting organized and prepared for the holidays in the December issue of Family Circle Magazine. I’m sharing a few of the ideas below, and be sure to check out the issue on newsstands now for more holiday prep ideas!Make a Cleaning Schedule. Getting the house cleaned for holiday guests can be a lot of work, so I like to break the project down into small, manageable tasks. I set out a cleaning schedule to tackle one project a day leading up to the holiday or party I’m hosting (usually New Year’s Eve at our house!). Spend one day doing a tidy of toys and clutter, address all of the laundry and linens on another day, and deep clean the bathrooms and floors the day before the party. By the day of the party, all you’ll have left to do is a quick run-through of the house to freshen things up.

Do a Pantry and Freezer Refresh. Set yourself up for success at the beginning of the holiday season with a refresh of your pantry and freezer. Make sure you’re stocked up on holiday baking essentials and paper goods, keep the freezer stocked with frozen appetizers, prepped holiday cookie dough, and check the cabinets to restock entertaining items like crackers and nuts. I also like to stock some last minute emergency meals in the freezer, like tasty dishes from Stouffers, for when I’m too tired to cook after the party.

Create a Party Prep Checklist. A few days before hosting a holiday event, write a master checklist with everything that needs to be done, from food prep to decorating, filling ice buckets and setting out fresh towels. It’s also a great place to record cooking times and temperatures for various dishes when you’re orchestrating a bigger meal. Having everything in one place will help keep your timeline organized, and makes it much easier when a friend or family member asks “How can I help?” — assign a task and have them mark it off the list!

Please Note: This post was created in partnership with Family Circle Magazine. All opinions, images, and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site!