Owning and buying your first home is the perfect reason to host Thanksgiving dinner. And since it’s next week, chances are you have already made a checklist and started getting ready for the long-awaited holiday. But if you haven’t or still need a few reminders to make your festivities even a little less overwhelming, we’ve rounded them up shortly but sweetly so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare not only your home but yourself so you can prioritize what really matters.
Cleaning and getting rid of any clutter around the common areas in your house, especially in the living room, entryway, bathrooms, kitchen, and dining room, will help get your home ready. This is especially true and critical in your kitchen where most of the preparation will take place. Address any usual hotspots where things tend to accumulate, such as drawers, cupboards, and even on the countertops. If you don’t have time to clean the entire home, at least clean your bathroom and kitchen. Also, empty and clean the trash cans and line them up with fresh bags. Tidying up your home is a tedious part of any holiday celebration, but making the effort will surely be worth it.
If you’re the kind of Thanksgiving cook who starts preparing and cooking certain foods ahead of time, including stuffings, stocks and sauces, pie crusts, and other desserts, you’ll need more room in your fridge to stock these things. So clean your refrigerator and freezer and start making space now. Sort through those leftovers and toss out anything that is expired or too old to eat, and plan to make use of any good ingredients you have on hand. Also, take stock of condiments that may need refilling. Having plenty of space in your fridge will make your holiday meal prep easier and even perfect to store your delicious leftovers.
Decluttering your kitchen and cleaning out your fridge will allow you to see what ingredients you need for your Thanksgiving prep. Finalize your list and purchase them a few days ahead of time. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to run back to the store in case there’s something that you inevitably forgot. There’s nothing worse than making a last-minute trip to the local grocery store on Thanksgiving Day, only to find out that it’s closed.
It’s critical you make sure all appliances are in working condition before the holiday. Clean and test them out, especially your oven, dishwasher, and even small kitchen appliances that will help make your life easier during meal prep. If you’re a first-time homeowner who hasn’t used your oven yet after you settle into your new home, this is your chance to check and double-check to make sure your oven works.
Make sure you’ll have enough dishes, glassware, cutlery, and even serving dishes, bowls, and platters for all your guests and holiday meals. Remember that they don’t have to match unless you’re aiming for a sort of formal gathering. They’re perfect as long as they are clean and in decent condition. If you’re considering a more casual dining celebration, consider using paper plates. Also, check for things like tablecloths and other essentials so you’ll still have plenty of time to shop for any new pieces or replacements just in case.
Likewise, since there’s a huge chance you’ll want to send your guests home with leftovers (and even keep some for yourself), don’t forget to stock up with enough plastic or takeout containers.
Taking care of the table decor the day (or even several days) before saves you a little bit of stress. Not only will you have one less thing to do and worry about on the big day, but it can also help you identify gaps in your tableware situation. Whether you opt to go all-out with some Pinterest-inspired arrangements, or just go for a simple but nice tablecloth, pretty napkins, and DIY place cards, and other seasonal centerpieces, setting the table in advance will also give you ample time to shoot and take pictures before the busy day.
The ultimate tip: Enjoy!
This tip might be the simplest to do but also the easiest to forget. Throughout the course of the busy, loud, and messy day, always remember the point of Thanksgiving. Even if you might not be able to pull it off perfectly, the most important thing is to give thanks and truly enjoy the spirit of the holiday with the people you get to celebrate it within your humble home.