Thanksgiving is just around the corner, the decorations are already out in the stores, I think it’s time to start thinking about how you will prepare your home for Thanksgiving. If you are hosting the festivities, or having overnight guests, it’s especially important that you begin now.
Prepare Your Home for Thanksgiving
Ben Buys Indy Houses suggests you begin preparing by devising your plan of attack. You’ll need to determine a myriad of things to be able to come up with a plan that will help you stay sane during this stressful time.
1. Have a Plan
About a month ahead of time, which means now, you’ll need to determine how many people will be on your invitation list and send out the invites. Also, prepare a list of things you’ll need and things you need to do and keep it handy so you can keep building on it. Your planning should include:
- Ambiance: What ambiance would you like to have for your gathering; will it be cozy, formal elegance, or casual
- Order or purchase your turkey
- Determine your menu & set recipes aside that you’d like to make
- Determine what ingredients you have and what you’ll need
- Dinner table set-up: Where and what it will look like
- Condition of the house: Do you need to do any updates or repairs
- Will you need to borrow or rent anything: Chairs, serving dishes, silverware
2. Prepping Begins
About three weeks before Thanksgiving, you should be decorating your home, determining your shopping list, and planning activities. Here are some tips to help you get these tasks done:
- Begin decorating, again, make a plan for each room and decorate one room at a time.
- If you are going to make any of your table decor, do it now.
- Your shopping list should consist of two separate lists: one for non-perishable food items and one for the perishable food items.
- Plan your cooking schedule: Take note of each recipe’s cooking time and temperature and determine when you will be making each item. Some items can be cooked ahead of time.
- Purchase your non-perishable food items now, and store them in their bags in a cupboard or closet. This will allow you to grab them when it’s time to begin cooking and will save you time and headaches of putting them away.
- If you are the generous sort that likes to send people home with leftovers, consider purchasing (or begin saving) plastic containers to send food home in. Choose containers that you don’t mind giving up.
- Plan activities for the kids, some suggestions include: crayons and coloring paper or books, puzzles, or board or card games.
3. Time to Clean and Prep
Take the weekend before Thanksgiving to do some of your cleaning while your baking recipes are in the oven.
- Tidy up your entryway, and main areas of the home
- Take this time to check the outdoor entry lighting to make sure your guests won’t be left in the dark
- Clean out the refrigerator and freezer to make room
- Put your frozen turkey in the fridge now to begin the thawing process. Do not thaw your turkey in the sink
- Do a twice-over of your menu, inventory and shopping lists to make sure you’ve gotten everything you need
- Get all of your cooking and serving dishes out and inventoried to be sure you aren’t missing anything vital
- Put your recipes in plastic sheets to protect them from messes, you can also add any special notes with a dry erase marker. For permanent notes, write them on the recipe itself
- Make Closet space: clean out coat closets, moving any family coats and such to another location for the time being. This is a great time to think about the potential weather for the day and if you need to make any extra plans – such as boot trays for sloppy shoes and boots.
4. Wrap it Up
During the week of Thanksgiving, you should be finalizing all of your cooking and prepping. This is the time for gathering the last of your ingredients, decorations, and cooking plan. Start wrapping it up by doing the following:
- Purchase your perishable ingredients and menu items
- If you are purchasing a fresh turkey, this is the time to pick it up. Contact your turkey “agent” to determine the best day and time to pick it up.
- Write up your cooking plan and use a timer to indicate what you should be doing next. Your phone should have a timer that you can name and set a specific tone for each task, this will free up your oven timer for cooking.
5. Prep for Guests
If you are having overnight guests, there are some things you can do ahead of time to prepare your home for their arrival and make their stay an enjoyable one. These include:
- Making sure there are fresh linens on the bedv
- Placing extra pillows and blankets nearby
- Be sure to have an open outlet or provide a power strip near the bed for so that they can charge their electronic gadgets
- Laying out a few magazines or books in the room in case they need to wind down before hitting the hay
- Providing your guest with closet or dresser space so that they can unpack their clothes from their suitcases
- Making sure to stock your bathroom with extra toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap as well as hair products and brushes in case they’ve forgotten to pack theirs
- Keeping air fresheners at easy access in the bathroom and keep a plunger nearby
Following these guidelines will allow you to have a worry-free Thanksgiving. but by all means, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to family members too. Make it very clear from the start that there will be tasks assigned to them and they are expected to get it done. Then have them follow up with you when completed so that you can check it and mark it off your list.