Just as you are taking down the last jack o’lantern and flying bat from Halloween, you realize that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This year, you may be lucky by having someone else in the family host the holiday festivities. Even then, there are several things that you need to do beforehand.
If everyone is coming to your house this Thanksgiving, do not panic! Now is the time to make a checklist and get things prepared. Enlist the help of your friends and family, and the work will be easier. Here are a few great hacks to get your home and kitchen ready for Thanksgiving:
Getting A Head Count
One of the best ways to stay organized for the holidays is to keep a handy binder with a notebook and calendar. How many guests will be at your Thanksgiving table this year? According to how formal you want to be, you can send an invitation by post, email, or a simple phone call. Let your guests know the time that dinner will be served, and write a list of those who plan to attend. With a guest list in hand, you will know how much food you need to buy and prepare. It is also helpful to know how many chairs or extra tables you need.
Prepare Your House
It can be nerve-wracking to get your house ready for holiday company. Getting a head start on cleaning will give you time for other important matters. The rooms that need the most attention are the ones where your guests will be. Focus on the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bathroom. If you are entertaining overnight guests, make your guest room tidy and inviting.
Clear Out The Fridge
Before you know what groceries to buy, you must know what you already have. This is a great time to throw out any expired food. Remember that a Thanksgiving feast requires a lot of room—especially for the turkey. Make as much space as you can. If your meal is a potluck, many of your guests’ dishes will need refrigerated. The day of the dinner, save a lot of fridge space by putting soda and other drinks in iced coolers.
Get Your Appliances And Serving Dishes Ready
What could be more frustrating than trying to bake a turkey in a faulty oven? While you organize your fridge, be sure that your stove, oven, and other kitchen appliances are in good working order. Take inventory of all your serving supplies, including platters, bowls, and utensils. Ensure that you have enough place settings, glasses, and silverware for your company. If needed, have your appliances serviced and buy more dishes. You can always use them for other occasions.
Decorate Your Entry Way
The first thing that people see in your home should be the most attractive. Make your entryway warm and attractive with fall and Thanksgiving Day decorations. There is no need to spend a lot of money. Peruse crafting and decorating websites to find unique ways of using leaves, acorns, and things you already have. If you have time, make small fall party favors that your guests can take home.
Prep Your Ingredients Ahead Of Time
One of the awesome things about Thanksgiving feasts is that many dishes can be made in advance. Many desserts freeze well. Make your bread dough and rolls a week ahead of time, and put them in the freezer. On the evening before Thanksgiving, cut up veggies and prepare any ingredients for things you will cook the next day. Smart planning makes cooking and baking so much easier. Remember, not a lot of grocery stores are open on Thanksgiving!
Designate A Place For Coats And Bags
For only a few guests, a hall closet is ideal for storing their bags and coats. While you are making last-minute plans on Thanksgiving Eve, be sure that you have enough hangers. Do you expect a bigger crowd? Take your guests’ things to a side bedroom or office, and place them on the bed or desk. Be sure that the space you choose is tidy, secure, and out of the way of curious pets.
Be Wary Of Kitchen Fires
Because of the stove and other electrical appliances, most house fires originate in the kitchen. During the mad rush of holiday cooking, take care to keep dish towels and other things away from the stove and oven. Never leave your stove on unattended, and watch for food overflowing on the burners or in the oven. Make sure that all your smoke detectors work, and that you have a fire extinguisher near the stove. Watch your children and pets around a hot stove, and do not leave unattended candles burning.
Adjust The Lighting
Holiday dinners look even fancier with candles or a string of lights. Leave some light on overhead so guests can see each other and their plates. If you use candles, use unscented ones that will not overpower the delicious aromas of your meal.
Put On Some Music
Create the ambiance of fine dining with a little music. Choose appropriate tunes, such as soft jazz, or other easy-listening favorites. Put your speakers in inconspicuous places in the dining room, and keep the volume low enough as not to distract conversation. Some families kick off Christmas festivities on Thanksgiving weekend, so feel free to add some Christmas music to the mix.
When you start preparing early, you will not be a frazzled host at your Thanksgiving feast. You will have what you need when you need it. The time you save can be spent giving thanks with your family and friends. That is what the holidays are all about!