Wow, where did the summer go? We were so busy this summer that I didn’t have time to do very much; no blogs, no newsletters, no videos, no vacation, not nearly enough time with family and friends, but I did meet and help some of the most amazing clients this summer. With summer being a busy moving season, we did a lot of decluttering, home and office organizing, prepping homes for resale, packing and unpacking. Now I can’t believe it but it is almost time for Thanksgiving in Canada. I celebrate Thanksgiving every year by inviting my family over for supper and we also celebrate my son’s birthday which always lands on Thanksgiving weekend. We used to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday as well since her birthday was 2 days after my son’s, but she passed away a couple of years ago. She may not be here with us this Thanksgiving weekend, but we will be thinking about her. If you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, the following are some tips to help you prepare and be organized for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving weekend is almost here, which often means hosting friends and family.
Some of us are natural hosts who enjoy the hustle of preparing our homes for guests. Others feel anxious and overwhelmed about having family into our private space, and struggle to take it one step at a time in order to feel relaxed enough to enjoy the time together.
Here are 10 easy tips to help you get organized and host your Thanksgiving dinner:
- Check your entertaining inventory. Be sure you have enough dishes, cutlery, napkins, and glassware for all of your guests. Check that they are in good shape, and that you don’t need to replace any that may have been damaged since the last time you used them. Also keep in mind dishes that may serve double-duty—will the same plates need to be used for salad and dessert?
- Assign dishes to your guests if you are hosting a cooperative dinner. Make sure each guest knows what they are bringing, and for how many guests. Make sure the stove/oven/refrigerator will be available if their dishes require those appliances.
- Create your grocery list, considering every item you may need: spices, condiments, baking ingredients, and of course your turkey and vegetables. Keep a list on the kitchen counter to add things to as they come to mind in the days leading up to your shopping trip.
- Check your Thanksgiving/Autumn décor collection. Do you need to pick up new candles, decorative pumpkins, flowers, napkins, etc?
- If your turkey is frozen, allow one day of thawing in the refrigerator for each 4lbs of weight. This could mean a week or longer for large turkeys, so be sure to plan ahead.
- Prepare any dishes ahead that can be frozen for a week or longer ahead, or refrigerated a day or two ahead.
- If your dining room isn’t used on a daily basis, start setting the table a few days in advance to save time. I can’t do this because I have cats and they would jump on my table, even though they are not allowed to! Leave labeled spaces along the center for your serving dishes to ensure there is enough room for everything once your guests are seated.
- Tidy and decorate any additional guest spaces, like the entry way, powder room, guest bedroom, family/living room. Make guests feel welcome by placing seasonal scented candles, decorative hand soap and towels and maybe even some fresh flowers in those spaces.
- Prepare and cook what you can the day before, or early in the day, so you are reheating instead of cooking at mealtime, allowing time to be with your guests.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your guests. Family and friends like to contribute. Have somebody pour drinks, light candles, serve dessert, etc. Make it a collaborative effort!
- BONUS: Have fun!
I hope these tips will help you prepare for your family dinner, and that you can relax and enjoy the time you have with your guests.
My team and I wish you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend!
P.S. Don’t forget to join our FREE Facebook Group Organize For Success for more organizing tips!