If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, it is important that you organize your Thanksgiving so you can avoid the overwhelming feeling of having too much to do at once. In this post, I’m going to walk you through how to organize your Thanksgiving by using a Thanksgiving checklist for your Thanksgiving Timeline.
Hosting Thanksgiving is a big job. There’s a huge feast to prepare and your home needs to be ready for a crowd. The week leading up to Thanksgiving goes so fast it’s almost a blur. Learn how to manage time at Thanksgiving.
So let’s make your Thanksgiving a little easier this year by sharing the 10 things I do to organize my Thanksgiving week. You can also grab the free Thanksgiving checklist below to help you further.
Start a Thanksgiving Timeline
Organizing your Thanksgiving week timeline will give you a simple guide to follow for the week. When you organize your Thanksgiving timeline will give you what needs to be done when so you don’t confuse yourself or work on things that really don’t need to be done.
What I like to do is write a list of everything that needs to be completed. Then I assign a date to that task. Think about everything that needs to be done, if you just make a huge long list and don’t assign dates chances are that list will overwhelm you.
Avoid the overwhelm this year by putting a timeline in place.
Here’s an example:
- Shopping needs to be done on Tuesday
- Set the table on Wednesday
- Make cranberry sauce on Tuesday
- Bake pies on Wednesday
- Chill drinks on Tuesday (after grocery shopping)
- And so on…
- How to prepare Thanksgiving dinner ahead of time
Hopefully, this will help you this year.
Shopping list and menu set
Hopefully, you’ve done this already but if you haven’t, sit down and do this now. Figure out your sides and desserts. Chances are you already know what your main dish will be (turkey).
Once your menu is complete, it’s time to scour your pantry and kitchen for items that are needed for your Thanksgiving feast. Creating a Thanksgiving cooking schedule will keep you on track.
If you’d like more info about putting your menu and shopping list together, click here to learn more.
Organize your Thanksgiving dinner menu
When you are putting your timeline together, you’ll want to know what is going to be cooked when.
Do you have a frozen turkey? If so, when will you be thawing it out?
You’ll be able to do some prep ahead work like chopping veggies, baking pies, making cranberry sauce (if you’re doing that from scratch), and so on.
Make a list of your menu, then put a date next to the item, that will be your cooking date. You’ll be amazed that once you figure out your Thanksgiving dinner menu, you’ll feel so much more at ease.
Invite guests for your Thanksgiving feast and check on RSVP’s
The week leading up to Thanksgiving you’ll want to organize the guest list and do a final RSVP check. If people haven’t let you know yet because they were unsure, chances are they know their schedule now.
Give your guests that are maybe a call and check. This will help you finalize so many things.
Create a seating chart
I have found putting a seating chart together is a lifesaver. Whenever we have a huge gathering certain people want to sit next to certain people.
If new people are coming to dinner you’ll want to place them next to the people they already know and feel comfortable with.
This simple set helps avoid those headaches. Plus, it creates less chaos for everyone involved. If people know that they have a place to set, it makes the process that much more smooth.
Feeling overwhelmed? These tips (in addition to your Thanksgiving checklist) might help:
- Planning Thanksgiving Dinner
- Thanksgiving tips
- Thanksgiving Time Saving Tips
- Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
Make sure you have serving pieces, place settings
To avoid the Thanksgiving panic of not having enough place settings to go around or enough serving pieces, it is important to check to make sure you have enough of everything.
After you’ve organized your guest list and finalized your menu, pull out all of your serving pieces and assign a dish and a serving utensil to that piece. Then make sure you have enough forks, knives, spoons, plates, and so on.
Once you have that done, you’re going to want to make certain that you have an idea about your Thanksgiving table setting ideas as well. Figure out what type of decorations, if any, you’re going to have on the tables.
Organize your Thanksgiving checklist with a cleaning schedule
Instead of doing all of the house cleaning on one day, I like to split it up. Set up a cleaning schedule so you can get all of the cleaning done during the week.
If you’d like to learn more about setting up a cleaning schedule and how to host a stress-free Thanksgiving click here to learn more.
Ask for helpers
So often we feel that we need to do everything ourselves and that is not true! When you are finalizing your guest list, ask for help. You can have people come early so they can help you set the table, mash the potatoes, or even do some vacuuming.
Whatever jobs you have that you need help with just ask. People love to feel needed and are usually willing to help.
Ask for people to bring a dish
This is a lot like asking for help. Since you are hosting you already have a huge job. You are opening up your home to your friends and family.
When you are inviting people to dinner, people often ask, “Is there anything I can bring?” Take them up on their offer and ask them to bring a dish.
Are they known for a dish? Have them bring that. Are their dishes that you just don’t want to make but people request it? Have them bring that.
Just ask for help. This will help with the overwhelm. All of these steps might seem like a lot, but they’re crucial to creating your Thanksgiving checklist. You’ll find that the more you can plan ahead, the better.
And when it comes to inviting guests, figure out the seating chart, and settling on a Thanksgiving dinner menu, you can’t take the chance of overlooking any detail!
When it comes to hosting Thanksgiving, it is important that you set up a plan so you are all nice and organized. Creating a menu, asking for help, use the Thanksgiving checklist and creating a cleaning schedule will help you host a Thanksgiving that you can remember.