As we enter the holiday season, preparing your home for hosting Thanksgiving can get a bit stressful. Whether you are hosting the big meal, or having family in town for the weekend, the holidays can definitely get overwhelming. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to make the holiday shopping and planning easier. This way, you won’t find yourself running around frantically at the very last minute. Here are a few tips on how you can get a jump-start on planning for Thanksgiving:
1. Check Your Appliances
Thanksgiving is like the Super Bowl for your kitchen. Thinking about all of the planning, cooking, and baking that goes into one day can be exhausting. And, this one day will take a large toll on your appliances, too. A few weeks ahead of time, you’ll want to make sure everything is working properly. Consider replacing any appliances that are past their expiration date, or hire a professional to take a look at anything that’s been acting on the fritz. The last thing you want on Thanksgiving is to have a stove or oven that doesn’t work.
Quick Tip: It may seem counterintuitive, but you won’t want to run your oven’s self-clean cycle the days before cooking. This cycle can be stressful on the appliance, and with the added use on Thanksgiving Day, it could cause it to break down. Instead, use a damp cloth to clean the outside of the oven. Save the big cleanup for the days after Thanksgiving.
A day before your guests arrive, pull anything that is unnecessary from your countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans. Clutter makes a room look and feel smaller, so doing a quick sweep through your entire house will make your home appear larger. This will also be key to having more room for all of your food in your kitchen.
Think about sorting your mail, throwing out things you don’t need, and storing away items that will give your guests more room when they arrive. If you happen to run out of space while you are picking up, simply throw some of your belongings in the garage and grab them after you are done hosting.
Quick Tip: If you are short on time, this step doesn’t have to be pretty! Throw things in a large box and sort them later when you have more time.
3. Set the Stage
Think about other places in your home that will need to be “set” in your home: Lay out guest towels in the guest room, place fall home décor in the entry way, and turn on the night lights in the hallway. Set your Thanksgiving table in advance. These steps can be done the day before any of your guests arrive. Just try and not wait until the last minute.
Quick Tip: In order to save room in your kitchen, set up the coffee stand in your living room. That way, while you are cleaning up, guests can enjoy coffee and dessert in the living room, without everyone being on top of each other.
4. Cook Ahead
Think about your menu for Thanksgiving: is there anything you can prep a day or two in advance? Soups and casseroles can generally be prepped a few days in advance, then re-heated or cooked the day of your event. Even a few key dishes that are prepped or cooked in advance will save you time on the day of your event. Other things to consider are taking shortcuts in some areas (pre-made croissants! Desserts from the local bakery!). Remember, sometimes you can’t just do everything, and it’s nice to support local stores in your area.
Quick Tip: Try to avoid the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving and do your holiday shopping early in the week. You can shop for your perishables in the beginning of the week to guarantee you get what you need.
5. Enjoy your Guests
While this step isn’t mandatory, it’s important to remember what the holidays are all about. Even though the holidays can be overwhelming, they only come around once a year. Take time to be thankful for those around you, and give thanks for having loved ones near.
Author Bio: Article contributed by LeafFilter. LeafFilter is a micro mesh gutter guard that attaches to your existing gutters and provides you with clog free gutters for the life of your home.