Your Last Minute Thanksgiving Checklist
Oh, friends! Thanksgiving is officially upon us. Raise your hand if you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your home this year! Are you prepared, or are you panicking inside? Trust me, we’ve all been there. Some people love it, some people hate it. In fact, most people I talk to find hosting the holidays in their home extremely stressful.
Can I share a secret with you? Hosting Thanksgiving in your home doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, I really believe it’s only as stressful as you make it. With some proper planning, it really doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it’s made out to be. Today on the blog, I’m going to share with you a Thanksgiving checklist to print out (or screenshot!) as we head into the holiday season. Planning ahead and mapping out your tasks will leave you efficient in your Thanksgiving prep and confident to take on hosting the holiday like a champ!
With some proper planning, hosting Thanksgiving really doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it’s made out to be. This is a simple checklist starting at the beginning of November to help keep you on task – while spreading out your to-do list over several weeks to keep the overwhelm at a minimum. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me!
P.S. The best part of this Thanksgiving checklist is that I hope to update this as the years go to hopefully make your holiday planning easier and easier!
2 to 3 Weeks Out
- Set a Budget – Hosting guests in your home isn’t cheap! How much do you want to spend on Thanksgiving Dinner?
- Finalize Guest Count – How many people are you having for Thanksgiving dinner? (You need to know how many people you’ll need to feed!)
- Plan your Thanksgiving Dinner Menu – including appetizers and drinks!
- Assign Dishes – if guests will be bringing food!
- Write Down the Ingredients Lists for Each Recipe – be sure to include any spices or condiments needed!
- Take Inventory – Make sure you have enough serving dishes, place settings, flatware, seating, etc. for the guest count you’re expecting. Also make sure you have the necessary kitchen tools needed.
- Grocery Run – for non perishable pantry staples (alleviates financial stress of one huge grocery bill!)
- Stock Up – Make sure to stock up on foil, freezer bags, and leftover containers!
- Plan Guests’ Stay – Make sure to plan meals and activities for overnight guests coming the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
1 to 2 Weeks Out
- Deep Clean – Do a deep clean of your home ahead of time, so you just quickly can spot clean before guests arrive.
- Prep Guest Rooms – If you’re having overnight guests, prep their rooms and bathroom the week before they arrive. Wash all bedding, put out fresh towels, and stock the guest toiletries. Do a quick wipe down and fluff the day before they arrive.
- Rearrange Furniture – to accommodate guests if applicable!
- Refresh Fall / Thanksgiving Decor
- Stock Linen Closet and Guest Toiletries in Guest Bathroom
- Make Room in Hall Closet for Guests’ Coats
- Create a Timeline / Cooking Schedule – because oven and fridge space is like a puzzle!
- Make Room in the Fridge and Freezer
- Prep and Make Dishes That Can be Refrigerated or Frozen Ahead of Time
- Plan Your Thanksgiving Tablescape
- Create Seating Arrangement
- Make Place Cards
- Plan Kids Table and Activities
READ ALSO: An Elegant Farmhouse Thanksgiving Tablescape
READ ALSO: Thanksgiving Kids Table Ideas
Week of Thanksgiving
- Thaw Turkey – You should clarify how far in advance you need to take your turkey out of the freezer. You should allow at least 24 hours for every 5 lbs!
- Last Grocery Run – for fresh or perishable foods!
- Iron Table Cloths and Napkins
- Get Out and Wash Fine China and Serving Dishes
- Have Coffee Bar and Grazing Stations Set Up – before guests arrive, if earlier!
- Spot Clean
READ ALSO: Creating a Cozy Fall Coffee Bar
1 to 2 Days Before
- Clean and Chop Veggies – You can store chopped veggies in ziplock baggies in the fridge to keep the day-of seamless and efficient!
- Set Serving Dishes Out on the Buffet the Night Before – and pair serving spoons and forks with each dish!
- Label Serving Platters on Your Buffet with Sticky Notes – for efficient and easy plating the day-of!
- Set Your Table
- Set Up Drink Station
- Chill Beverages
- Prep Appetizers / Grazing Boards
READ ALSO: How to Make an Epic Charcuterie Board
Day of Thanksgiving
- Cook Turkey
- Make Dishes Not Prepped Ahead of Time
- Reheat / Warm Dishes Made Ahead of Time
- Stock the Drink Station
- ENJOY! – Be intentional about soaking up the holiday with your loved ones!
This whole checklist thing sounds nice. But can you do me a favor this Thanksgiving? Let go of the pressure of perfection. Things will go wrong. Not everything on this checklist will go perfectly. That’s just life, girl friend. But it’s so important to remember that Thanksgiving isn’t about any of that. It is about expressing thankfulness, showing gratitude, and loving your tribe well. (And it’s pretty hard to mess those things up!) Let go of the pressure of perfection, be present, and give yourself some grace over perfection. Focus on being intentional on creating a space to gather to make this Thanksgiving the most special one yet — because life goes by way too fast. Don’t miss the precious moments God is orchestrating right in front of you.
Well there you have it, friends! I hope this simple Thanksgiving checklist really helps you survive hosting the holiday in your home this year. Are you hosting Thanksgiving in your home this year? Are there any other tasks that you like to make sure to add to your own Thanksgiving checklist? Leave a comment below so I can make sure to update this checklist for the years to come!