How To Prep Your House For A Thanksgiving Party

November 21, 2018 Allison Hess


Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the holidays, and for many, it’s the main event of the season. From delicious food to good company and strong traditions, Thanksgiving is an American staple.

With that being said, it can be a frantic holiday filled with chaos and mishaps. Hosting a Thanksgiving party is as stressful and challenging as it is exciting and fun.

So what can you do to prepare your home and make your Thanksgiving party as simple as pie?

  1. Deep clean the house.

You want to clean the house early in the season, so you don’t have to worry about it at crunch time. A deep clean early on makes it faster and easier to clean the week of Thanksgiving.

You especially want to focus on cleaning those rooms that you don’t spend a lot of time in but where your guests might hang out. Most party guests tend to spend time in the kitchen and living room. Make sure there is nothing dusty or broken. Remove any stains and odors. Get rid of clutter and gunk.

Check out our article 10 Steps For Thanksgiving Kitchen Preparation to get a step-by-step guide to cleaning your home in time for the holiday.

Tip: Focus on cleaning with natural products, like essential oils, to effectively sanitize your house with beautiful, nourishing scents.

  1. Plan the menu.

You’ll want to plan your Thanksgiving menu in advance, so you can make sure you properly account for all dishes and ingredients ahead of time. We recommend writing out each recipe to tally up how much of each ingredient you’ll need to buy. You should create a comprehensive shopping list that streamlines the grocery buying process.

Throughout the month, you can purchase your non-perishables and put them in a corner in the pantry for safekeeping. You’ll also need a list of the perishables to buy the week of Thanksgiving morning. Keep in mind you may want to order some items, like a fresh turkey, in advance.

If you’re having a potluck Thanksgiving, make sure everyone knows what they are bringing with ample time to prep. You might even want to create a shared Google doc so everyone can input what they’re bringing so there aren’t any overlaps or confusion.

Tip: Use your pre-planned menu to take note of any dietary needs or restrictions of your guests.

  1. Add more houseplants.

Thanksgiving falls right at the time of year where the air is changing, the leaves have fallen, and the cold front is moving in. The seasonal change can leave the air in your home dry, stale, and thick.

Adding houseplants is a great way to supply fresh oxygen in your home, which brightens and enlivens the space. This is useful when you have a large party because body heat can quickly add to the stuffiness of a room. Your plants help to purify the air, which will keep your guests comfortable and content.

Plus, potted houseplants can help keep your family healthy, minimize allergens, and reduce stress during the holiday season.

Learn about the seven benefits of houseplants here.

  1. Check your spice rack.

How long have you had those spices in your cabinet? You know, those spices you only use around Thanksgiving?

Did you know that spices can actually expire? Although most expired spices won’t hurt you, they can impact the flavor of your food. You want your guests’ food to taste bold, not old!

It’s time to check the label and update the spice rack. Consider buying a travel sampler of spices, which gives you smaller bottles of those seasonings you don’t use frequently.

  1. Set the table.

You can set your Thanksgiving table up to two weeks in advance. Iron your table linens, polish the silverware and clean off the glassware and China. Make sure you have enough chairs and table space for all of your guests (with a few extra place settings in case someone brings a surprise guest).

The earlier you place the table settings, the less you’ll have to rush around when you’re busy cooking food. It also helps you get a feel for the table, so you can plan out where you’ll put different dishes (and seat your guests).

  1. Set up a drink station.

One of a host’s biggest stresses is getting drinks for people throughout the night. Eliminate this responsibility by setting up a drink station for people to help themselves.

The area should be separate from the food, like a rolling cart or counter space. Put out clean glasses or plastic cups, pitchers, and ice buckets with fresh ice. We recommend filling the pitchers with non-alcoholic beverages and providing the booze separately, so the adults can spike their drinks according to their preference.

For example, you could fill a pitcher with fresh apple cider and cinnamon sticks. The adults can then add champagne to create a sparkling apple cider.

Tip: Put labels in front of each pitcher and liquor, so people know what they’re drinking. You can also have sample drink recipes to give your guests ideas of how to mix their drinks.

We also love this Thanksgiving sangria recipe by The Blond Cook.

  1. Plan for leftovers.

You’re likely going to have a lot of leftover food that you’re going to want to give out to your guests. Everyone loves post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.

Speed up the leftovers process by having to-go containers, bags, and wraps already set out. People can grab containers as they need, so they can help themselves to food after dinner. This makes cleanup a lot faster—and more fun for everyone.

  1. Freeze food.

You can actually prepare some food in advance and freeze it, so you’re not scrambling to cook a dozen things on Thanksgiving Day. When the food thaws to room temperature, you can heat it up and it will taste like it’s right out of the oven!

The best foods to prep and freeze in advance include:

  • Pie crust
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Casseroles (green bean or corn)

Check out these 5 freezer-friendly Thanksgiving recipes by Food Network. The fried ravioli appetizer is always a hit.

  1. Create a Thanksgiving tradition.

You want to make your Thanksgiving party unique, special, and memorable. Create a Thanksgiving tradition that will excite your family and friends.

Maybe you all watch a holiday movie after dinner to start off your holiday season, or you throw on a football jersey to cheer during the game. Perhaps a board game after the dishes are done, or even taking a swing at a turkey piñata. Find something that your family will enjoy to make it a fun and special day for everyone.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to create memories you’ll never forget.

Bottom line

Early prep for your Thanksgiving party will reduce your stress and give you peace of mind. You’ll have more time to focus on mingling and putting out food since everything has already been accounted for. Finally, you can enjoy the party that you’re hosting, and you can spend quality time with loved ones.

How do you prepare your home for Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below!

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