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The Art of Hosting: Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Gathering

November 10, 2023 | Family Life

The Art of Hosting: Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Gathering

Thanksgiving is a time to cherish the company of friends and family alike. If it’s your turn to host the festivities, we’re here to help you plan a Thanksgiving party worthy of the amazing people in your life. From the preparations to decorations, we want you to have the tools you need for a stress-free Thanksgiving.

Learn how to host a hassle-free Thanksgiving with the following helpful tips and tricks.

Thanksgiving Hosting Tips

While hosting the festivities, cooking, and the prospect of seeing all your friends and family is fun and exciting, there are many potential stressors during this hectic time. Whether it’s not preparing enough food for everyone or forgetting to set the table, it’s important to plan ahead to avoid potential disasters.

Create a Detailed Plan

One of the most important things to have is a detailed plan for your party. Make sure you understand every task that needs to happen from start to finish. Begin with your dinner plan so you can create a list of all the ingredients you need. Next, decide how you want to decorate your home and list all the decorations you might need.

Once you’ve created a shopping list, make a timeline for the week of the party. Plan what day you’ll do the shopping, when you’ll start decorating, and when you’ll need to begin deep cleaning your home. Not only should you have a weekly schedule, but you should also have an hourly schedule for the day of the party to ensure you’re placing things in the oven on time and giving yourself plenty of breathing room to decorate and set the table.

Declutter and Organize Your Space

Before inviting guests into your home, you need to ensure you have the space available for everyone. Not only will you need to sweep, vacuum, dust, and perform other cleaning duties the day before, but you’ll also need to declutter and reorganize your space at least two days in advance.

Start with your living room and dining room since these are the spaces people will spend most of their time in. Think about how many people will be in each room at a time and how much space you want to have for other activities.

Once you’ve planned that out, place items that aren’t necessary for the party into boxes and put them into storage. You can always get them back out once you’re done with your hosting duties for the season. With several other holidays just around the corner, this is the perfect time to begin the decluttering process in preparation for all the upcoming holiday decorating.

Save Time on Cooking

Whether you’re cooking for five or 30 people, creating an entire Thanksgiving meal can be a lot. Even if you’ve found the best Thanksgiving meal ideas, it will still be the most time-consuming and stressful task.

Relieve some of that stress by utilizing the following tips:

  • Buy in increments. Purchasing your meal items all at once can lead to forgetting crucial ingredients. Instead, we recommend staggering your purchases. Buy non-perishable items weeks in advance and save your meats and other perishable items for the day before.
  • Prepare food in advance. While the all-important turkey and certain milk-based food items have to be made the day of, other casserole-style dishes can be made ahead of time. We recommend making food items such as green bean casserole and macaroni and cheese one to two days beforehand and freezing them.
  • Consider a potluck. No rule states the host must make every single dish for the meal. Cut down on time and stress by planning a potluck instead. Not only will you be less tired on the day of the party, but you’ll also receive all kinds of new Thanksgiving recipes from your friends and family for years to come.

Preparing Your Home for Guests

Now you’ve taken the time to plan for your Thanksgiving celebration properly, it’s time for the fun part, which is setting your house up for your party.

Setting a Thanksgiving Table

A table decorated with christmas themed place settings.

Mealtime is the best time to catch up with family and friends and enjoy each other’s company. With the mealtime prep comes learning how to set a Thanksgiving table properly. The first step is to ensure you have plenty of table space for all your guests. Remember that each person will need room to enjoy their meal and spread out if necessary.

Next, it’s time to gather your supplies. You’ll need:

  • A tablecloth: The material and design are completely up to you and your aesthetic. However, we recommend a tan or gray color for a cozier feel and to ensure you can add plenty of color elsewhere with your place settings. If you’re working with gold or white plates, maybe try a maroon or dark green tablecloth.
  • Plates and utensils: Whether you have a set of fine china or nice ceramic plates, we recommend going all out. While paper plates and plastic utensils save you time on dishes,
  • they’re not always the most aesthetically pleasing, nor are they good for the environment. Whatever option you choose, just make sure everything matches and goes with your decor.
  • Glassware: Make sure to have a water cup and wine glasses set on the table for guests to use throughout the meal. Even if you don’t think they’ll drink wine or cider, they’ll still have a fancier cup for other drinks.
  • Napkins: Aside from the food, this is the last thing you’ll need for your Thanksgiving table. We recommend using a cloth napkin that matches your tablecloth to allow for a consistent theme. If you’re looking to impress your friends and family, try looking up some fun ways to fold and present your napkin to kick it up a notch.

Personal Touches To Include

Creating a sophisticated ambiance in your home for Thanksgiving may seem like the best way to impress your guests, but you’ll also want to focus on personal touches to make guests feel at home. Some of these include:

  • Adding name cards to the table
  • Adding a flower or lavender to your napkins and place settings
  • Creating a Thanksgiving playlist with your guests’ favorite tunes
  • Using special dishes for the meal
  • Hosting Thanksgiving games

Thanksgiving Dinner and Activity Ideas

Your Thanksgiving festivities won’t be complete without the right food and games to keep your guests well fed and entertained. For Thanksgiving dinner ideas, we recommend asking all your guests what their must-have dishes are to ensure everyone is satisfied. From there, you can research Thanksgiving recipes and map out your cooking plan.

For entertainment, we suggest having some form of Thanksgiving crafts ready for kids and adults alike. From creating hand turkeys to playing a Thanksgiving game such as pin the hat on the turkey, there are plenty of ways to make sure your guests are having fun every minute of the

party. You can even have guests create Thanksgiving decorations for you to use at next year’s party.

Let Metro Self Storage Help With Thanksgiving Planning Today

Now you know all the best tips for hosting Thanksgiving, it’s time to begin the decluttering process with the experts at Metro Self Storage. We’re here to help you create the space you need for your next Thanksgiving get-together. Browse through our list of available locations to find the one closest to you. Rent or reserve your self storage unit online today!