Hosting for Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stressful. With enough planning, preparation and organization, this can be a memorable time that you’ll truly enjoy.

With the start to November, this is a great time to start thinking about hosting for the holidays, and also a great time to do some Thanksgiving dinner planning. Being organized and prepared for this special occasion will help to avoid any unnecessary stress.

The spirit of Thanksgiving is commonly centered around family gathering together for love of one another, and love for fabulous food. This can also be a time to celebrate Friendsgiving, for those who are not able to be with their family.

Thanksgiving, according to Statista, ranks number one for most popular holiday in the United States. In addition, the results of a survey showed that more than fifty percent of people who host for Thanksgiving expect to have less than ten guests, and more than a third expect to have more than 10 guests.

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Here are 5 Preparation Tips for Hosting an Organized and Stress Free Thanksgiving Dinner

1. Visualize the Setting

Get Organized by Visualizing the Thanksgiving Setting

Here are some visual elements to consider:

  • What do you envision for the overall theme and feel?
  • Will this be a casual buffet-style setting, a formal sit-down setting, or somewhere in-between?
  • Will the decor be simple and understated, or are you excited to go all-out with the table decor?

2. Take a Head-Count

Get Organized by Planning How Many Guests You Will Have

  • How many people will you be hosting?
  • How many place settings will you need?
  • Take a look at what you already have on hand, to make sure you have enough of what you need.
  • Will you need to buy any additional plates, glasses, stemware, silverware, placemats, napkins, etc?

3. Pre-Order Ahead

Get Organized by Pre-Ordering In Advance.

  • Will you need to place any special orders?
  • If you plan to order a turkey, a pie, or any sides, I recommend ordering ahead.
  • Deadlines will vary, so be sure to check these dates in advance.
  • Will you order fresh flowers or a special table center-piece?

4. Menu Plan

Get Organized by Planning Out the Menu

  • What will you be serving?
  • Now is the time to pull out recipes (or ask around if you’re borrowing recipes), and start planning out the menu.
  • Write out the menu and all the ingredients you’ll need to shop for.
  • If you’re roasting a turkey, think about a roasting pan, baster, brine bucket, and carving knife.
  • For the sides, consider what platters, casserole dishes, ladles, or serving spoons you might need.
  • Also consider what drinks you’ll be serving.
  • Will you need a punch bowl, ice bucket, wine cork opener, etc?

5. Seating Arrangement

Get Organized by Planning the Seating Arrangement

  • Think about if it makes sense to have an adults table and a separate kids table.
  • You may already have a small picnic style table or a card table that will work well for the kids. And they will likely love having their own special table.
  • Will you need to borrow or rent any tables, chairs or linens?
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This special time doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Do as much planning and preparation now, so that you’re not waiting until the last minute.

The more organized you are now, the more you’ll be able to enjoy Thanksgiving with your family.


The Thanksgiving Host Planner

Hosting for Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stressful. With enough planning, preparation and organization, this can be a memorable time that you’ll truly enjoy.


Use this Helpful Planner to Stay Organized for Hosting a Stress Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Know what to focus on each week as you get closer to Thanksgiving Day.

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Crystal Tharp

Crystal Tharp

Crystal is the owner of The Organized Home, LLC and producer of The Home Approach® program and The Purpose-Driven Productivity Program®; empowering busy Christian women to create an organized home that they love, so they can thrive at home. With over ten years of combined experience working in the Professional Organizing industry and coaching industry, she combines her expertise in decluttering, organizing, and home management with her passion for helping women to bring out the best in themselves.

While coaching is her God-given calling, she also loves being a mom to her young children (ages 5, 7 and 9), date nights with her husband, and family outings on the weekends. Above all, she is most passionate about following Jesus and inspiring others to do the same.

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