Hosting Thanksgiving can be a daunting task, but it can be even more daunting if you’re trying to fit a handful of guests into your not exactly huge apartment. We’ve compiled this list of tips just for you to help the preparation and day of Thanksgiving go much more smoothly and stress free.
Many Thanksgiving hosts send out more invitations than they receive RSVP’s, but you can remedy this by being assertive and talking to your potential guests. Get a definitive yes or no from each person you invited. Maybes only make more work for you. Once you have your confirmations, delegate tasks. Find the pie expert among your guests and get some help with dessert. If someone has a favorite casserole, let them bring that. That’s one less thing for you.
Don’t stress yourself the night before, or even the few hours before your guests arrive. Plan your cleaning strategically and efficiently. Plan which cleaning tasks can be done throughout the week before so that you have the fewest cleaning tasks as possible at the last minute. Additionally, as you’re cooking on the big day, clean your dishes as you go. There’s nothing worse than surviving the day to see a huge pile of dishes waiting for you in the kitchen.
Does your dining room have enough space for everyone that has RSVP’d? Probably not. Your living room is more than likely your biggest room, so make the most of it! Rearrange your furniture a few days ahead of time, and move your table to the living room. This will provide an ease of movement throughout your space, and won’t make it fill small or closed off if your dining room doesn’t have room. Add a card table to the space if you need it with some extra chairs, and you should be set!
This may be the most important step of all and it can’t be stressed enough. You need to prep! Cook anything and everything you can ahead of time. Casseroles, dressing (or stuffing), pies and many other things can be cooked before the day of and then just heated up the on the big day. By doing this, you will save yourself a lot of stress. Prep also goes beyond cooking, though. For cooking that does need to be done the day of, peel and cut your vegetables, potatoes, and anything else you may need ahead of time. By pre-cooking, and doing this prep, your Thanksgiving day stress should be much less!
On the day of, it’s important to have a schedule and know the exact timing of how everything should be going all day. (Please note, the *should be*. If it doesn’t, do your best to just keep going.) Know which foods are going to take the longest, and put those in the oven first, like the turkey. As you get closer to meal time, you can start putting your pre-cooked dishes in the oven to reheat. Don’t forget to pre-plan your stovetop time, too. All your space is limited, so this planning is important. Another important time to watch for is when your guests are going to arrive. Not all of your prep needs to be done by then, but you should plan for things to go slower once everyone gets there.
If you follow these 5 tips, we’re confident you can survive hosting Thanksgiving in your apartment. Make sure you don’t forget to enjoy all the delicious food and the fun with your friends and family after all the hard work you put in, though! Do you have any tips to add to help others survive their next hosting gig?