Turkey Day Tips: Prep for Thanksgiving 1 Week Out

November 15, 2018

Turkey Day Tips: Prep for Thanksgiving 1 Week Out

We’re in the homestretch: Time to make the final preparations for Thanksgiving!

Well, we’re here. One week out from Thanksgiving, and it’s crunch time. If you’ve been following along with our Turkey Day Tips series and read parts one and two, you’ve made the menu, invited your guests, purchased your nonperishables, and straightened out your linens. Now, it’s time to get yourself and your home ready. New York City–based professional organizer Barbara Reich breaks down how to get through Thanksgiving with T-minus seven days. Here are her tips:

1 Week Before Thanksgiving

  • “Clear out what you don’t need in the refrigerator and freezer to make room for Thanksgiving dishes,” she advises. It’s probably a good idea to do this every once in a while anyway, and we’re betting it’s time.
  • Go over your menu. Make sure that you have or are planning to buy all of the necessary ingredients and that nothing was overlooked. You don’t want to be rushing out to grab a lemon the day of because it wasn’t on your list!
  • If you’re having overnight guests, get your guest rooms or air mattresses ready.
  • If you have any items that can be prepared in advance and frozen, like pie crusts, soups, and desserts, get those out of the way now!
  • Plan what you’re wearing. Make sure everything is clean and ready to go!

2 Days Before Thanksgiving

  • Make a “food timeline,” says Barbara. “Count backward from your meal time goal, and make sure to build in an hour of downtime before guests arrive.” Know what you’re going to be doing and when.
  • Pick up specialty items you’ve ordered in advance. That means going to the butcher, the baker, and any caterers.
  • “Prep ingredients, as many as possible. And, prepare items like cranberry sauce, soup, turkey brine, and any other side dishes you can make in advance.”
  • “Spot clean your house,” she says, “especially your bathrooms. Remove or find a place for all surface clutter.”

1 Day Before Thanksgiving

  • “Set the table, including centerpieces. Buy flowers and put them out, and add your table decor.”
  • Take out your serveware, and decide which pieces to use for which dishes.
  • Set up your beverage station and dessert station, and begin to chill your drinks, particularly the ones you’ll be serving first.
  • Develop a defrosting plan for your turkey.
  • Get some sleep!

Thanksgiving Day

  • “Wake up early. If you can exercise, get a workout in,” says Barbara.
  • Cook all of your day-of items, and remove from the fridge items you made in advance so they’ll be at room temperature when it’s time to eat.
  • “Enjoy the day,” she says. “Accept any and all help from your guests, and savor the little moments and family traditions. Ultimately, that’s what matters most!”

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