Turkey Day Tips: Prep for Thanksgiving 3 Weeks Out
A little bit of prep work now goes a long way.
Happy November! If you’re anything like us, you’ve already had Turkey Day on the brain for some time now. If you’re hosting, now is the time to get started with all of your prep work. A little bit of organization and advanced planning goes a long way. To help you gear up, we’re presenting the first in a series we’re calling Turkey Day Tips, which we’ve put together with the help of Barbara Reich, a New York City–based professional organizer. Here’s what you should be looking to accomplish three weeks out from the big day.
Deep Clean Your Home and Purge Excess Clutter
This is a good idea to do every so often anyway, but it’s especially important when you’re hosting. Not only do you want your home to look its best, but having a clean, organized space will also give you peace of mind and help minimize stress.
Polish Your Silver
Silver can be polished up to three weeks in advance of when you use it. You may as well get it done now! Grab a few friends or family members, put on your favorite holiday playlist, and get polishing.
Make Your Guest List and Send Invites
If you’re having a large group, Barbara says to consider using Paperless Post, which will track responses and help keep you organized. Knowing the number of guests you’re having will help you manage expectations, set your table, and cook the right amount of food.
As you get responses, guests will likely ask what they can bring. Give assignments, recommends Barbara, and be specific.
Decide on Your Menu
Now is the time to create your menu. Barbara says to be detailed: hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, desserts—everything you plan to make. “Include wine, liquor, and soda as well,” she says.
Create a Grocery List
Make your list based on your menu, and be sure to include all ingredients, including any herbs, spices, oils, and condiments you may need to replenish or restock.
Order Your Turkey
Many places start taking orders way in advance. As soon as you know about how many people you’re going to have, order the turkey you need.
Check Your Tools
“Make sure you have the proper roasting tools,” advises Barbara. “This includes basting tools and a pan, rack, thermometer, and carving knife. If you don’t have them, buy them now.”
Take an Inventory of Dishes and Serveware
This includes flatware and glassware. “If additional items are needed, purchase them now or contact a rental company to reserve them,” says Barbara. “And don’t forget to include rental tables, chairs, or linens, if you’re in short supply.”
Consider Table Decor
Think about how you’re going to set your table. This includes not only dishes and serveware, but also centerpieces, flowers, candles, and anything else you’d like to add to make your dinner unique!
Next week, we’re going grocery shopping. Stay tuned!