Countdown to Thanksgiving: Prepping the House for Guests

countdown to thanksgiving

I am hosting Thanksgiving this year in my home. I don’t have a very large home, so I know I am going to have to be super-organized (which I am not) and extremely tidy (which I am not.) One way to make a small space go from cozy to cramped is to add in a bunch of personal clutter. My house does tend to become cluttered, as most homes do, but mine is especially bad because of my kids. I have a 4-year old and a 5 month old. (Have you noticed that the amount of stuff kids need is inversely proportional to their age?)

I have decided that the best way for me to get my house prepped and ready to receive my guests on Thanksgiving is with a weekly schedule. I don’t like feeling overwhelmed, and I’m sure that you don’t either. I am planning to do a few tasks per week for the next 4 weeks so that I will be ready on Turkey Day. My schedule will have some cleaning jobs as well as other things that need to be addressed so that the holiday goes smoothly.

Week One (this week):

  1. I am going to run through my living room and throw away any trash, old magazines, old mail, etc. and I am going to remove any trinkets I no longer enjoy or that are the wrong season. I may give these away or just store them for when they are in season again.
  2. I will be making a list of any toiletry type items I am running low on. For me, this is toilet paper and hand soap. You may be having overnight guests, so you may need to stock up on shampoo/conditioner, soap, shower gel and lotion for your guest bathroom. Guests may prefer to bring their own, but it is always a welcoming touch to make sure the bathroom and shower are stocked with those necessities.

Week Two:

  1. I am going to go through my plastic food storage containers to see that they all have matching lids. If you’re hosting a big meal, it is always good to make sure you have functional containers for leftovers. You may want to freeze your leftovers, or send them home with guests. Either way, good containers are key.
  2. If you’re having overnight guests, de-clutter and straighten the room they will be staying in. Make sure that the flat surfaces of furniture are cleared of unnecessary stuff so that guests will have a place to put their own stuff. An extra, nice touch would be to set up a guest tray on the dresser top. You could include little bottles of soap, shampoo or lotion with towels and snacks. Sometimes people get the munchies at night and they may not want to bother their host. I saw this idea on Pinterest and I loved it!


Week Three:

  1. Put fresh linens on the guest bed. If you live in a colder climate, some cozy flannel sheets would be perfect. In Oklahoma, it probably won’t get cold enough for flannel sheets until closer to Christmas. Make sure the bed is made properly and that the carpet is vacuumed.

Week Four:

  1. Dust in all rooms. Vacuum, sweep and mop everywhere.
  2. Thoroughly clean bathrooms-especially guest bathroom.
  3. Get caught up on laundry-especially towels.

Week Five (Thanksgiving Week):

  1. Keep things picked up and try to not undo all the good I have done so far.
  2. Shop for groceries.
  3. Put out some simple decorations.

That’s it. That’s my schedule to get my house ready for Thanksgiving, plus some extra ideas for those of you who are hosting overnight guests. Check back with me Friday for my Thanksgiving Dinner Menu!


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