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Thanksgiving is my holiday. This year marks the 10th consecutive year that I've hosted both sides of my family for Thanksgiving dinner. That means 15 to 20 hungry people in my house at once! Thanksgiving is spent gathering with family and friends to give thanks, enjoy great food and share our love. An inviting home to spend these times together makes everyone more comfortable and really adds to our enjoyment of the holiday.
I've hosted Thanksgiving as a newlywed, a pregnant mom to be (of twins!), a mom with two infants, and now with two rambunctious preschoolers. One of the most important parts of hosting Thanksgiving is making my home inviting, comfortable, and clean for my guests. I've picked up a few tricks over the years to make the process easy and stress free! Follow these tips and you'll be ready in no time.
5 Easy Ways to Prep Your Home For Thanksgiving
1. Make a Place for the Kids
My favorite Thanksgiving memories from my childhood are of spending the day with all my cousins (this may have involved mashed potatoes in someone's hair one year...). Before we had kids of our own, I made sure that our home was ready for little ones. Creating a space where kids can be themselves and have some fun will make all your guests more comfortable. If you don't already have a kid space, make one with a few inexpensive toys, coloring books, and crayons. If you do have kids, make sure that toys are clean and ready for guests - put away anything that is unsafe for your littlest visitors. Our play kitchen gets quite a workout on Thanksgiving as all my little helpers work on their own version of dinner!
2. Add Simple Decorative Touches
I love decorating for holidays, but Thanksgiving often gets lost between Halloween and Christmas (and the real star of the show is all the yummy food!). Don't spend a lot of time and money on Thanksgiving decor, but add a few simple pieces that you can make yourself. I love to do DIY centerpieces that bring out the loveliness of the Thanksgiving season - a simple glass vase filled with pine cones and another with dried corn and a votive candle is all you need to bring a festive bit of Fall to your table.
3. Get Your Serving Dishes Together Ahead of Time (and Use the Good Stuff)
Thanksgiving is one of the few times I actually get to use my good china, so I do! My mom gave me her wedding china when I got married, and it is so special for me to be able to use it. I make sure to get everything out ahead of time though, and label which pieces I will need for each dish. This way I can make sure everything is clean and ready, and I'm not scrambling at the last minute to find a platter for the turkey or a bowl for the cranberry sauce.
4. Stock the Bathroom with Essentials (and Make Sure It's Clean)
Making sure that your bathroom is ready is one of the most important ways to make your home comfortable for guests. Stock up on toilet paper, guest towels, and hand soap so everyone can find what they need. You can even add a basket with a few first aid items, hair pins, and hand lotion too.Most importantly, make sure your bathroom is clean! I love Disinfectant Scrubbing Bubbles® Bathroom Cleaner to clean and disinfect all my bathroom surfaces easily. My secret weapon is Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel - just pop a gel stamp under the rim and flush. That's it! Your bowl will be cleaned and freshened with every flush, for up to 10 weeks! How easy is that?
5. Clean Strategically!
When I first started hosting Thanksgiving, I would make myself crazy deep cleaning every nook and cranny of my house. It finally dawned on me that my guests wouldn’t be heading upstairs to peep in my closets, so I don't need to clean every corner. Close the doors to rooms that you don't expect to be used and focus on the spaces where your guests will be; for us, it's our living room, kitchen, dining room, downstairs bath, and playroom. I make sure these areas are all sparkling clean and ready for company.
My house has a lot of windows, so it never seems completely clean unless the windows are cleaned. The best and fastest way to handle my windows is by using Windex® Original Glass Cleaner. Just spray, wipe, and everything is looking good with no streaks.
Printable Thanksgiving Planner
If you really want to be ready for Thanksgiving this year I have a secret weapon for you. M printable Thanksgiving planner will help you organize everything from the guest list to dinner to decorating. And it includes printable recipe cards, place cards, and leftover labels! If you really want to get organized and be prepared this year, grab this now and get started! Just click the See More button below to check it out and get yours.