Turkey Day Timeline: Preparing For Thanksgiving Checklist As soon as you’ve finished the leftover Halloween candy, it’s time to tackle the first Thanksgiving to-dos. 3 Weeks Until Thanksgiving ! Deep clean your kitchen, especially the oven, fridge and freezer. ! Clean the common areas of your home: the porch, living room and dining room. ! Tackle the guest areas next: guest rooms and guest bathrooms. ! Declutter and organize your entryway and coat closet. ! If needed, schedule a carpet cleaning and wash your home’s windows. ! If you have a fireplace, ensure it’s clean and order firewood. ! Polish silver and store it in a tarnish-resistant cloth or box. ! Create a guest list. When family and friends RSVP, ask about dietary restrictions and food allergies. ! Plan the big Turkey Day menu. If you want to use a new recipe, test it ahead of time. ! Create a grocery shopping list. For easy shopping, organize and order the list into the sections of your local grocery store: product, dairy, meat, bread, etc. ! If your guests plan on bringing items, make a list of what each person will contribute. ! Purchase extra containers for leftovers. Foil casserole dishes allow guests to take home leftovers without having to worry about returning your dishes. ! If you plan to order a turkey or ham, call ahead and schedule your order now. ! Make sure your shopping list includes SD cards for digital cameras and extra batteries. ! Plan your beverage menu. Inquire at local stores about bulk discounts for wine, beer and liquor. Provide soda, tea and water for guests who don’t drink alcohol. ! Assign tasks to family members. Involve friends and family in planning and preparing for your Thanksgiving meal as much as possible to divide responsibility and reduce stress. 2 Weeks Until Turkey Day ! Shop for the non-perishable items on your grocery list. ! Gather serving dishes and assign each to a menu item with a Post-It note. ! Schedule an appointment with your hair stylist for a wash and blow-out the day before Thanksgiving. ! Create a music playlist to listen to during your Thanksgiving meal. Or create a station on Pandora.com or Spotify.com. ! Inventory your tableware and glassware to ensure you have enough for each of your guests. Mix and match styles to create a unique, charming tablescape or rent additional pieces from a party supply store. ! If you need to order or rent additional chairs, folding tables, serving dishes, warmers or linens, call the party supply store and reserve your rental now. ! Wash and press your table linens and napkins. If you’re short on time, take them to your local drycleaner. Geralin Thomas Classes, Coaching + Business Forms for Professional Organizers | metropolitanorganizing.com ©2015 Metropolitan Organizing, LLC All rights reserved. For personal use only, not for commercial use. Turkey Day Timeline: Preparing For Thanksgiving Checklist ! Plan your Thanksgiving décor. Check Pinterest for creative ideas. Schedule time to make decorations and place cards. ! Write a short toast or blessing to share with guests as you sit down to eat. 1 Week To Go Before Thanksgiving ! Decide on an outfit. Balance function with fashion. Select comfortable shoes and be sure you have an apron to wear in the kitchen! ! Calculate when you need to start thawing the turkey. ! Confirm when guests plan to arrive. Double-check who needs refrigerator space, oven time or serving platters. ! Plan seating arrangements. ! Clear space in your refrigerator and freezer. ! Wipe down appliances, wash potholders and dish towels, clean trivets and glasses. ! Clean your coffee maker by running vinegar through it and then rinsing it twice with fresh water. ! Set the table or gather everything you’ll need and place it near the table to make setting it the night before Thanksgiving as simple as possible. ! Prepare the brine for your turkey. ! Make or buy extra ice and store in the freezer. ! Order fresh flowers or gather seasonal greenery from your own garden. ! Schedule airport pick-ups and determine sleeping arrangements for overnight guests. ! Make final preparations for all the guest rooms. If an overnight guest is brining a baby or small child, ask a friend or neighbor to borrow a high chair, pack-and-play and other helpful items. ! Manage yard work and decorate the exterior of your home. Rake leaves, clear unnecessary clutter and hang a harvest wreath on your door. ! Make a schedule for baking and food prep work in the week ahead. Review recipe ingredients and grocery lists to ensure you’ll have everything you need. ! Write an hour-by-hour Thanksgiving day plan. Include when to put the turkey in the oven, heat the rolls and light the candles. 2 Days Before Thanksgiving ! Chill the wine and champagne. ! Finish shopping for food and pick up all your orders from butchers, bakeries and specialty food shops. ! Fill the table’s salt and pepper shakers. ! If you’re brining your turkey, put the bird in the brine and keep chilled in the refrigerator. Geralin Thomas Classes, Coaching + Business Forms for Professional Organizers | metropolitanorganizing.com ©2015 Metropolitan Organizing, LLC All rights reserved. For personal use only, not for commercial use. Turkey Day Timeline: Preparing For Thanksgiving Checklist ! Prep ingredients for recipes. ! Prepare all the soups and desserts. Store in airtight containers. ! Tidy your home with some final light housekeeping. Focus on the guest bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room. Dust and vacuum. Geralin Thomas Classes, Coaching + Business Forms for Professional Organizers | metropolitanorganizing.com ©2015 Metropolitan Organizing, LLC All rights reserved. For personal use only, not for commercial use. Turkey Day Timeline: Preparing For Thanksgiving Checklist 1 More Day To Go ! Make all the side dishes, including the stuffing, that can be prepared ahead of time. For mashed potatoes, prep the potatoes and place in cold water in the fridge. ! Go to your hair appointment. You’ll wake up the next morning with photo-ready hair. ! Disinfect the kitchen sink and countertops; run the disposal. ! Arrange flowers in vases. For an extra special touch, include a small bouquet in the guest bathroom. ! Hang fresh towels and put full rolls of toilet paper in the bathrooms. ! Spot clean the common areas of your home. Disinfect remote controls, phones, door handles and light switches. Empty trash bins. ! Charge your digital camera and assign one member of your family to be the photographer. ! Create a serving area for beer, wine, mixed drinks, desserts and coffee. Include corkscrews, cut lemons and limes, an ice bucket, glasses, coffee cups, dessert plates, forks, sugar and creamer. ! Go to bed early and get some rest. Thanksgiving Day! ! Turn off your computer and unplug from email, texting and social media. ! If guests offer to help, put them to work! Guests can help pour drinks, answer the door, stow coats, refill ice, take photos or keep an eye on the kids. ! Prepare and roast the turkey — or fry, smoke or barbecue! ! Roast vegetables and heat the stuffing. ! Put condiments in dishes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready. ! Prepare gravy and any other last minute items. ! Put ice and a pitcher of water on the table. ! Enjoy your delicious food and the company of family and friends! Cleanup ! Let everyone who wants to pitch in help with cleanup. ! Clear the table, wash platters and return dishes to guests. ! Pack leftovers and store in the refrigerator. ! Hand-wash silver, china, crystal, knives and oversized serving pieces. ! Soak pots, empty kitchen trash and recycling bin. Geralin Thomas Classes, Coaching + Business Forms for Professional Organizers | metropolitanorganizing.com ©2015 Metropolitan Organizing, LLC All rights reserved. For personal use only, not for commercial use.