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Preparing Your Home for Thanksgiving Dinner

Feeling the anticipation of hosting a great Thanksgiving this year? Odds are, your menu is finalized, but is your home ready to handle all the guests walking through the front door? Here are some simple home projects to tackle before welcoming loved ones into your home!

1. Spruce Up Your Entryway. Thanksgiving prep tip # 1: make a good first impression. If your entryway is decorated but you think your front door is a little lacking, try adding a new coat of paint for a fresh pop of color. Keep the streak going by installing an entry handleset with a matching finish to pull the look together.

2. Change Textiles and Linens. Changing your kitchen textiles is a no brainer— a festive tablecloth and set of napkins can set the mood. But when you’re welcoming guests into your home, you should go the extra mile to show off your hospitality. Replace the towels in your bathroom with a luxurious hotel-quality set.

3. Do a Deep Clean. With all the hustle and bustle going on in the kitchen the morning of, spread out your deep cleaning throughout the week. In addition to cleaning, prep your dinnerware a few days in advance with a good wash.

4. Check Up on Appliances. Prevent last-minute appliance mishaps by checking your appliances sooner rather than later. Take a look at the heavy hitters (oven, dishwasher, fridge) now before it’s too late! You may want to make sure your A/C or heater is in good working order!

5. Empty Your Refrigerator. Start your holiday with a clean slate, which will make the inevitable mess less daunting than piling clutter onto clutter. Clean out your fridge to make room for ingredients and leftovers. If possible, designate a shelf for Thanksgiving food, which should be empty when you start your meal, then filled with leftovers when you’re finished. In a week, clean out that shelf again.

6. Stock Up on Food Storage Containers. Instead of being left with all of the leftovers, pack it away for your guests to take home. Look for a decently sized, inexpensive set of food storage to use for sending leftovers off with your family and friends.

7. Triple Duty Cookware. Cut down on cleanup by selecting cookware that can go from oven to table to freezer. Or, serve food in edible containers, such as bread bowls or hollowed-out winter squash, which can either be consumed or composted.

8. Plan a Potluck. The first Thanksgiving was a potluck; so let your guests share the fun and bring dishes to share. Then make sure they take home their serving bowls and platters, which will cut down on dishes to wash and put away.

9. Set Up a Soaking Station. Soak pots and pans as soon as you transfer food to platters. But instead of filling the sink with soaking pots, designate a small trashcan as the soaking spot. Fill it with soapy water and dirty pots, and hide it under a sink or in a mudroom. That way your sink is free throughout the evening to clean as you go and rinse dishes on the way to the dishwasher.

10. Get the Kids’ Table Ready. If you have youngsters joining you for Thanksgiving dinner, prep their space as much as you prep the adults’ table. Get a small table and load it with kid-friendly snacks and crafts.

11. Line Garbage Cans. Double– or triple-line garbage cans, which saves time when the cleaning campaign begins. After you toss a trash bag, there’s another one waiting for action.

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