13 Unbelievably Amazing Thanksgiving Organization Hacks

Family. Food. Chaos. Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Hosting and cooking this great family-oriented meal is both exciting and rewarding, but it can also bring out a lot of anxiety and frazzled nerves. If Thanksgiving seems daunting, these 13 essential Thanksgiving organization tips will hopefully make it less so.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #1: Make as much ahead as possible

Prep How to Organize for Thanksgiving

Possibly the most stressful part of a meal is the last-minute rush. One of our favorite tips for Thanksgiving: When you’re planning your menu, look for dishes that can be made ahead of time and just re-heated the day of. Even if you can’t make an entire dish ahead of time, look for ways to peel off pieces, like toasting nuts or breadcrumbs. Check out this example of a Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule.This Thanksgiving organization hack works especially well for big ticket items, like the turkey. Sure, you can make rolls and cranberry sauce days ahead. Casseroles can sit in the fridge before baking. But if you really want to prep, consider making the turkey ahead of time. Even if you just cook it half-way and finish cooking it the day of, this will be a huge time saver.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #2: Don’t experiment with new recipes

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is all about the classics, so stick with the tried-and-true. Leave your brain free to deal with the turkey (especially if it’s your first time hosting).

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #3: Start early on your non-food prep

How to Organize for Thanksgiving

It’s not just the food that needs to be prepped. You’ll most likely be pulling out the nice serving dishes that need to be washed, extra silverware, or cloth napkins. Pull out all of these items the week before and take inventory. There’s nothing worse than not being able to find the serving platter for the turkey or being short on napkins or utensils.This is also beneficial for post-meal organization and planning for leftovers. Make sure you have items to store your delicious leftovers readily available.  This makes the clean-up process easier and fosters sharing!   If you need to, go to the dollar store and buy some give away containers.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #4: Print Out Recipes & Keep Within Easy Reach

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
When prepping your Thanksgiving Day meal, there are a lot of moving pieces and different items to remember. Save yourself a headache by printing out all the recipes ahead of time and keep them within easy reach. There’s nothing more frustrating than scrolling through your phone looking for the right recipe with your hands dirty. Take this tip up a level by putting all your printed recipes into clear plastic sleeves and tape them on your cabinets.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #5: Have a cocktail (or wine) ready to go

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
Have wine chilling in the fridge or a pitcher of sangria ready to be poured. If everyone has a drink in their hand, they won’t care if dinner is served an hour later than you planned. Take this tip to the next level by having a separate drink area where guests can serve themselves. Try placing bottles of wine, pre-mixed mocktails / cocktails, and waters in their own station, away from the chaos of the kitchen.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #6: Don’t make a big deal over appetizers.

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a huge meal! Don’t stress about appetizers. Ask someone else to bring one, or just put out some store-bought crackers and dip or a veggie tray.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #7: It’s fine to buy parts of your meal

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
Know a great bakery? Buy a pie. Hate making gravy? Buy some from a specialty grocery. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying a few pieces of the meal, especially if it makes for a more relaxing day.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #8: Keep your refrigerator organized

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
This goes without saying. Save yourself a headache and spend a little extra time putting groceries away.  A clean fridge makes for a clean mind on Thanksgiving.  You have space to organize your ingredients and space for leftovers later on!

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #9: Make a timeline and master list of everything that needs to happen.

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
Write out a timeline list and stick it on the fridge or wherever you’ll see it. Setting alarms on your phone for key moments, like putting the turkey in the oven or re-heating the casseroles, really helps as well.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #10: Clean as You Go

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
Make sure you have proper garbage disposal options around you.  There’s nothing worse than running out of garbage bags on Thanksgiving.  Also –cleaning as you go will be your favorite way to cook from now on. It’s SO much easier; who wants to do a sink-full of dishes after eating turkey?

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #11: Keep the Party out of the Kitchen

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
Ever heard the phrase “Too many cooks in the kitchen”?  Nothing is worse than dodging around guests and cooking simultaneously.  Be safe and avoid the distractions of company.  The best way to do this?  Move the appetizer and beverage bar to a place far away from the kitchen.  If you need to, give roles to guests –make one person the bartender, make one person in charge of games, and so on.  Keep em’ busy.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #12: Don’t forget about you!

How to Organize for Thanksgiving

Make sure that you schedule time for yourself to primp, shower, or just take a moment before dinner. Taking this time (maybe while the turkey is in the oven) will get you re-charged and ready to enjoy time with family even more.

Thanksgiving Organization Hack #13:Relax, have fun, and enjoy the spirit of the holiday!

How to Organize for Thanksgiving
Remember people are there to visit and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t feel guilty asking for help, remember the turkey can rest for an hour while you finish everything else, and above all, find moments of gratitude in this holiday.

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