How-To & Diy

Your Last-Minute Thanksgiving Checklist

November 26, 2014

The time has come; Thanksgiving is (very nearly) here. And we know you're in the middle of oven-jockeying and pie-crimping and drink-stirring, so we're going to make this quick. Because when you're hosting a feast as gigantic as Thanksgiving, you're bound to miss the little things—the little things that, when they come up, can seem like mountains.

Read on. You've got this. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thanksgiving from Food52

Is your bathroom ready?

Stock up on toilet paper, and leave it easily accessible under the sink. Make sure your hand towels are clean—and light a scented candle, if you've got one. And be sure to remove things from your medicine cabinet that you don't want guests seeing—you never know who is going to snoop!

Where are you putting the coats?

There are few things worse than sorting through a gigantic pile of black coats at the end of a long night. Clear out your coat closet—or, if you don't have one, make space in your own closet. You can put all the stuff back in there after the party. This is the time to be altruistic.

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Wine from Food52

Do you have enough wine?

Seriously. You want enough wine to keep it flowing freely throughout the night (and if you'll be in the kitchen for much of the evening, put a friend or relative on drink duty). And if your turkey takes longer than it should, it's always nice to be able to pour another round of glasses—and relax.

Do you have lots and lots of ice?

We've learned this the hard way: you can never have enough ice. Send your cousin or uncle or daughter out to get some; you'll be surprised how much you end up needing it.

Is your dishwasher empty?

You want to be able to fill it up quickly when the meal is over—so make sure that it will be unloaded and clear. Start it now, if you haven't already.

Dishes from Food52

Do you have enough serving dishes and utensils, including for dessert?

It's easy enough to plan these for the big meal—but when dessert rolls around, and your dishes are still dirty, it's easy to feel at a loss. Make sure that you have enough bowls and plates to serve your desserts in—and, if you don't, ask a friend to bring some over.

Do you have enough containers for leftovers?

And not just leftovers for you—you want to be sure to send your guests home with leftovers, too. Pick up tons of cheap deli containers; that way, you don't need to part with your precious Tupperware.

What do you do to prepare for Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments!

52 Days of Thanksgiving
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52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


Transcendancing November 25, 2015
This is a great list for any big event you're hosting :)
luvcookbooks November 26, 2014
Happy happy Thanksgiving!! I'm saving this since I'm a guest this Thanksgiving.