Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving Tips and house guests by Craftsman Home Remodeling Rochester, New York.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you’re not quite ready, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. When hosting Thanksgiving, last-minute tasks have a way of consuming too much of your valuable time with your guests. This is why it’s so helpful to have a plan in place and get as much as you can done in advance — starting with these helpful Thanksgiving tips to prepare your home for Thanksgiving:

Coordinate the Basics

How many people will you be inviting? Do you want it to feel elegant, cozy, casual? Answering these questions will help you decorate in a efficient and budget friendly way. 

Purchase your turkey early, especially if you are planning to get a heritage bird (they do sell out). Place the frozen turkey in the fridge — be sure your refrigerator temperature is set at 40 °F or below. You’ll need to allow about 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds of frozen turkey you plan to thaw in the refrigerator. 

There is more than one way to make green bean casserole, but is there really a need to have three pans of the same dish? Reach out to your guests to help coordinate who is bringing what a few days prior to Thanksgiving. 

Make a List and Check It Twice

Groceries. Make sure you have everything written down that you will need – perishables and non perishables. You don’t want to forget key ingredients like butter, eggs, cream, etc. The last thing you’ll want to do is brave the over crowded grocery store the day of and before Thanksgiving. Yikes!

Timeframe – make your cooking schedule ahead of time. Look up all the recipes you will be making, noting down cooking times and temperatures, as well as which dishes can be made in advance (and how far in advance).

Do as Much as You Can the Night Before

Presentation is everything. By cleaning, creating the seating chart, and setting the table the night before, you’ll be able to focus on catching up with your guests and not running around last minute trying to make everything look perfect. 

Stock Up on Bathroom Essentials

In case your guests forget to pack their toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, floss, or pain reliever, have extra travel-size supplies on hand in the bathroom for their use. 

Be sure the regular supplies are ready, too, such as hand soap and several rolls of toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and clean towels. (It’s also nice to be sure there’s a plunger near the toilet as well as some air freshener.) To make their experience even more inviting, light a favorite holiday candle in the bathroom for an inviting touch.  

Meet And Greet

If you plan to welcome overnight guests into your home this holiday, you’ll need to make a few preparations to ensure their comfort — as well as to ensure your own sanity so that you can actually enjoy their company.

Thanksgiving in Michigan can be cold, wet and snowy. Upon arrival, have someone available at the front door to greet guests and help take heavy crock pots, drinks, and heavy winter clothing to their designated spots. Decide on an area in your home where you can stow away all your guests belongings that way, less things are forgotten and taken by accident at the end of the night. 


In addition to crisp linens and plush bedding that help promote a great night’s sleep, place extra blankets and pillows in a decorative basket at the foot of the bed for guests to grab as needed. Provide both light and heavy blankets, along with a lightweight throw.


A smart thanksgiving tip is since almost all of us travel with electronics now — smartphones, tablets, laptops, eBook readers — be sure there are a couple of empty electrical outlets your guests will be able to reach without moving furniture. If you’re short on outlets or they’re inaccessible, buy a basic power strip that can handle multiple plugs, plug it into the nearest wall outlet, and place it on the bedside table for easy access.


Offer a few books and magazines to help your night owl guests wind down from their busy day of travel. If your guests are close family members, set out a photo album or two for them to flip through as well!


Stock up on plenty of snack-type foods to curb guests’ appetites between meals, and invite everyone to help themselves. Offer a variety of goodies, such as cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, and mixed nuts. If any of your guests are early risers, show them where they can find the essentials for coffee in the morning, just in case they’re ready for a cup of joe before you’re up.


Invite your guests to feel at home by providing drawer space or closet space that will allow them to unpack their suitcase and get organized. Offer a handful of empty hangers, and make sure empty drawers are completely dust-free.


Just in case your guests forget to pack their toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, floss, or pain reliever, have extra travel-size supplies on hand, displayed in the bathroom for their use. Be sure the regular supplies are ready, too, such as hand soap and several rolls of toilet paper. (It’s also nice to be sure there’s a plunger near the toilet as well as some air freshener.)

Show guests where they can find towels, and if multiple guests are sharing one bathroom, set out one large bath towel, one hand towel and one wash cloth per guest.


Plan to run your dishwasher each night, and unload and put away dishes first thing each morning to avoid a dirty dish pile-up. While your normal routine may be to jam-pack every last bit of space before you would even consider turning running a cycle, you’ll rest more peacefully knowing the kitchen is clean and clutter-free.


Keep guests in the loop by letting them know about any plans or activities during they days they are staying with you. This will help make sure no one is caught off guard, and allow them to plan their free time and what to wear. Designate a space — on the fridge, the dining table, or via an online messaging system — to all stay on the same page.


Maybe you’re a pet lover. Maybe your house guests aren’t. They maybe even be allergic. Having your carpets shampooed, or air ducts cleaned may be that extra step to ensure your guests are not irritated by pet dandruff. If you have indoor pets, have a candid conversation with your guests before they arrive, and decipher how they feel about pets in the house. Are their children fearful of pets? Even if they assure you they’ll adore your fur babies, put them away at night, so they don’t wander into your guest’s room or serve as their wake-up call in the morning.

Lastly, remember that the most inviting thing about your home should be you. Hosting isn’t about impressing someone with how Martha Stewart you can be, but rather about letting them know you love and value them enough to want your house to feel like their home away from home

We hope that these were helpful thanksgiving tips.

Happy Cooking,

Craftsman Home Remodeling 

Share this Post