Thanksgiving Home Prep: 6 Simple Projects to Tackle Before Turkey Day

Prepping your home for Thanksgiving can be done in six simple steps. | Diary of a DIYer


Thanksgiving: It’s a different kind of meal prep.

With a little over a week until the big turkey dinner, the pressure to host a great Thanksgiving is on. Odds are your menu is finalized, but is your home ready to handle all the guests walking through the front door?

Here are 6 simple home prep projects that you’ll have no trouble finishing by Thanksgiving.

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. And those staying the night will surely appreciate a pair of sun-blocking window curtains the next morning.

3. Do a Deep Clean

One piece of Thanksgiving prep you can’t forget about is the cleaning. With all the hustle and bustle going on in the kitchen the morning of, spread out your deep cleaning throughout the week. Some rooms you should pay attention to are obviously the kitchen and bathroom, but don’t forget about your living room and possibly the guest bedroom.

For Thanksgiving dinner, prep your dinnerware a few days in advance with a good wash (especially if you don’t use it often). Same goes for your fancy silverware – give your forks and knives a soapy dip in the sink to make them sparkle.

Servingware should also be given a deep clean. All your platters, bowls, baskets and even the gravy boat should be cleaned at least the day before. Keep everything covered (including dinnerware) to make sure it stays clean and dust-free.

4. Check Up on Appliances

Imagine this: your turkey is perfectly dethawed, it’s all dressed up with seasonings and stuffing, and as you’re going to put it in your oven you find that it won’t even turn on to preheat. Uh oh.

Just the thought of that scenario gives me anxiety. Prevent last-minute stress by checking your appliances sooner rather than later. Take a look at the heavy hitters (your oven, dishwasher and fridge) now before it’s too late! I would even make sure your furnace is in good working order before you and your guests are left in the cold on Thanksgiving day.

5. 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. Print off a few free Thanksgiving activities for each child to keep them entertained for hours.

6. Stock Up on Food Storage Containers

My family is notorious for over-preparing food on Thanksgiving, but instead of leaving it for us to finish over the weekend, we pack it away for our guests. Look for a decently sized, inexpensive set of food storage (i.e. containers you wouldn’t feel bad about not getting back later) to use for sending leftovers off with your family and friends.


Prepping your home for Thanksgiving takes a lot of effort. Cut back on the last-minute stress by starting these six projects early—a week in advance is probably enough time. From the moment your guests arrive to the second you send them off, they’ll appreciate the effort you put in to make them feel welcome in your home.

Need ideas for Thanksgiving décor? Look no further than my Pinterest board!