How To Organize Your Thanksgiving Week To Avoid Overwhelm

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As we are gearing up for Thanksgiving it is time to make sure that we are organized so we can get through Thanksgiving.  Every year I say, "This year, I'm going to have a plan!!" 

The week leading up to Thanksgiving goes so fast it's almost a blur.  Today I want to share how I organize Thanksgiving week.  By organizing my week I'm able to avoid most of the overwhelm.

Sure I'm not going to lie, I still have overwhelmed times, but who doesn't.  I'm sure Martha Stewart even gets overwhelmed from time to time. 

So let's make your Thanksgiving a little easier this year by sharing the 10 things I do to organize my Thanksgiving week.

Set up your Thanksgiving week timeline

Setting up your Thanksgiving week timeline will give you a simple guide to follow for the week.  Your timeline will give you what needs to be done when so you don't confuse yourself or work on things that really don't need to be done.

What I like to do is write a list of everything that needs to be completed.  Then I assign a date to that task.  Think about everything that needs to be done, if you just make a huge long list and don't assign dates chances are that list will overwhelm you.

Avoid the overwhelm this year by putting a timeline in place.  

Here's an example:

  • Shopping needs to be done on Tuesday
  • Set the table on Wednesday
  • Make cranberry sauce on Tuesday
  • Bake pies on Wednesday
  • Chill drinks on Tuesday (after grocery shopping)
  • And so on...

Hopefully, this will help you this year.

Shopping list and menu set

Hopefully, you've done this already but if you haven't, sit down and do this now.  Figure out your sides and desserts.  Chances are you already know what your main dish will be (turkey).

Once your menu is complete, it's time to scour your pantry and kitchen for items that are needed for your Thanksgiving feast.  

If you'd like more info about putting your menu and shopping list together, click here to learn more.

What needs to be cooked when

When you are putting your timeline together, you'll want to know what is going to be cooked when.  

Do you have a frozen turkey?  If so, when will you be thawing it out?  

You'll be able to do some prep ahead work like chopping veggies, baking pies, making cranberry sauce (if you're doing that from scratch), and so on.

Make a list of your menu, then put a date next to the item, that will be your cooking date.

Organize guests check on RSVP's

The week leading up to Thanksgiving you'll want to organize the guest list and do a final RSVP check.  If people haven't let you know yet because they were unsure, chances are they know their schedule now.

Give your guests that are a maybe a call and check.  This will help you finalize so many things.

Create seating chart

I have found putting a seating chart together is a life saver.  Whenever we have a huge gathering certain people want to sit next to certain people.  

If new people are coming to dinner you'll want to place them next to the people they already know and feel comfortable with.

This simple set helps avoid those headaches.

Make sure you have serving pieces, place settings

To avoid the Thanksgiving panic of not having enough place settings to go around or enough serving pieces, it is important to check to make sure you have enough of everything.

After you've organized your guest list and finalized your menu, pull out all of your serving pieces and assign a dish and a serving utensil to that piece.  Then make sure you have enough forks, knives, spoons, plates, and so on.

Create your cleaning schedule

Instead of doing all of your house cleaning on one day, I like to split it up.  Set up a cleaning schedule so you can get all of the cleaning done during the week.

If you'd like to learn more about setting up a cleaning schedule and how to host a stress-free Thanksgiving click here to learn more.

Ask for helpers

So often we feel that we need to do everything ourselves and that is not true!  When you are finalizing your guest list, ask for help.  You can have people come early so they can help you set the table, mash the potatoes, or even do some vacuuming.  

Whatever jobs you have that you need help with just ask.  People love to feel needed and are usually willing to help.

Ask for people to bring a dish

This is a lot like asking for help.  Since you are hosting you already have a huge job.  You are opening up your home to your friends and family.  

When you are inviting people to dinner, people often ask, "Is there anything I can bring?"  Take them up on their offer and ask them to bring a dish.  

Are they known for a dish?  Have them bring that.  Are their dishes that you just don't want to make but people request it?  Have them bring that.

Just ask for help.  This will help with the overwhelm.

Holiday survival bundle

Inside the Holiday Survival Bundle, you'll receive a complete Thanksgiving planner, Christmas planner, and 15 how-to videos that will help you create an entire stress-free holiday season.

Here's what you'll learn:

  • Create your 4 week Thanksgiving timeline
  • Set your Thanksgiving budget
  • Create your menu and shopping lists
  • Create routines to get you through the holiday season
  • Create your 6 week Christmas timeline
  • Set your Christmas budget
  • Create your gift list and gift giving plan
  • 6 LIVE homemade gift workshops
  • And WAY more!

Here's what you'll receive:

  • Thanksgiving planner separated into 6 categories
  • Christmas planner separated into 8 categories
  • 15 video tutorials
  • 6 Homemade gift live workshops
  • Private Facebook group

To learn more and join us click the button below.

Now if you're not sure about the Holiday Survival Bundle and you still need a little bit of help you can download the free Stress-Free Thanksgiving Workbook below.

Inside the workbook you'll get:

  • Stress-Free Thanksgiving checklist
  • 4-week Thanksgiving timeline worksheet
  • Guest list worksheet
  • Thanksgiving helpers worksheet
  • Who's bringing what worksheet
  • Thanksgiving menu worksheet
  • Master shopping list

In this post, I shared 10 tips that I do everything to organized my Thanksgiving week to avoid overwhelm.  Thanksgiving is a very stressful time and I hope these tips have helped you to organize yourself.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Below I've added a few other posts that you might find useful.

Jenn