Who says you can’t host Thanksgiving if you have a small home? There’s no reason you shouldn’t wine and dine your loved ones, even in a small house or apartment. However, you’ll need to take a few steps before you’re holiday-ready. Here’s your mini-guide to having Thanksgiving dinner in a small home.
- Be Turkey Smart: If counter and oven space are limited, consider an alternative to roasting a turkey. You can either buy it cooked, or have an A+ guest bring it.
- Prep Ahead: Plenty of turkey accompaniments can be cooked ahead: Think cranberry sauce, rolls, stuffing, pie filling and green beans.
- Be Specific with Guests: Abandon the traditional hostess niceties and tell guests exactly what to bring. They appreciate it, and you need it.
- Clear Out the Fridge: Make space the week before to accumulate ingredients and dishes as you make them.
- Rearrange the Furniture: Cozy spaces can quickly become cramped spaces, so don’t feel opposed to carting some of your furniture to the back porch and rearranging to accommodate movement.
- Bring in Seating: Put your couches and extra chairs to work indoors, set out extra seats outside and ask guests for folding chairs if you need them.
- Get Creative: Find other seating as you can – think apple baskets or milk crates. Yay! Rustic!
Bathrooms + High Traffic Areas
- Preempt Emergencies: Prep your bathroom well, putting lots of TP right next to the toilet and making sure the plunger is highly visible.
- Be Classy: Guests need soap, and they really, really appreciate the ability to cover up embarrassing smells. Have scented hand soap and spray fragrances at the ready.
- Clear Space on Flat Surfaces: You’ll need room for coats, bags and winter wear. Clean off beds and hall tables, and empty out your coat closet. You can pack your own gear into your closet or under the bed until guests are gone.
- Clean Your Fridge: Guests would never admit it, but they want to see a clean fridge when you’re serving them a meal. Clean it out before you stock up on Thanksgiving ingredients.
- Make Bird Space: If you’re buying a turkey, make a sizeable space for it in the fridge before you bring it home so it can thaw/brine without ruining your flow.
- Go Bare Minimum: Resist the temptation when you clean out your fridge to pack a bunch of stuff back in. You’re going to need that space the day before and day of.
- Scour November Deals: Unless you stocked up on post-holiday steals last year, you’ll need to get decorations on the cheap. Mid-November is the best time to shop, before items are at a premium.
- Obey Lease Requirements: Some landlords won’t let you put holes in the wall or string up lights outside, so make sure you know the rules.
- Brighten Up: Bright lighting makes a small room feel even cheerier and more spacious – wipe down fixtures and bulbs with a damp cloth, and never discount the power of a string of fairy lights: Not just for dorm rooms.
See? It’s totally possible to rock Thanksgiving dinner in a small home, and all without tearing your hair out or getting an early start on the eggnog. Go forth and conquer!