How to Prepare Your Space for the Holidays, Part 4

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Over the past three weeks professional organizer Amelia Meena has given Re-Nest readers detailed to-do lists for how to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. If you haven’t already, take a peek at How to Prepare Your Space for the Holidays Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. If you aren’t hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but are opening your home to guests in December, now is the perfect time to begin preparing!

The big week has finally arrived! And thanks to your preparation and organization, the task of hosting Thanksgiving dinner is no longer so daunting. In the next few days, you will tie-up any loose ends and run those last minute errands that will carry you into Turkey Day.

Beautify Your Home

Your guests are arriving this week so take a moment to give your home a touch-up cleaning. A light dusting and vacuum, a quick wipe-down of the bathrooms, along with double-checking your guest bedrooms should suffice. If you have ordered any flower arrangements, pick them up by Tuesday, along with any extra flowers for the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Farmers’ Market

Complete your grocery shopping by purchasing the last few perishable items on your list. You can stop by your local farmers’ market or co-op for your apples, berries, pumpkins, root vegetables, greens and other items. If flowers are on your shopping list, now is the time to purchase them. Many farmers’ markets sell locally-grown, seasonal flowers—the perfect way to spruce-up your home! Maybe even treat yourself to some farm fresh apple cider as well.

Dinner Preparation

If your guests aren’t arriving until later in the week, take advantage of your alone time to get some prep out of the way. Many recipes can be started a day or two before cooking begins, which helps move things along the day of. Take note of which dishes call for slicing, dicing, shelling, pre-cooking, marinades or even mashing (if you boil and peel your potatoes ahead of time, you can leave them in the fridge until you’re ready to mash them on the stove).

Table Setting

If you have already cleaned your dinnerware and silver, you can set the table in advance. Doing this chore early will help you save time once the cooking begins. And your festive presentation of tableware in the fridge will add to the holiday decor in your home.

Thanksgiving Day Schedule

So much will happen this week that it will likely be over before you know it. In order to maintain some steadiness in the midst of holiday excitement, plan a Day-Of Schedule to help you keep track. Things may not stay the intended course; however, giving yourself an overview of what needs to be done will help you manage your time, guests and kitchen. Review what needs to be accomplished on Thursday, beginning with the time you wake-up: are you offering any breakfast/snack foods; last-minute recipe preparations; order of cooking times; when are dinner guests arriving; when will you change and get ready; are there any sporting events, parades, or activities that your guests would like to watch. At the very least, set a dinner time. Everyone will surely want to know what time they’ll be feasting on your wonderful meal!

While all of these things are fun and integral to making Thanksgiving happen, remember that none of them are mandatory. This day is about spending time with loved ones and enjoying each other’s company. Enjoy your time as much as your guests do and be proud that you’re hosting a wonderful day of gratitude, friendship and good eats. Happy Thanksgiving!

About Amelia: AppleShine, Amelia’s professional organizing service, has been in business since 2007. She specializes in office spaces, playrooms, kitchens, garages, bedrooms and closets, special events, and moving services. AppleShine will transform your space by assessing your needs, purging clutter, and creating a personal organization plan for moving forward. Amelia can be contacted at