By Drew Knight
With the holidays in full fledge, you may be worried about prepping your new home for the family — because we all know they want to see the new place.
Before you panic about having the whole gang over for the first major holiday, take a moment to breathe. New Home Source has you covered when it comes to prepping your new home for the holidays.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, there are plenty of tips to be learned about hosting a family gathering. Here’s our Thanksgiving preparation guide for your new home:
Choose a Menu
Choosing a Thanksgiving menu is more than just selecting a turkey, throwing together some stuffing and popping in a side of potatoes. It actually takes a little more thought than that.
Are there food allergies in the family? Is a vegetarian coming to the table? So before you start your menu preparations, ask around and find out preferences from your friends and family.
Not really looking forward to cooking everything at home? Make it a potluck. Find out who’s bringing what and if they’ll need any space in your oven or fridge. You don’t want to run out of kitchen space and wind up with an undercooked ham.
For further advice on choosing a Thanksgiving menu, we refer you to these guides from Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart. And for the proper timing for grocery shopping and cooking as the big day approaches, the Food Network has you covered.
Prep Your Kitchen
If you just recently moved in, this step may be a breeze. Still, it’s important that you make plenty of room in the kitchen. Here are a few steps to make the heart of your home Thanksgiving ready:
- Clear your counters. You’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of room for serving dishes, plates, cutting boards and other preparation materials. Nobody likes a cluttered kitchen, especially when preparing multiple dishes.
- Clean the oven. If you’ve been moved in for a while, you might want to take the time to clean out your oven. Nothing ruins that delectable smell of a turkey in the oven than burnt pizza cheese and crust.
- Clean the fridge/freezer. While you’re at it, take a moment to clean out your fridge space. Make double sure you have room for all your serving dishes — and those your guests might be bringing.
- Declutter and take inventory. Make sure you have everything you need and take inventory through your drawers, cabinets and pantry. Do you have enough glasses, silverware and plates for everyone? You might also want to make a list of what you need at the grocery store and what you already have.
- Run the dishwasher. After you’ve ensured you have everything you need, run all your dirty dishes and utensils through the dishwasher one last time. After the meal is served and plates have been picked clean, you’ll thank yourself knowing you have an empty dishwasher.
Set the Table
Finally, it’s time to decorate the star of the show. No, not the turkey, it’s the dining room table. Here are the key points of interest:
- Placemats, napkins and table runners. If you’re not taking the easy way out — paper napkins and plastic silverware — you might want to go shopping for holiday fabrics and placemats. A cohesive and color-coordinated theme can really bring in the holiday feel.
- Plates, glasses and silverware. After you’ve made sure everything is sparkling clean, arrange your eating ware accordingly around the table. Check out The Emily Post Institute’s guide for a formal table setting if you want to be real proper.
- Centerpieces and décor. Last, decorate the table with a holiday centerpiece — nothing too big that you can’t see your family’s shining faces — and a few other decorative items. For inspiration, browse these Thanksgiving table setting ideas from Country Living.
And there you have it, the keys to the best kind of family get-together — the kind where food is served.
Drew Knight is a digital content associate for New Home Source.