How To Prepare for Thanksgiving

100+ ideas

Need help planning your Thanksgiving dinner? Grab this printable Thanksgiving checklist and get to planning! The timeline checklist covers everything from what you need to prep ahead of time, to your timeline for cooking.

Here's my step-by-step timeline for hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner.

– Create a guest list. Ask guests about any food allergies. If necessary, ask them to bring a dish. – Invite your guests. Be sure to tell them what time you’re eating. – Confirm you have all the necessary cookware and serving dishes. – Purchase a frozen turkey or reserve a fresh turkey.

One Month Out:

Confirm your menu. Print out all recipes. Read through all the recipes and make any necessary notes. Make a grocery shopping list. Take note of items already in your pantry, and items that still need to be purchased. If you're planning on any special touches such as table decor, gather those items. Find the perfect playlist for your party.

Two Weeks Out:

– Check-in with guests to make sure they are still coming. – Go grocery shopping, and don't forget your grocery list! I like to screenshot the recipe ingredients on my phone just in case I need to peek at them while I'm shopping. Purchase some extra bags of ice for your drinks.

One Week Out:

Deep clean your house. Clean the things that haven't been cleaned in a while, but won't get dirty in the next week.  Begin cleaning out the refrigerator so there’s enough room for Thanksgiving food. If you bought a frozen turkey, put it in the fridge to start thawing. Allow 24 hours of thawing time per 4 or 5 pounds of turkey, as the USDA advises. 

One Week Out:

Swipe up for my entire printable Thanksgiving timeline.