Thanksgiving—for dinner guests, it’s a time to come together with family and friends and enjoy a delicious feast of plump turkey, homemade stuffing, buttery mashed potatoes and freshly baked pumpkin pie. For the host, it’s a rather chaotic holiday that entails a crowded kitchen, elbow-to-elbow table space, and a week’s worth of dish duties.
For those of you that envision the latter scenario, we don’t blame you. The holidays present a unique challenge of squeezing 20 plus guests not only into your home, but also your dining room table. And really, who has the space for that?
Thankfully, we found some tips and tricks to help you expand your home just time for your epic Thanksgiving feast.
Keep it simple when planning out your menu: Stick to the classics like turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and avoid any elaborate cheese and cracker spreads that take up your valuable kitchen and table space. Besides, you don’t want your guests to fill up on too many appetizers and miss the main course!
Prepare your food in advance: Is cooking down to the wire on Thanksgiving the norm for your household? While we don’t blame you, prepping most of your dishes ahead of time will save you precious counter space and time. Maybe this year you can even mingle with the guests without the kitchen stress.
Use your space wisely: Stop focusing on what your space doesn’t have. Instead, it’s time to get creative and utilize the space that you do have. Not sure how? HGTV suggests a number of tricks—from transforming your kitchen sink into a cooler by filling it with ice to house beverages to designating your coffee table as a dining area by covering it with a solid white tablecloth and laying out comfy pillows on the floor. The same thought process applies for rooms. If you have a small kitchen but a large living room area, think about having your meal in your living room.
Shift your furniture: Don’t be afraid to rearrange your furniture or move it into another room completely if it isn’t useful for seating guests or serving the meal. If you have any benches or chairs, bring them over to your table to create some extra seating space. If your living room area is feeling cramped, consider moving some of your furniture into your bedroom for the night to create a roomier and more accommodating space.
Consider going buffet-style instead of a formal sit-down: Is your dinner table jam-packed with Thanksgiving dishes? Consider setting up different food stations throughout your kitchen, living room and dining room to give your table (and your guests) some much-needed breathing room.
Drink I.D. please: One of the most tedious parts about hosting a Thanksgiving-worthy feast? The glassware and dishes. Minimize your clean up by using different colored wine charms or writing your guests names on drink stirrers so that they don’t misplace their drinks.
Seating is key: Avoid the game of musical chairs by making sure there are plenty of seating options, whether that means bringing an extra bench over to the dinner table, borrowing some folding chairs from friends or family or setting up some comfy seating in the living room.
Your table setting and décor can change everything: In this case, less is more when it comes to your centerpiece and table décor. Stick to a couple of staple pieces like a fall flower arrangement and rustic candles to liven up your dinner table.
Do you have any other tips or tricks that you’ve used in the past to make more room for your guests during Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments section below.