When you are a Type A person, nothing causes more excitement and stress than planning for a big event. Lists! Checklists! Organizing! Spreadsheets! Those words are like crack to my people. But at least in my case, I tend to go overboard and make things more complicated than is really necessary.
A few years ago Troy and I decided to take on Thanksgiving for our extended family. Until then it had been hosted at my in-law’s home. Due to my mom needing wheelchair accommodations to access houses, and having specific needs to be away from the home for more than a few hours, having the big day at our house made the most sense. Not to mention that with my parent’s apartment downstairs, it meant my house has two dishwashers, two ovens, and two stoves!
For someone who loves to cook and entertain, Thanksgiving is my Superbowl. Of course the first year we hosted was when Jack developed a long-standing intestinal issue (not from the food!). The second-year Troy got the flu and everything was canceled which left me with a giant turkey, a huge amount of food, super clean house, and no guests.
This is the year everything will work out. Right? Right!
That first Thanksgiving we hosted, I was still working outside the home. Troy was gone a lot, Jack was in school and before/after school daycare, I was working an insane schedule, and commuting 90+ minutes a day. Oh, and our house had been going through a remodel for the last year. There was just a touch of chaos. Rather than lead myself down a planning stress spiral, I did what I do best. I made a list! 🙂
Due to our schedules, I couldn’t do everything in the last few days leading up to Thanksgiving. But I could commit to spending some time each day over ta few weeks to get the house ready and all my ducks in a row. Why create the wheel and start from scratch? Today I am sharing my anal-retentive Thanksgiving checklist. I have included a printable if you feel the need to print one out for yourself. And if you have made it this far into a Thanksgiving checklist post, chances are you’re as sick as I am. 😉
As with anything in life, some items will apply to you and some won’t. Homes are different, situations are different, and preferences vary wildly. If you see a task that doesn’t apply to you (before our remodel, I used to have to vacuum our 70’s popcorn ceiling before events!), simply ignore it or sub in your own. I’ve even included some blank lines for you to modify the list to meet your own needs.
One of my favorite ways to kick off the planning for a big event is to go through the house and declutter. Set a goal as to the number of large trash bags you will donate, rehome, or toss. Clutter is confining and inhibits creativity and efficiency. And it stresses me the hell out. So starting off with a clean slate is important to me.
And like all good Type A planners, the very first thing on the list is to make a list. Go ahead and check that one off as soon as you hit print. Instant gratification is good for the soul!