The week before Thanksgiving is so stressful for me. It seems like there are a million things that need to be taken care of, and there’s just not enough time to get it all done.
If you’re like me let me offer you a few pieces of advice. First off, don’t stress it. Even if Thanksgiving Day isn’t perfect the world will continue to turn. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about being thankful, so breath and be thankful.
Take a little bit of time and create a plan that will work for you. For me that looks like creating a list of everything I want to get done between now and Thanksgiving. Then I look at what of these things are critical to get done and what is okay if it doesn’t. After that I pull up ClickUp (probably my favorite app, and yes, they do have a robust free version), and plan out my days. I look at how long each task is going to take me and what is the best day to get it done.
Not everyone plans the way I do, and that is perfectly okay. The point here is to have a plan. No, things are not going to go exactly as you planned, but just like having a budget, it allows you to make more informed decisions based on what is coming up.
I’m going to real with you here… I have a tendency to get overwhelmed even when I have a plan. It’s just part of who I am (having 50 or more people coming to my house may have something to do with that). Something I have had to learn is how to eat an elephant… You’ve heard it before. One bite at a time. Start with one thing, get it done, move on to the next thing. Simple as that. Focus and stay focused until that task is done.
So what tasks should you consider for your plan?
- What needs to be cleaned
- What food are you cooking
- What groceries are you going to need
- Is there anyone that needs transportation
- Are there any special needs you need to account for
Here’s an example of my plan:
-What needs to be cleaned? Uhm… everything…. Heck, we live in the country, I’m just going to make sure the tables are cleaned off, bathrooms are not disgusting, and the kitchen doesn’t look like a tornado went through there. Other than that I’ll do a quick pick up in the living room and my bedroom (since we only have 2 bathrooms people are going to use the master bathroom).
-What food am I cooking? Turkey needs to be brined and put on the smoker (Brad will be responsible for that) Pies and cookies can be made a couple days before or that morning (don’t forget the whipped topping). Ham needs to go in the oven, mashed potatoes can be made that morning. Oh, ice-cream needs to be started like today so there’s enough time to get my 5 batches cooled and frozen. What else…. Veggie tray can be prepped a few days before, stuffing done that morning….
-Grocery list is made as I put together the meal plan and kept on my phone. If you’re looking for a great app to keep up with your recipes, meal plans, and grocery list you should check out Paprika 3. It’s simply amazing and totally worth spending the money for it.
-Transportation… I’m not leaving the house, so everyone is on their own figuring a way out here. But I do need to put together directions and a map so they can find us. And a sign, I should probably get the sign hung by the road and maybe some arrows…
-Special needs depend on the weather out here. I need to make sure the wood burning stove is up and running since most of us will be on the back patio. Probably should check to see if I need to put something together for a ramp to get inside for those that have trouble with stairs. There are plenty of veggies for those who don’t eat meat, some bread free options, and some dairy free options too.
Knowing how many people we are expecting I may have put together my plan a couple of weeks ago… But what can I say, I’m not a last minute person.
If you’re having trouble putting together a plan I’ve created a little cheat sheet packet just for you. Just subscribe to our monthly newsletter (top of the page) and it will be sent to you right away.
Now I’m going to get back to getting my stuff ready for next Thursday. If we don’t talk before then I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! May you get a food coma and spend the rest of the day relaxing!