Thanksgiving Organization Ideas That’ll Make Your Holiday Prep Even Easier

Check these things off your list now for a super-smooth Thanksgiving holiday.


Jenifoto/Getty Images

Thanksgiving is like the culinary Super Bowl—a make-it-or-break-it feast with a lot of dishes and moving parts. But you can do a lot of prep beforehand to make creating, cooking, and serving your Thanksgiving dinner a whole lot easier for you. 

If you want to make your holiday a lot more chill, try these Thanksgiving organization ideas that’ll make the big day a whole lot easier. 

Make a Thanksgiving Game Plan

Start your Thanksgiving prep early (perhaps even today!), to give yourself plenty of time to get organized. 

Know what you need

As you prep your Thanksgiving menu and plans, start a separate list of all the ingredients, tools, and serving pieces you’ll need for each recipe—and for your overall hosting duties. “Think linens, dishes, glasses, serving platters, guest necessities,” says Ashley Murphy, co-founder of NEAT Method. ”From there, take inventory of what you have currently, to identify any holes that need to be filled. This way, you can get ahead of the holiday shopping rush and take your time picking up any essentials.”

Make sure that everything is ship-shape

Review what you have—including your dishes and table linens—and clean and prep them for the big day. “Now is a good time to polish silver and pre-wash anything that has been gathering dust,” Murphy says. 

Declutter ruthlessly

Exactly how many zesters do you really need? Cull your cabinets and drawers of any extra, broken, or subpar tools and dishes. “You can donate any duplicate kitchen tools, gadgets, or dishes you have that are not used simultaneously,” Murphy says. (So go ahead and keep the extra peeler so you can have an extra hand in mashed potato prep.)

And don’t forget to go through your pantry items and spices too. “Most of us are holding onto expired food without realizing it,” Murphy says. “Once you’ve tossed those items, you’ll likely clear a good amount of space for Thanksgiving shopping.” 

Prep Your Kitchen

You’ll be spending a lot of time in your kitchen in the week before the big day, so try these Thanksgiving organization tips to make it a lot easier for you (and any helpers you’ve got on board) to get the meal prepped. 

Shuffle your pantry items

To make holiday baking and cooking easier, move those items where they’re easy to reach. “Organize each category into labeled baskets and canisters and place your most often used items in your prime real-estate—eye-level shelves,” Murphy says. “Don’t be afraid to rearrange placement, if those categories differ during the holidays. A quick swap is simple when everything is contained.”

Clear the counters

You’re going to need as much room as possible on the big day. So stash any appliances, ingredients, or decorative pieces that aren’t going to be part of your Thanksgiving prep somewhere else. (For instance, if you’ve pulled out the Thanksgiving pantry items already, that may be the best place to stash the toaster or Instant Pot temporarily.)

Create a staging area

“If you have available counter space, we also recommend grouping items that you’re using for each recipe together, a day in advance,” Murphy says. “You’ll ensure a seamless transition from one dish to the next. We also love utilizing glass jars and turntables to beautify frequently used staples like salt, olive oil, and flour on the countertop long term.” 

Label your serving pieces

Place a sticky note on each bowl or platter with what you’re planning to put in it. That’ll make it easy for your helpers to plate the dishes in the last-minute rush to the table.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles