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How to Prep for a Stress Free Thanksgiving

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappyThanksGathering #CollectiveBias

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  It’s a day of family, food and togetherness that I wait for all year.  There is nothing quite like a warm house full of people I love, the smell of delicious food and the sound of laughter all day.  Depending on who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner, my stress level can vary quite a bit.  When someone else is hosting I wake up that morning, prepare a dish and head out the door with my family.  When I am hosting, it’s a whole other ball game.  There are weeks of prep, planning, and cleaning that can cause enough stress to take all the warm fuzzies out of Thanksgiving.  I have learned that if I plan and prepare, I can host an amazing dinner without the stress and still enjoy one of my favorite holidays.  Let me show you how I prep for a stress free Thanksgiving.

How to prep for a stress free Thanksgiving, plus a simple wheat centerpiece. #HappyThanksGathering #ad

The key to an enjoyable and low-stress Thanksgiving is planning.  Not only for the big meal but for all the other tasks that need to be done before company arrives.  Today I am sharing a checklist that I use to prep for Thanksgiving.  It is meant to be started and used about three weeks prior to your event.  Print off a copy, add in a few items that will be specific to your needs and stick to your plan.  Read on to see how I use my checklist, plus a tutorial for a simple Thanksgiving Centerpiece.

Download Your Thanksgiving Prep List Here

simplify your holidays post link

When family comes to my home I want them to feel at home and be comfortable.  One way is to make sure my home is clean.  I want my parents to relax on the sofa without sticky fingerprints next to them.  I want my nieces and nephews to play on the floor without getting crumbs in their hair.  A good cleaning plan, spread out over a couple of weeks, is key to creating a comfortable and inviting setting for guests.

I break down my cleaning by room, then by time.  A couple weeks ahead of time I deep clean and organize.  If I am having guests spend the night I make sure my guest room and bath are clean and well stocked.  I aim for simple and easy cleaning solutions that will keep my rooms shiny until my guests arrive.  One of the products I use in the guest bath is Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel.  This handy little tool dispenses a gel stamp under the rim of my toilet that keeps it fresh and clean for up to 7  days.  This is exactly what I need when I am trying to clean {and keep clean} a whole house. Find Scrubbing Bubbles® on Facebook and Twitter @ScrubbingBubbles ƒ for more cleaning ideas and motivation.

How to prep for a stress free Thanksgiving #ad #HappyThanksGathering

A week before the big day, I deep clean my kitchen and dining area.  I know this will be a well-loved room on Thanksgiving, but I need to start with a clean slate before all that cooking.  I look for easy to use effective products for cleaning my home.  One of those products is Windex® Original Glass Wipes.  I grab a wipe for my patio doors, then do all the windows and glass surfaces.  I get a lot of light in my kitchen and living room, it feels warm and cozy even when it’s cold outside. I want my windows to be free of dirt and fingerprints so that light can shine in.  Find more sparkling clean ideas from Windex® on Facebook and Twitter at @Windex.

How to prep for a stress-free Thanksgiving #HappyThanksGathering #ad

I like to pick up all of my cleaning product in one place.  This month I am stocking up at Walmart on everything I will need to keep my house fresh and clean this holiday season.  You can use this coupon to stock up and take $1 off (2) qualifying cleaning products, plus find more Thanks Gathering inspiration.

Products at Walmat #HappyThanksGathering #ad

In the three weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I lay out when I will complete all the necessary tasks for the holiday.  One of my favorite parts of fall holidays is decorating.  I could create all the fall things, but in reality that would add more stress to the holiday.  I choose a few simple pieces and add them to my planning checklist. I make sure to add in time to shop for and create the decorations.

Easy Natural Thanksgiving Centerpiece

For this piece I purchased one new item, a bundle of wheat, the rest are items I already had at home.


  • 1 bundle of wheat
  • Tin can
  • Hot glue
  • Ribbon

I took apart the bundle of wheat and arranged the pieces around a tin can, hot gluing as I went. Then I wrapped the base in a printed burlap ribbon.

DIY wheat centerpiece for Thanksgiving #HappyThanksGathering #ad

I like to anchor my centerpiece with a tray, something to contain all my pretties. This is really helpful if I need extra room for food on the table, the whole piece can be moved out of the way.  I started this centerpiece with a silver tray I found at a thrift sale last year. I topped it with the wheat bundle I created, added wood candle sticks, pumpkins, pinecones, and a few little natural accessories.

How to prep for a stress free thanksgiving #HappyThanksGathering #ad

Wheat bundle Thanksgiving centerpiece and tips on preparing for a stress free Thanksgiving #HappyThanksGathering #ad

When I plan, and stick to my plan, I can almost guarantee that my Thanksgiving will be low stress.  I encourage you to print off this checklist and use it to plan for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Enjoy your holiday memories and be sure to take lots of photos.  Here is another great coupon that will save you $5  off your holiday photos at Walmart Photo Center.  If you are longing for a Thanksgiving at home this year, find out how you can win a $1000 certificate towards a trip home here.  There is nothing quite like being home for the holidays.

Tell me, how do you plan for Thanksgiving?  What one thing do you do that helps you have a low-stress holiday?

Thanks for visiting!

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JD -

Thursday 5th of November 2015

Love the idea of using a tin can as a base for the wheat! Oh, and what a pretty wheat bundle. The one I found from a big box craft store isn't as realistic-looking as yours. Happy Fall!


JD -


Thursday 5th of November 2015

You are so sweet, thank you. Yes I love crafting with recycled items, it makes the final project that much for interesting.


Tuesday 3rd of November 2015

Thanks for the great tips and the pretty centerpiece! I was actually just wondering about those glass wipes, I will have to go ahead and try them out now.


Tuesday 3rd of November 2015

So glad you found this helpful, yes definitely get those wipes I love having them on hand!

Kim @ This Ole Mom

Monday 2nd of November 2015

Great post-Sarah! Your centerpiece is lovely too. Pinned.

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