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How to Host Thanksgiving in Your Apartment

While living in a smaller home may mean a little less square footage for entertaining than what’s often shown in Better Homes & Gardens or Southern Living, it’s still possible to throw a feast to remember in your apartment. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can transform your apartment or townhome living room into the perfect setting for Thanksgiving dinner.
 
Keep the Guest List Small
It’s easy for a guest list to snowball and grow. However, to keep things comfortable (and you relaxed), be sure to estimate how many guests can easily fit in your apartment dining area at one time. Request RSVPs in advance so you can plan accordingly – this will help you not only plan your space, but the amount of food you need to make. Also keep in mind the available parking in your neighborhood. You don’t want your guests driving in circles or far away to find a place to park.
 
Take Inventory & Make a Plan
Look around your apartment at areas you can declutter, take inventory of items in your pantry that can be used, and ensure you have enough place settings, dishes, and chairs to host your guests. Some items to check for: a turkey baster, meat thermometer, roasting pan, casserole dishes, hand soap, hand towels, and enough hangers for coats.
 
While it may be appropriate to ask your guests to bring extra chairs or folding tables if needed, however, it’s best to invest in your own kitchen tools and hangers.
 
Start Meal Prepping Early
Plan out your menu and shop several days ahead of time. You can even shop for non-perishable items and squash at least a week in advance. Also, consider items that don’t require an oven. Since you’ll likely be roasting the turkey, side dishes that require baking should either be made ahead of time or brought by guests. Keep Thanksgiving day sides to stovetop items such as green beans, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and other cooked dishes.
 
Make everything you can ahead of time. Many items like pies and casseroles can be made a day or two before Thanksgiving and reheated as needed. Keep in mind that a frozen turkey takes several days to thaw in your refrigerator. Ensure you have plenty of room for it and allow enough time before Thanksgiving Day for thawing.
 
Allow and/or request guests make side dishes or desserts to help ease your workload. However, be sure to keep track of who’s bringing which dish so you don’t end up with duplicates.
 
Clean Ahead of Time
You do not want to be rushing around trying to wrap up cooking and setting the table while cleaning your apartment. Schedule time on your calendar for cleaning the day before – that way your apartment is still fresh and clean for guests, but you won’t be stressing about one more thing to do Thanksgiving day. Cleaning as you cook will keep the kitchen workload manageable, and keep utensils and tools clean to be reused for other dishes. 
 
Do a Little Redecorating
You don’t need an extreme home makeover, however, rearranging your furniture can go a long way in giving guests a little more elbow room. Move unnecessary furniture into other rooms of your apartment that may not be used, such as a guest room or even in the master bedroom, out of the way. Don’t forget to clear out your closet so there’s room for your guests’ coats and purses, too!
 
It's completely acceptable to have multiple dining areas, too. If all guests can’t fit at your dining table, set up an extra table in the living room or a spare bedroom. Coffee tables, folding tables, and TV tables are all acceptable places to dine.
 
If you want to set the mood, investing in some beautiful centerpieces or tablecloths can really spruce up your dining table. Coordinated cloth napkins and placemats in fall colors are always a safe bet, as well as some beautiful LED lighting around your dining area. Some fall décor placed throughout the living & dining rooms and kitchen can also set the vibe.