Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you accepted the challenge to host Thanksgiving Dinner this year, you might be regretting your decision. Between sending invitations, planning the menu, and contemplating which outfit you wouldn’t mind spilling cranberry sauce on, your thoughts are halfway through next year’s Turkey Trot. The last thing you need to worry about is the size of your home…or how your guests will fit.
But regardless of the size of your space, there’s still plenty of room to see out a successful Thanksgiving Dinner. Read below about our tips and tricks on how to maximize small spaces for large gatherings.
Cluttered, Cramped, and Cranky
To accommodate your guests, start by removing any clutter found around your apartment or house. Take any unnecessary furniture or accessories and store them elsewhere. Clear off flat surfaces and top them with coasters or festive tablecloths. This will offer another place for guests to rest their drinks.
This goes for decorations, too. Keep it simple. Exaggerated decorations can wind up creating more clutter instead of adding a cheerful element.
Not all of us have a dining room table that can accommodate 12 people, so when it comes to hosting a large group of guests it’s important to think outside the box. (Hint: Have an ironing board? Cover it up and turn it into a bar or buffet!)
Try combining a few flat surfaces together, like desks or dressers, to construct a makeshift dining room table. Don’t stress if the height doesn’t measure up – create a non-traditional vibe and separate them with different table cloths. To create even more space, angle the tables diagonally across the living room.
When it comes to seating, utilize all the space you have. Combine your couch, love seat, and chairs to create seating areas. And don’t forget the floor! Pillows, poufs, and blankets offer additional comfort for seating around floor.
Small living spaces typically means a small kitchen. So when you’re finalizing the menu, be realistic about what you can and can’t do in the space you have. The turkey takes up a huge space in both the oven and fridge, so if you’re not bound by tradition, consider ditching the bird altogether!
If you’re determined to braise your own turkey, though, don’t be afraid to ask your guest to bring specific sides.
For the dishes you take on yourself, try prepping and preparing in advance, or opt for dishes that can be made the day before and reheated shortly before serving. Store prepped items in zip-lock bags or stacking storage containers to maximize fridge space.
On game day, remember to clean as you cook! A messy kitchen will only create more stress.
In Good Company
The most important tip is to enjoy yourself. The holidays are perfect for catching up with loved ones, so be sure to spend some time with your guests. Don’t stress if the stuffing didn’t come out as you’d hoped or if dinner is served a little late…you made a whole Thanksgiving spread, which is a big accomplishment!
Be True to Yourself
Whether you’re planning your first Thanksgiving Dinner or designing a custom closet, it’s important to know the kind of space you’re working with. Your best bet is to keep things simple and functional, and to create a welcoming space for your guests.
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just days away. But entertaining in a small space is easy when you let go of traditional dining protocols and create your own style.