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Lifestyle & Design

How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space

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How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space Expand options

With Thanksgiving’s imminent arrival, you may be starting to become a little stressed about your hosting duties, especially if it needs to be done in a small space.

Many of us living in confined circumstances avoid hosting events, using the limited room as an excuse. However, eventually, we need to put our hand up to provide a delicious Thanksgiving meal for our loved ones. In contrast, maybe it is your dream to host Thanksgiving, but you have never had the confidence to do so because you never knew How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space.

Whether you live in a compact investment property or a cosy apartment building, it doesn’t mean you can’t host your friends and family come Thanksgiving. From planning and preparation to cooking and decorating, we have listed some helpful tips on How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space.

Choose your guests wisely

Understandably, it is tempting to add guests closer to the big day, that extra friend, a forgotten Aunty, your cousin’s new boyfriend; but you can’t invite everyone. Unfortunately, it is a compromise that you cannot avoid when you host Thanksgiving in a small space.

You have to choose your guest wisely and avoid the guest list blowing out. Not only do too many guests make catering in a small kitchen so much harder, but it also makes your space more crowded and claustrophobic.

Furthermore, ensure you have an RSVP on your invites, and if you haven’t received a reply by the said date, send a gentle reminder. Knowing the number of mouths to feed and guests to accommodate is crucial to hosting Thanksgiving in a small space.

Food planning and preparation

Preparation is a significant step to hosting an event and is even more critical when hosting in a small space. As small spaces come with compact kitchens, preparing food needs more thought, factoring in fridge size, oven capacity and cupboard storage space.

It is recommended to prepare food over a few days and mix cold platters, oven-roasted meat and vegetables and reheat-able gravy and sauces. That way, you are not overusing one appliance, with your modest kitchen sharing the load for a delicious Thanksgiving feast.

And do not over cater. Sure, no one wants to run out of food and leave guests famished, so plan your menu and quantities precisely, including a margin for the hungrier folk. But, there is no need to buy food in bulk that would see you through a blizzard.

Ask for help

Don’t be shy; if you need guests to bring a plate, just ask. Thanksgiving is a time to bring close relatives together, and you may be surprised how many people would be happy to contribute.

Asking people to bring a plate lifts enormous stress off your shoulders as a cluttered and overworked kitchen can soon turn a fun get-together into a panicked disaster. Plus, it gives your guests the chance to show off a favorite dish.

So put your time and energy into taking care of the mains and let the starters, snacks and desserts come to you. Just make sure you allocate a dish to each guest; the last thing you want is a dessert overload without any appetizers.

Set up your space in advance

A significant factor in hosting Thanksgiving in a small space is how the room is utilized. It is wise to set up your space in advance and tinker as the days pass to get the perfect arrangement. Plus, having your space set up before Thanksgiving arrives ticks off another job, freeing up valuable time on the day of your big event.

The space needs to flow with an unrestricted path from the front door to the dining table and easy access to the bathroom. This may mean pushing unneeded furniture against the wall, moving it into the bedroom, or getting creative by using coffee tables to serve food and ottomans as extra seating.

Also, don’t forget to check you have enough plates, cutlery, chairs and glasses. Don’t worry if they do not match; it adds to the fun and charm of hosting Thanksgiving in a small space. And once again, don’t be shy to ask people to bring something if needed.

Declutter, decorate and set the ambience

You don’t need to change the personality of your small space, but it helps to declutter it by clearing tabletops and benches, storing appliances and clothes, and making your home office disappear for the day. Also, don’t forget to have a place to keep guests’ coats and bags, with a bedroom being the best choice.

Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving decorating is less dramatic, but it is still essential to create a welcoming and comfortable environment. String lighting, table cloths, candles and placemats are all easy and effective ways to make things a little more aesthetically pleasing.

It is also crucial to let the small space vent to create a fresh aroma before guests arrive. We often become too familiar with home scents, so open the windows leading up to Thanksgiving to let fresh air circulate and light some scented candles. And let’s not forget to have some suitable background tunes playing to set the ambience.

Take things outdoors

If you are hosting Thanksgiving in a small space, why not take things outdoors. It is ok to change things up from traditional indoor celebrations; if anything, it is your secret weapon. Taking things outdoors is a great way to break up the day and relieve the pressure of hosting in a small space.

If you have a small family, you can plan a Thanksgiving picnic at a nearby park so guests can still use your facilities when needed. Otherwise, keep your delicious dinner indoors as planned, with everyone snug around the dining table for some yummy food and head outdoors later.

Why not take the family, a few drinks and a blanket down the park to chill for a few hours or try a new sport like disc golf which can be played at all ages. All friends and family will undoubtedly enjoy a different Thanksgiving touch and the time outdoors. Just be sure to let them know in advance to bring attire to suit the climate and activity.

Don’t forget to enjoy Thanksgiving in your small space

Most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy Thanksgiving in your small space. Often Thanksgivings that require a bit more creative thinking are the best ones.

By using these helpful tips on How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space, you can be confident of pleasing all your guests with delicious food in a welcoming environment to deliver a Thanksgiving to remember.


Luke Carlino is a freelance writer & social media manager from Melbourne, Australia. He works with many clients across many sectors creation a range of content to suit varying needs. He is also a musician in the band We Move Like Giants, which you can check out here.

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