Day-by-day Thanksgiving Preparation Timeline

Enjoy a simple, special and stress-free Thanksgiving with our ultimate planning guide.

Whether it’s your first time hosting or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s hard to keep everything in order when prepping for Thanksgiving. Check out this timeline to not only make sure you’ve got everything taken care of, but you’ve done so with time to spare.

Two Weeks Before Thanksgiving
Two weeks out is a good time to order some fresh flowers and/or create non-perishable centerpieces.

One Week Before Thanksgiving
To cover all your bases, remind guests of what to bring (if anything). If family and friends are bringing food, think about your oven space. Let guests know if they’ll be able to reheat dishes at your place or if they should bring them ready to serve.

Thanksgiving Week

Two Days Before

  • Clean up the house
  • Transfer cakes, quick breads and pies to the fridge for thawing
  • Shop for fresh items like produce and bread
  • Prepare make-ahead side dishes and sauces

Day Before
Assemble side dishes like stuffing and casseroles, and then cover and refrigerate until ready to bake the next day. (Be sure to add 3-5 minutes to the bake time of preassembled, refrigerated dishes.)

  • Prepare butter plates, fill salt and pepper shakers and get plenty of ice
  • Set the table

Thanksgiving Day
The big day is here! All your preparation will show when your guests have a seat at your immaculate table for a feast.

  • Cook the turkey
  • Whip cream for pies
  • Program coffee maker to turn on as guests are seated for dinner
  • Warm side dishes in oven or on stovetop
  • Heat bread or rolls
  • Toss salad or cook greens
  • Make gravy
  • Carve the turkey

Most importantly, since you saved so much time doing everything ahead, you can sit back and enjoy a memorable meal with the ones you love.

What’s your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?  or sign up for P&G everyday and let us know in the comments below!



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