Get Your Home Ready to Host Thanksgiving with These 17 Projects

Company is coming! Make sure your house is shipshape and that your guests will be comfortable by getting these important tasks done before Thanksgiving.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

1 / 17
open oven

Fix Your Oven

Whether you expecting 20 or two guests, if you’re hosting the holidays, you’ll be responsible for much of the cooking. Get your oven in working order before Thanksgiving Day. A oven that won’t heat or a gas burner that won’t light are common problems that you can often fix yourself, usually in less than an hour.

It’s best to check your oven early, several weeks before Thanksgiving at least. Appliance repair techs are busy this time of year, and it could take some time before they can get to your house for a more involved repair.

2 / 17
Stock the Bathroom
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Stock the Bathroom

Make sure to stock the bathroom your guests will be using with plenty of toilet paper and clean towels. And put a package of cleaning wipes under the sink so you can quickly clean up the sink, counter and toilet when needed.

When inviting guests into your home, try to think of the things they might need so they don’t have to ask. Consider providing toothpicks, air freshener, and anything else that will increase their comfort.

3 / 17
Check Plates, Glasses and Silverware
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Check Plates, Glasses and Silverware

Make sure you'll have enough plates, glasses, silverware and serving dishes for all your guests and holiday meals. And if you think you'll need more of anything, ask a friend or neighbor if you can borrow what you need.

Wash your dishes as you cook so the things you need are clean when guests arrive. Like the oven, check to make sure your dishwasher is working well before company arrives. You can fix a dishwasher that won’t drain yourself, but for bigger problems, you may need to call a pro.

4 / 17
Clean the Refrigerator
Andrew Rafalsky/Shutterstock

Clean the Refrigerator

Be honest here—anything that is expired or hasn't been touched in months should be tossed. Empty out the fridge and scrub the shelves and walls with a mix of half vinegar and half water. Cleaning out the fridge will get your kitchen ready for thanksgiving because now you'll have more room to store your delicious leftovers.
5 / 17
Clear the Clutter

Clear the Clutter

Look for any clutter around the living room, entryway, kitchen and any prime places people will gather. Get rid of old mail, magazines, newspapers and spent candles. Dust the coffee and end tables, mantel and media center, this will help get your home ready for thanksgiving.
6 / 17
Is the Fireplace Ready for Thanksgiving?
Image Source/Getty Images

Is the Fireplace Ready for Thanksgiving?

If you haven't used it yet this season, there are several things you should do to make sure your fireplace is ready for winter. Inspect your fireplace and chimney before starting a fire, and clean and repair anything that needs it. Your Thanksgiving company will appreciate this task. But remember: Safety first!
7 / 17
Clean the Blinds and Wash the Curtains
Simon Kadula/Shutterstock

Clean the Blinds and Wash the Curtains

Here's another chance to get honest with yourself. When was the last time you wiped down the blinds or washed the living room curtains? Pet fur and dander, dust and mildew can all wreak havoc on those with allergies. Get your home ready for thanksgiving and prepare for all of your guests health needs.
8 / 17
Clean the Oven
Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Clean the Oven

It's great that your mother-in-law said she'd bring her famous green bean casserole to bake at your house. But do you really want her to see the current situation in your oven? Get it cleaned before she shows up without using harsh chemicals.
9 / 17
Ready the Guest Bedroom

Ready the Guest Bedroom

If you're having overnight guests for the holidays, be sure to get all the bedding, including sheets, blankets and comforters washed before they arrive. Clean the ceiling fan (or fix it if it's wobbly), wash the rug and make sure the room is vacuumed and dusted. Get the folding bed out of storage if necessary.
10 / 17

Build a Bigger Table

No, we aren't talking a feat of woodworking precision, but a simple sawhorse thanksgiving table that is a snap to set up for entertaining and folds down when not in use. And sawhorses are very easy to build and you can use an old door or other flat slab of wood (or melamine) as the tabletop. Whether covered with a tablecloth or left as a rustic centerpiece, your entire family will be happy with enough room to dine in style.
11 / 17
Check Dining Chairs
Family Handyman

Check Dining Chairs

Test out all the dining chairs you plan to use to get your dining room ready for thanksgiving and fix any chairs that are wobbly. And if you think you'll need extra chairs, check with neighbors or friends to see if they have any you can borrow.

Thanksgiving celebrations usually involve large gatherings of family and friends sharing a meal. Once you’ve fixed your chairs, be sure there are enough to seat everyone at the Thanksgiving table.

12 / 17
Reupholster Dining Chairs
Family Handyman

Replace Upholstery

Do you have a dining room chairs with worn or torn fabric? Don’t worry! You can replace the fabric with a design of your own choice. In fact, you may be able to make it better than ever!

13 / 17
welcome mat

Stop Dirt and Dust at the Door

It would be hard to prove, but it is commonly held that approximately half of the dirt and dust in your home gets inside on your shoes and boots. Keep door mats at each exterior door, one outside and one inside to be extra careful. Shake them out away from open windows and wash or hose them down regularly.

14 / 17
Get a Cooking Caddy for Convenience
Family Handyman

Get a Cooking Caddy for Convenience

Here's a kitchen storage and organization ides: Keep condiments and spices in an easy-to-carry rack to free up countertop space. You always want salt, cooking oils and your favorite spices next to the stove because you use them every day. But they don't have to take up valuable counter space full time. Place them all in a caddy that you can instantly stow in a cabinet after cooking. You'll find caddies in various shapes, sizes and prices at any store that sells kitchenware.
15 / 17
Zigzag Mountain Art/Shutterstock

Pretty Up Your Pantry

You can easily organize your dry goods by storing them inside jars and canisters. Not only can you create uniformity in your pantry storage this way, but you can also see at a glance where your lentils, rice, or oats are stashed. Arranging these jars on display on open shelves can also give your kitchen a rustic, homestead-chic look.

16 / 17
can rack storage kitchen cabinet

Keep Food Organized

Use those leftover closet racks as cabinet organizers. Trim the racks to length with a hacksaw and then mount screws to the backside of the face frame to hold the racks in place. The backside of the rack simply rests against the back of the cabinet. Now you can easily store and find your cranberry sauce and the rest of your inventory at a glance with this pantry storage solution.

If you need to go out and grab a few last-minute food items, make sure you know the stores closed on Thanksgiving this year.

17 / 17
Deb Pike

To-Go Containers

This DIY kitchen organizer is made of birch veneer cabinet-grade plywood and can be placed inside a cabinet or on a pantry shelf. Make your own to custom fit your extra to-go containers and your kitchen.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.