Early November
• Invite guests, and if others will be brining dishes keep track of who is bringing what
• Plan out your menu
• Create your grocery and shopping list
• Order anything you’ll need for the big day, such as a fresh turkey or a table centerpiece
• Make a preliminary decision about your table decorations

Two weeks prior
• Begin getting table decorations ready, including cleaning or polishing silver, fine china and glassware, and ironing tablecloths and napkins
• Shop for nonperishable items from your grocery list
• Clean out refrigerator to make room for Thanksgiving items
• Plan what serving dishes or platters will be used to serve each menu item, and use something like an index card to label and designate each dishes use
• Plan for leftovers, including organizing food storage containers and ways to allow guests to take leftovers home
• Create any non-perishable table decorations, such as place cards, centerpiece, fold napkins, etc.
• Plan seating arrangements for all guests, and confirm have enough chairs, plates, glasses, etc.

One week prior
• Create a cooking schedule for the few days prior to Thanksgiving, and by the hour for Thanksgiving day
• Check thawing time for your frozen turkey
• Prepare guests rooms and guests areas for company
• Clean house, including any decorations or clean up on the exterior of your home
4-3 days prior
• Begin to defrost your turkey (depends on the size, so check the article above for tips)
• Confirm what guests are bringing, including serving dishes to be used and cooking or heating needed for those dishes
• Continue any cleaning or decorating that can be done ahead of time

2 days ahead
• Grocery shop for perishable items
• Chill beverages
• Any prep ahead cooking or preparation of ingredients that can be done today, especially from recently bought perishable ingredients

1 day ahead
• Continue prep ahead cooking or prepping ingredients to the extent possible
• Confirm everything in house, including in bathrooms, is ready for guests
• Confirm house cleaning tasks done, especially in kitchen and any rooms where guests will be entertained
• Set table, including with table decorations
• Set out all serving dishes, in order, where they will be used
• Create drink station for guests use during the day and for the meal itself

Thanksgiving day
• Fill condiment dishes (refrigerate as necessary until time for use)
• Assign family members to help with guests, including answering door, taking coats, serving drinks, etc.
• Cook the majority of the meal (use your hour by hour schedule you created earlier to make sure you stay on track)
• Clean up as much as you can, as you cook
• After cooking, add to the serving dishes, have others help you add food, drinks to the table
• Enjoy dinner with family and friends

Courtesy of www.household-management-101.com