Now that you have decided what kind of Thanksgiving gathering you're going to have this year, you have to prepare the main gathering location for your friends & family: the Living Room. As your friends & family arrive on Thanksgiving, and they hang their coats in the entry or coat closet (read last post here), they will settle in the living room to chat, laugh, listen to some music, and hopefully dance! In my family, the living room is also where the rest of us spill over to eat standing up, or with plates on our laps. Since not everyone arrives at the same time, it works and becomes a fantastic kind of mayhem in no time!
So from my family to yours, here are 10 tips to prep the living room.
Get help. There were a few of us who arrive earlier, or the day before, to help prep the living room as my Grandmother saw fit. You will also need a crew for the end to help clean, place furniture back, or whatever else you will need help with. AGAIN, utilize the people within your household too!
Clean and disinfect. As we are still in living in a Covid world, and you may have decided to have vaccinated and non-vaccinated alike as guests, clean and disinfect the living room top to bottom. Have a sanitization station in the living room too!
Get things out the way and remove barriers. My grandmother's coffee table was an item that had to move into another room every holiday. The entryway was small so we always had to clear it from packages, and let everyone know to where to place theirs as they arrived. So look at how your friends & family may move throughout the living room and see if there are any large items that block the view, items with sharp edges or made of glass, etc that can be removed and placed elsewhere until the end of the night, or next day.
Remove the extra frills. All those extra pillows on the sofa, books on the coffee table, fragile decor items, etc should be removed depending on number of guests and whether or not there are children. You want to avoid anything valuable being broken, anyone getting hurt, and not having enough room for people and their food or drink.
Remove toys, work, and the gym. Now that more of us are working from home, the living room has been doing more than just double-duty. Not for Thanksgiving! Remove computers, laptops, any fitness equipment, and toys from the space to make room for expecting guests.
Set up the space in your living room you will be using as a food station or bar. this can be done the day before and use those people that will be helping in Step 1 ;-) If you're planning any games, make sure there is room for that too.
Control the flow. Don't be afraid to move furniture around to give the living room a better flow for how you want your friends & family to move, or to make it easier for them to get from one place to the next.
Give other rooms a function. If not everyone fits in the living room, it's a good idea to designate rooms with different functions especially if you're have a large amount of people, or live in an apartment. In my grandmother's apartment, the back bedroom was considered "the men's room" - it's where they can go for some male bonding. The 2nd to last bedroom was the "kids' room" for ages 4+. It's where kids and teens can play, listen to the music they want to listen to, watch the tv they want to see, etc. Giving each room a function allows people to flow through your home as you want them to. Hey, maybe one of your rooms can be the game room!
Have a 2nd-in-command. You want to be able to sit and eat and enjoy yourself too! So pick another person that will be the host(ess) while you're enjoying yourself. TIP: Usually, spouses, parents, and siblings are great choices.
Don't stress and have fun!! In the end, there is no need to be stressed. You are going to be surrounded by people you love and who love you. Who are going to jump in to help where they can. There is no right or wrong way to have Thanksgiving except to not give thanks for those same people you're surrounded by.
Contact me here to help you with your Thanksgiving prep and organization.
Organized by Catherine O organizes all areas of your home, maximizes your space, and problem-solves time management and productivity challenges. We are based in New York City and serve the NYC-Metro area.
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