Thanksgiving Clean & Safe Checklist
We expect a full house for Thanksgiving. For the first time in years.
And I can tell you what I expect in the run-up to Turkey Day…
Karen is going to have me working like a mad man.
I don’t know how things work in your house, but it seems like when guests are expected at my home, we have to pretend like nobody lives here.
Absolutely no clutter. Nothing out of place. And various decorative things finding places of high importance.
I may not know where the phone charger is anymore (it has been moved to an undisclosed location). But you can bet, there will be THROW PILLOWS!
In all seriousness, having a clean home for guests is a great way to make things both inviting and safe, for everyone.
So, over the years, I’ve developed a little cheat sheet that makes the best impression with the people that matter (mostly Karen) and means the least amount of work for me.
Start with the porch or entryway. Sweep the porch, and if you have a welcome mat, shake it out. And no smudges on the front door, in the name of all that’s holy…
Then it’s time to straighten and declutter the living areas. I like to grab a laundry basket and pick up any spare anything that makes it seem like I live here (I kid). But you can quickly move around the room, fluff pillows, fold throw blankets, and then do a quick dusting of the shelves and table.
The guest bedroom and bath are the main focus after that. Disinfect all surfaces, clean the mirrors, and put out fresh clean towels. I sometimes leave a bottle of American DreamZZZ in the guest bedroom too, because sleep routines can get out of whack in a bed that’s unfamiliar.
Then, it’s off to the kitchen. This is going to be my home for a few days before the big event, as I do most of the cooking.
I don’t typically have dishes to wash (I stay on top of that) but I do give everything – the stove, the sink, the counters – a healthy disinfecting.
After that, it’s a good workout with the vacuum (my dog does make herself known around here), punch up the air purifier full blast, and admire my handiwork.
So now your home is ready. But when it comes to health and safety, especially when cooking for guests, some other reminders are in order.
Always work with clean, freshly washed hands when handling food. Make sure you clean and disinfect all surfaces that are touching food too.
And planning on a big turkey? Be sure to get a meat thermometer now, before the big day. Your turkey is good to go when it registers 165 degrees in three places:
- The thickest part of the breast
- The inner thigh
- And the inner wing
If you pull it out of the oven and it’s close, you’re in good shape while it rests. A turkey tends to keep cooking slightly after you pull it out, before it’s carved.
Even with all the work ahead of me, I am super excited for a more normal holiday.
Get a jump on your prep now, so it’s easier when the day comes.
Just remember to ask where the phone charger went.