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Thanksgiving Checklist {Free Printable}

A user-friendly printable Thanksgiving checklist for all type-A planners. If you’re hosting, this Thanksgiving checklist helps you make sure food, cleaning, and other details aren’t overlooked.

two pages from a free thanksgiving checklist

When you are a Type A person, nothing causes more excitement and stress than planning for a big event. Lists! Checklists! Organizing! Spreadsheets! Those words are like crack to my people. But at least in my case, I tend to go overboard and make things more complicated than is truly necessary.

A few years ago Troy and I decided to take on Thanksgiving for our extended family. Until then it had been hosted at my in-law’s home. Due to my mom needing wheelchair accommodations to access houses, and having specific needs to be away from the home for more than a few hours, having the big day at our house made the most sense.

Not to mention that with my parent’s apartment downstairs, it meant my house has two dishwashers, two ovens, and two stoves!

For someone who loves to cook and entertain, Thanksgiving is my Superbowl. Of course the first year we hosted was when Jack developed a long-standing intestinal issue (not from the food!). The second-year, Troy got the flu and everything was canceled which left me with a giant turkey, a huge amount of food, a super clean house, no guests, and an excessive amount of righteous fury.

That first Thanksgiving we hosted, I was still working outside the home. Troy was gone a lot, Jack was in school and before/after school daycare, I was working an insane schedule, and commuting 90+ minutes a day.

Oh, and our house had been going through a remodel for the last year. There was just a touch of chaos. Rather than lead myself down a planning stress spiral, I did what I do best. I made a list!

Due to our schedules, I couldn’t do everything in the last few days leading up to Thanksgiving. But I could commit to spending some time each day over a few weeks to get the house ready and all my ducks in a row.

Today I am sharing my anal-retentive Thanksgiving checklist. I have included a printable if you feel the need to print one out for yourself. And if you have made it this far into a Thanksgiving checklist post, chances are you’re as sick as I am and can already picture how this checklist is going to look laminated.

As with anything in life, some items will apply to you and some won’t. Homes are different, situations are different, and preferences vary wildly. If you see a task that doesn’t apply to you (before our remodel, I used to have to vacuum our 70’s popcorn ceiling before events!), simply ignore it or sub in your own. I’ve even included some blank lines for you to modify the list to meet your own needs.

One of my favorite ways to kick off the planning for a big event is to go through the house and declutter. Set a goal as to the number of large trash bags you will donate, rehome, or toss. Clutter is confining and inhibits creativity and efficiency. And it stresses me the hell out. So starting off with a clean slate is important to me.

And like all good Type A planners, the very first thing on the list is to make a list. Go ahead and check that one off as soon as you hit print. Instant gratification is good for the soul!

Click here to download your free Thanksgiving Checklist

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4 comments on “Thanksgiving Checklist {Free Printable}”

  1. This checklist is most definitely my jam! In fact, last night I was lying in bed fantasizing about my picture perfect Thanksgiving to be and realized that I needed to add “make ice” and “buy food containers” to my list.

    As with you, Thanksgiving is my Super Bowl and I always get so excited. My favorite part of the planning phase is menu editing. I rarely change the menu – most everything is someone’s must-have. But I love reading recipes and toying with the unholy idea that I could just make cheddar garlic biscuits instead of rolls this year (shocking!).

  2. I don’t know how I missed this. We never host (I live with two sever introverts), but I love the idea of this list! Maybe next year I can convince Jared to let me host for Thanksgiving as we will be close enough for some of my family to come visit.