How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space

Hosting Thanksgiving can be a challenge. Hosting it in a small space can be even trickier. From shopping to cooking to wondering where you’re going to fit your aunt’s giant casserole, there’s a reason this season comes with a side of stress.

Even so, limited room doesn’t make dinner impossible. There are several ways to maximize space while minimizing panic, including the following:

Do as Much as Possible Ahead of Time

From knowing the menu to knowing where the heck you put your oven mitts, Thanksgiving always requires planning ahead. This is especially true when you’re dealing with a small space. So, do anything you can the night before: Clean, bake, prep!

But don’t stop there, keep the planning going. For instance, if your guests are bringing dishes of their own, make sure you know what they’re toting and make suggestions if necessary. Telling them to bring whatever they want risks them opting for something that won’t fit on the table.

Rearrange Your Furniture

We’ve all heard of Feng Shui, so let’s call this Food Shui. Rearranging your furniture is an excellent way to maximize floor space and help guests feel more like people and less like sardines.

Start by removing as much clutter as you can. Clear out coffee tables, floor vases and lamps, desks, and anything else in the way. A good rule of thumb is to temporarily get rid of anything that can’t be sat on. Shove it in a closet or a back bedroom and no one will be the wiser.

Consider Fridge Space

While a small fridge may suffice under normal conditions, hosting Thanksgiving, or any dinner for that matter, can make the lack of shelf space an issue.

Fortunately, there are small things that alleviate this problem. For instance, consider opening red wines rather than white wines, as the latter requires refrigeration. You might also emphasize dishes that don’t need cold storage. Finally, consider sending your guests home with leftovers, or better yet, donate your spares.

Nix the Centerpiece

Centerpieces are designed to draw attention, which is why they’re typically large and obvious. A cornucopia, in particular, is the perfect touch for a Thanksgiving utopia, but only when space isn’t at a premium.

Skipping the cornucopia doesn’t mean you have to ditch all the decorations; there are plenty of accessories that’ll get you in the holiday spirit without an assist from the dinner table. Consider stringing up festive lights or hanging a fall-themed wreath on the front door. Even turkey-shaped salt and pepper shakers can enhance the ambiance without taking up room.

Limit the Guest List

Perhaps the simplest way to host Thanksgiving in a small space is by controlling the number of people attending. Limiting the guest list isn’t always easy, especially if you have a big family, but being selective can save a lot of elbow room and make your party more enjoyable (for you and your guests!).

There will always be certain people you have to invite, like your parents, your siblings, and, yes, your mother-in-law, yet there are also guests outside the bubble. If space is limited, it might not be the best time to ask neighbors, co-workers, or your kickball team to join you.

When it comes down to it, hosting Thanksgiving is stressful whether you host it in an apartment or a grand ballroom. The above tips won’t assure that everything goes smoothly, but they will help you prepare. Thanksgiving might be a day that centers around food, but the last thing you want to do is “wing” it.

The Habitat Apartments are located in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. We offer apartments and townhomes that feature a unique living experience. From fireplaces, private patios, and outdoor kitchens to fire pits, a heated swimming pool, and pet-friendly amenities, our units help home feel like an escape. Contact us today to learn more.

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