by Cindi SutterChief Communicator & Editor of Spirited Table® - Excerpted from The REAL SIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room by the Editors of REAL SIMPLE. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Thanksgiving is 10 days out! It’s time to organize the dining room and yes, that means wherever you’re choosing to eat Thanksgiving dinner. It can be indoors, outdoors (for some of you lucky peeps), dining room, breakfast room or screen porch. These tips are vital to maintaining peace of mind, an organized layout and if you do it now, you will feel so much better NOW!

This is Cindi’s 2 cents tip#1

Usually the first thing your guests might want, is a cocktail or wine. So if you have a bar or bar cart, great. If not, use a fold-up table or any kind of open sided table to display the choices you’re ready to serve. Yes, of course someone will ask for something not on your bar or table, and that’s quite alright, just be ready with the basics that your friends and family usually choose.


Next up, a few tips from the pros.

This is Cindi’s 2 cents tip#2. Clean up the dining room in the next few days, if you can.

Then, if you have kids/grandkids who like to help out, when they arrive, give them a “table setting” job: like folding the clothe or paper napkins and tying a ribbon around them. (get over the fact the ribbon might not be perfect). If you’re using placemats, or a table clothe, let them do that too.

You can definitely set the table ahead of time with the plates, flatware, and even glasses. One checklist item to do ahead of time, is to choose your serving dishes and put a note in them as to what goes in each bowl or platter. Farm that one out to the kids too…

This is Cindi’s 2 cents tip#3

Some of you might be thinking, I have 15-20 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner, so where do I put them if my dining table seats 6? Use the breakfast room table or bar, card tables or patio tables. Or if you’re still short, do what I did, go to a antique mall (cheap, not fancy) and buy metal trays: Yes, these are from yesteryear, but guess what, they work. They provide a flat surface for the plate in lieu of in their lap. One tip on this is no stemmed wine glasses on the tray.