Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time in a Rental PropertyAlthough your rental is not your permanent home, you can still treat it like one. You should show off your rental property by hosting Thanksgiving for your family and friends!

Even if Thanksgiving is your favorite holiday — with the food, the family, and the football, what’s not to love? — the prospect of hosting Thanksgiving for the first time can be daunting, especially if you just moved into your rental property.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t put on a big celebration, though. We have some tips for hosting Thanksgiving in your rental property that will keep you stress-free.

Hosting Thanksgiving in Your Rental Property

Lots of Lists

Hosting Thanksgiving means you’ll be making lists — and lots of ‘em. First up: a list of who to invite. Send out invitations by the first week so guests can RSVP by the second. Be sure to let guests know to bring a dish or a drink to your dinner. By hosting Thanksgiving, you are the unofficial ringleader of the meal, and you don’t want any repeat dishes (or too little of one food).

Once your guests have RSVPed and you have an accurate head count, you can plan how much food to make — and how big your bird needs to be. Compile the recipes you plan to make and create a shopping list so that you can get everything you need. (Tip: don’t attempt a dish for the first time when you’re hosting Thanksgiving — you want something you’re comfortable with cooking!)

Make a Schedule for Hosting Thanksgiving

Part of hosting Thanksgiving involves being organized with your time. In week one, send out invitations and start tidying up your rental home. In week two, confirm your head count, start your grocery list, and buy any non-perishable items you can. In week three, complete your cleaning and prepare guest rooms, plus finish purchasing your groceries. In week four, focus on actually hosting Thanksgiving!

Tidy Up & Add Some Decorations

In the weeks leading up to hosting Thanksgiving, tidy up the interior and exterior of your rental property. Dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and sweeping will do wonders, as will raking leaves outside. If there is any maintenance that needs to be done, be sure to contact your landlord or your property management company.

Hosting Thanksgiving isn’t all work. When things are tidied up, feel free to add in a little fall flair to your rental home to make it feel even cozier. Try some pumpkins and mums at the front door, a gourd and maize centerpiece on the table, and acorn-filled vases on the mantel.

Space Planning

Before you start hosting Thanksgiving, be sure to do some space planning. When you have your head count, you will know how many people you need to fit in your rental property, which will determine where you will sit for the big meal. If your guests won’t all comfortable fit in the dining room, feel free to move the party to the living room. Be sure to bring in any extra seating as needed.

Hosting Thanksgiving: The Week Of

To make hosting Thanksgiving less stressful on the actual day, be sure to follow these steps:

  • Cook whatever you can ahead of time, including side dishes (reheat them in the oven) and desserts. Working ahead always makes hosting Thanksgiving easier!

  • Set your table in advance, not the day-of; this will make hosting Thanksgiving go more smoothly.

  • Wash dishes and clean as you go. That way you won’t have a massive pile at the end of the night, and your guests won’t see your rental property in a messy state.

  • Pull blankets and pillows out ahead of time to accommodate any turkey comas.

  • Smile and breathe. Enjoy yourself! Hosting Thanksgiving is about enjoying company with family and friends.

Ready to try hosting Thanksgiving? If you follow these steps, hosting Thanksgiving in your rental property should be a snap!

Have you ever tried hosting Thanksgiving? Let us know how things went in the comments.