So you decided to host Thanksgiving and now that it’s a week away you don’t know where to begin. Sound familiar? Most Thanksgiving hosts have felt this way at some point. Fortunately, the team at Dependable Repair Services put together a Thanksgiving planning timeline to get you from menu planning to that first bite of turkey without breaking a sweat.

A Thanksgiving Planning Timeline for Success

The key to how to plan Thanksgiving is sticking to a schedule. That’s why we’ve outlined a Thanksgiving planning timeline that starts a week in advance to give you all the prep time you need. Now you can have a Thanksgiving that ends with a slice of pumpkin pie and not an exhausting headache.

One Month Before Thanksgiving

And speaking of headaches, if you’re thinking you’d like to clean your oven before the big day we suggest you do so at least a month in advance. That way, if oven cleaning leads to oven repair, we’ll be able to get you back up and running well before the turkey needs roasting.

One Week Before Thanksgiving

Your turkey is ordered, your menu is planned, and all your RSVPs are in. With seven days to go our Thanksgiving planning timeline starts with some inventory and shopping:

  • Take stock of your ingredients, making sure you have enough of the basics on hand (i.e. flour, sugar, salt, pepper, etc.).
  • Make one shopping list with non-perishables and another with fresh ingredients. Add your basics to the non-perishable list if necessary.
  • Make room in the fridge so that it can accommodate all things Thanksgiving
  • Shop for non-perishable items and stock up on beverages

thanksgiving planning timeline

One Weekend Before Thanksgiving

Questioning how far in advance can I cook for Thanksgiving? Your cooking schedule can begin now thanks to your trusty freezer:

  • Start defrosting the turkey in the refrigerator
  • Prepare pie and cookie dough and any freezable side dishes, freezing them for use later in the week

how far in advance can i cook thankgsgiving

Two Days Before Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving planning timeline continues with one more shopping trip and as much ingredient prepping as you can manage:

  • Shop for all your fresh ingredients and any lingering items
  • Start defrosting frozen dishes and dough
  • Measure out spices, chop vegetables, toast nuts

One Day Before Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving cooking schedule is in full swing today. We suggest cooking anything that can be made ahead so that you can just reheat it tomorrow:

  • Bake desserts
  • Prepare stuffing
  • Cook any casseroles or baked side dishes
  • Set the Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving Day

Our Thanksgiving planning timeline has almost gotten you to the finish line. You just have to keep your cool with these last important tasks before sitting down to your first bite of turkey:

  • Chill your beverages in the morning.
  • Start roasting the turkey at least four hours before dinner (longer if you’re serving a turkey over 15lbs).
  • Pre-cook any remaining vegetables or side dishes.
  • Assemble appetizers 1-2 hours before your guests arrive.
  • Allow turkey to rest 30mins to 1hr before serving, using that time to reheat side dishes and bake stuffing.
  • Finish cooking any other vegetables.
  • Carve the turkey while guests fill water glasses and help set out side dishes.

how to plan thanksgiving dinner

We hope this Thanksgiving planning timeline took the stress out of Thanksgiving prep so you can enjoy some fall activities that make the ATL special at this time of year. From all of us at Dependable Repair Services, we wish you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!