How to Host Thanksgiving in Your First Apartment

It’s always nice to have a few friends swing by your apartment for a relaxing hang, especially when you live alone. Having a big group of friends over, though, can present challenges. You might feel even more stressed if you’re having family over, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, you might find yourself in exactly that position.

No matter how much you love your family, you probably prickle a bit at the thought of having to impress them. The pressure is certainly on, and especially around Thanksgiving time: there’s food to make and an apartment to clean. With these tips, though, you’ll know just how to host Thanksgiving in your apartment and provide a comfortable, heartwarming space for your family.

Cook ahead

No, you shouldn’t reheat an already-cooked turkey when your family is visiting, but you can definitely bake your pie a few days before your guests arrive. This way, your kitchen is clear of unclean kitchenware and you have as much countertop space as needed to serve guests. If you’re really struggling for time, you can even opt for store-bought Thanksgiving classics – throw out that stuffing mix container well before your guests arrive, and nobody will know you didn’t make it from scratch.

Ask guests to contribute food

It’s not unreasonable or even frowned upon to ask your guests to bring food too. After all, requiring you to make turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and desserts is a mountain of work to impose on one person living in an apartment. And if your relatives are flying into town for the occasion, they could head to a supermarket nearby on their way to you and going the store-bought route too.

Consider your furniture

If you don’t have enough furniture to host the number of visitors you’ve invited, then you’re setting yourself up for more challenges than necessary. Consider rearranging your furniture – kitchen chairs and tables, living room pieces such as coffee tables, couches, and other chairs – to accommodate an appropriately-sized group. If you have enough time, consider buying a folding or expanding table that can seat a few people as easily as it can seat 10.

Decorate well

Arrange your furniture and decorate your apartment carefully to make it seem bigger. Clever placement of rugs, mirrors, and curtains will help you achieve this lofty goal. Holiday-appropriate decorations such as cute turkey prints, frames, and more can give additional character to your apartment. A space that feels bigger and more like home will help guests feel more comfortable, not to mention leave a good impression. 

Get ready for coats and shoes

No matter how well you reorganize, rearrange, and decorate, you’ll need to plan for a space in which guests can drop their coats, shoes, and bags while they visit. Simply tossing coats on your couch isn’t likely to fly with your family, so find yourself a coat rack instead, unless you’re able to make some room in a closet. You might have an easier time getting away with shoes piling around your entryway, but a shoe rack (or a bench that doubles as one) couldn’t hurt. 

Have fun

More than anything, if you make sure you’re having fun and being in the moment instead of worrying about what could go wrong, your guests will be more likely to enjoy themselves too. Hosting Thanksgiving in your apartment can be stressful, but you should have no trouble immersing yourself in the festivities if you follow all these tips.

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