Outdoor Thanksgiving Checklist


Hosting Thanksgiving is no small task. In addition to managing a lot of carefully-timed cooking, many of us also do a lot of last minute cleaning and staging. Hosting Thanksgiving out of doors can save a lot of time and hassle, simply by extending the timeline.

Here is a timeline of to-dos that can leave you feeling like the host or hostess with the mostest, focused on family and friends instead of whether you should have gotten the drapes cleaned.

OCTOBER 23: Create a Ground Plan

While your home’s floor plan determines the flow of an indoor Thanksgiving, outdoor entertaining can give you and your guests greater freedom.

This weekend, identify two to three gathering points that will ensure a nice flow as guests collect food, beverages, and gather with one another.

OCTOBER 30: Do Some Dirty Work

Cleaning for a crowd can feel just as onerous as cooking! Luckily the deep cleaning done outside can last all year. Much of the deep cleaning for an outdoor Thanksgiving can be done weeks in advance, or at your leisure over several weeks.
This weekend:

  • Prune and dead-head plants, particularly focal points
  • Plant colorful fill-ins where needed: Big Blooming Screen and Fall Color Sustainability
  • Add fresh mulch for a clean look and fresh cedar fragrance
  • Scrub down lights, rocks, and containers
  • Plant containers to add bursts of color
    Of course there is a little more to it – watch for the November Checklist!