So I just bought my first place and I’m ecstatic - the only problem is, how to host Thanksgiving in a small house?

After doing some searching online, I found some tips that’ll save anyone in this same predicament. Of course, I’ll explain them all thoroughly below, but they boil down to 3 essential points:

  • Plan the day in advance.
  • Get creative with the space you have.
  • Use your guests to your advantage.

Now that you have the big picture, let's dig in (pun intended).

Planning The Day

Create a Timeline.

This is just a general hosting tip, but it's important because it will allow you to make sure your guests won't be bored at any point in their experience.

Cook things in advance.

Adding on to the first point, if you want to keep your guests entertained well, you can't be slaving away in the kitchen for the whole party (unless you involve them in the cooking process of course).

Cocktails by the pitcher.

In order to save space and time, make large batches of cocktails, rather than individual servings.

Make the trash can visible.

If your trashcan is normally under the sink as it is in my case, make sure to pull it out and make it visible so your guests won't leave trash all over your place.

Using Your Space Creatively

Don’t rely on an oven for everything.

This one's simple. You can only cook one thing at a time in an oven, so the more things you make without it, the quicker the preparation process becomes.

Make space for tables.

The main thing you'll need to serve your guests is something to eat on, so move around your furniture to make space for as many tables as necessary.

Multiple eating tables.

In a small space, you've got to drop the idea of everyone eating at one big table. Instead, have them sit at multiple smaller tables in different areas.

Hanging, not table decorations.

You don't need a huge table cornucopia to charm your Thanksgiving guests. Just hang some fall themed wreaths around the house and you'll have more space for food and games.

Buffet style dining.

Another way to save space (and work) is by putting all the food and drinks in one location and then letting the guests serve themselves.

Leveraging Your Guests

Playing favorites.

The fewer people are at your party, the less you have to worry about the lack of space. Yes, that means you now have a perfectly acceptable reason not to invite your annoying Great Aunt Marg.

Tell them what food to bring.

So that you're not overrun by your guest's food selection, ask each person to bring a specific category of food (Jim brings dessert, Mary brings the dressing).

BYOT/C (Bring Your Own Table/Chair).

If you're going to need more table space or chairs, simply ask guests to bring their own. Trust me, they'll prefer that over eating on the floor.

Ask for help.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask your guests to help you in preparation for Thanksgiving. It can even be a fun bonding experience when you're cooking with your loved ones.

I hope these tips were as much of a revelation to you as they were to me, so you can have a comfortable & memorable Thanksgiving with your loved ones this year.

But after all that holiday cheer, don’t kick them out & force them to stay in a cramped hotel room. Check out our cozy rentals here - before they’re all taken!