Cross these items off your to-list today to make sure Turkey Day is as stress-free as possible.
thanksgiving leftovers box
Credit: Chelsea McNamara Cavanaugh

Thanksgiving is just one week away, which means it's time to start crossing tasks off your to-do list. Luckily, there are a number of things you can get done well advance of this food-focused holiday. From grocery shopping and organizing your cooking and tabletop essentials to creating a schedule and making a few easy dishes, here's what you should plan to get done in the week leading up to Turkey Day.

Go grocery shopping.

While you might want to wait to buy delicate items like salad greens until a few days before Thanksgiving, we'd recommend getting the brunt of your shopping done this weekend. Hardy vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beets, potatoes, and squash keep particularly well. Bonus: Your grocery store likely won't be out of anything yet!

Stock up on materials to pack leftovers.

Beautifully packaged leftovers make the ultimate Thanksgiving party favor. Get the supplies you need to gussy them up now, then read up on our simple tips.

Plan activities for the kids.

Having a fun, easy craft like these Thanksgiving placemats ready to go is the best way to keep the kids' table entertained. Pick up the materials after your grocery run this weekend.

Create a cooking schedule.

Based on what you've already prepped, figure out what your kitchen game plan is leading up to the big day. That way you can keep track of what's going in the oven or on the stovetop and what needs to be made fresh or simply reheated.

Pull out all your dishes.

Whether you're dusting off your fancy china or simply using more of your everyday dishware, start washing everything now. Your dishwasher is going to be more occupied than you think as we get closer to Thanksgiving.

Take out your cookware.

This means your carving board, carving knife, roasting pan, casserole dish, and any other necessary kitchen equipment that you don't use regularly. Make sure everything is washed and ready to be put to work on Turkey Day.

Clean out your fridge.

Did you tidy your fridge on National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day? If not, now's the time to get organized and make room for what's to come. Don't forget to toss any expired foods and wipe down surfaces.

Clean your house.

You knew this one was coming! Cross any major housekeeping off your list now so that your home is shipshape and ready to welcome guests.

Make cranberry sauce.

This Thanksgiving staple is one of those dishes that tastes even better after the flavors have some time to mingle in the fridge. Our glorious ginger- and clove-spiced version can be made up to a week in advance.

Whip up a compound butter.

Compound butters are easy, delicious ways to take your dinner rolls to the next level! Mix in festive flavors like cranberry and orange, then store in the fridge for up to a week.


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