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Thanksgiving is this week.

You know what that means… Planning, prepping, cleaning and screaming galore, getting it all done all before company walks through that door. Poetic. We like to call it the “Mad-Turkey Dash” where mom totally loses her gravy, but everyone has their own term. The Gobble Squabble. Cornucopia of Chaos. Or simply, pass the wine… (otherwise known as the Gizzard guzzle).

If you want things to run smoother this year so that you can actually enjoy the holiday season with your family, these 4 simple tips can help you clean, cook,  increase space and mentally prepare for company this Thanksgiving with ease.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.” -Joyce Giraud

Cleaning Schedule

Create a cleaning schedule to detail high-priority areas of your home so that you are only left doing minor touch ups on Thanksgiving Day. By focusing on one section of your home at a time, you and your family won’t feel as overwhelmed on Thanksgiving, providing you with more time to enjoy the festivities, together! 

Cook in Advance

Other than your main dish, there are a plethora of side dishes and appetizers you can prepare in advance. Cooking ahead of time makes hosting easier the day of, allowing you to focus your energy on your Turkey, Ham (or whatever other feature dish you are preparing) while solely having to re-heat the rest.

Maximize Your Living Space

If you live in a small apartment or home, accommodating a large group can be a challenge. Consider renting a self-storage unit nearby to keep large items this Thanksgiving, so that you can maximize living space when company comes over to celebrate. With units available in various sizes, finding one that meets your needs – at an affordable price – is simple.

Know Your Limits

According to Bah Humbug-Are the Relatives Getting on your Nerves?, “Forgiving quirks can be a snap during a summer family reunion picnic or a lazy week at the beach. Not so much when you’re stressed by the hustle and bustle of winter holidays. Think of all you’re managing: multiple social obligations, seasonal decorating, party-planning, travelling, gift giving, holiday cards, too much sugar, not enough sleep, winter weather, and fewer daylight hours—not to mention usually being confined to crowded indoor spaces.”

As much as you love your family, they can sometimes be a challenge to be around. Heck, they may always be a challenge to be around. And while we would love to tell you to leave them in your storage unit along with your belongings, you’re going to have to handle this like an adult. With wine…

…We kid. But as with any family, there are some hot button topics, issues and conversations that can make your head explode when you all get together. Develop a plan to redirect conversation the day of should your gatherings take a dark turn, keeping the celebration light, fun and memorable.

By cleaning your home beforehand, cooking your sides ahead of time, clearing out belongings using storage, and mentally preparing to tackle uncomfortable conversation, your Thanksgiving Day should be one filled with much happiness and laughter.

Remember, Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for all that you have, not stress about what you have missed or don’t. Be thankful for your family, your friends, your health and your home. That’s more important than perfection, anyway.

In the words of American Actress Debi Mazar, “On the morning of Thanksgiving, I would wake up to the home smelling of all good things, wafting upstairs to my room. I would set the table with the fancy silverware and china and hope that my parents and grandmother wouldn’t have the annual Thanksgiving fight about Richard Nixon.”

Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving season, filled with much appreciation and love… (without the politics!)