Small space living requires some compromises, but a seasoned small-spacer knows that most disadvantages merely need to be met with a little storage and decor creativity.
That said, even the most steadfast minimalist can have their second-thoughts when considering the possibility of hosting for the holidays. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, you might be wishing your tiny apartment had a kitchen that would make even Martha Stewart envious. With a small space, it can be tempting to squelch your urge to host altogether.
This year, use these tips to think outside the box (of stuffing) to create a Thanksgiving event that will complement rather than compete with your small space lifestyle.
Kitchen Game Plan
For many, Thanksgiving is not complete without the family’s annual turkey bowl, and this year, Thanksgiving prep will require a game plan of your own. Have a plan for your cooking & kitchen space usage before you start your meal. To ensure that everything falls into place, you need to pre-plan cook times, kitchen appliances and counter space. Any seasoned host or hostess knows that it is important to evaluate recipes and their respective cook times before the day of Thanksgiving; however, this rule is doubled if you have a small space to work with.
Share the Load
The reality may be that it will create too much stress if you try to cook every part of the meal in your own home. If this is the case–delegate! There’s no shame in asking your friends and family to help out. Everyone is enjoying the final product, so feel free to ask guests to bring a dish. Chances are, you’ll find that your guests are more than willing to assist in this way.
Seating can be one of the biggest obstacles in a small space, but in a pinch, even a 5-gallon bucket with a cushion and cover can offer a standing guest an extra resting place. Think creatively if needed, and don’t hesitate to buy, borrow, or rent a few folding chairs or other easy-to-store seating options for the event.
Clean as You Go
Experts agree that this is the best way to ensure a clean space. Plus, in a small space, it’s unlikely that your guests will be seated without a view of the dirty dishes you let stack up. Instead of ruining the ambiance with leftover turkey trimmings and soiled casserole dishes, clean as you prep and clean in-between courses. Bonus points for everyone involved, if your guests are willing to pitch in.
Creating a multi-course Thanksgiving dinner is truly an undertaking, and it’s not for everyone. Dinner can be time-consuming and requires kitchen space; serve a Thanksgiving brunch or Snacksgiving instead! Tea sandwiches with cranberry sauce, deli turkey, and cream cheese can serve as a twist on the traditional fare, while sweet potato quiches and delicious cranberry mimosas round out your morning treats.
If you find that you and your guests truly just gather for the company and the parade viewing, don’t hesitate to swap out the standard dinner with a more approachable option in the form of a snacks-and-appetizer-based meal. Have your guests bring a favorite to share, and you’ll have enough food to fill everyone up, without the hassle of removing giblets.
Whatever your plans are this Thanksgiving, don’t count yourself out if you truly want to host in your small space. With a little creativity, some gracious guests, and a few helpful tips, you can have a Thanksgiving feast that everyone can enjoy.