If you have everything organized on the big day, you’ll have an easier time cleaning and keeping things neat as you whip up the best meal of the year. Make a shopping list now and get as much in advance as you can, provided it’ll keep until Thanksgiving. Identify the things that will be messy, like the turkey, and make a plan for how you’ll clean it up in a jiffy. For instance, have a garbage bag on hand that’s just for your big food messes, like your turkey container and bones. Plan your menu carefully, not only based on timing so it all comes together at once, but based on exactly how and when you’ll clean each element. Ideally, you want to clean as you go.
(Last minute, you can also designate an old box to keep nearby as a dumping ground for large, dirty pots, pans, and casserole dishes to easily relocate to an unused room to get them out of the way until you’re ready to dive into a full clean-up.)