Thanksgiving Tips for Prep Work, Decor and Cleanup

What comes to mind when you think of the term ‘Thanksgiving Day’? Here are my immediate thoughts:

  • Turkey, Stuffing, Pie – FOOD!
  • Family
  • Leaves, Fall, Decor
  • Dishes. More Dishes.
  • Cleaning Messes while feeling Stuffed, Literally. 

Thanksgiving, like other holidays, come with more than just sitting back and feeling gratitude for the loved ones in your life. There’s a whole lot more to the holiday than unbuttoning your pants and falling asleep on the couch. Who me? Never.


Behind the scenes theres much to be done from prep work to decorating, cleaning to cooking. Eating, then laundry and cleaning again. 

It’s the set-up, presentation, celebration and then the take down. In other words, so much cleaning is involved from the obvious tasks like dishes to the not-so obvious, “How did the kids get gravy on there?!”.

So, let’s be thankful for OxiClean. Since, really, this product has your back from the everyday to holiday.

In fact, I was thinking of this while I studied a massive baked-on mess attached to the inside of my casserole dish from the other night. Hot water and OxiClean original has saved me from this exact mess time and again. I just let the combination sit for a few hours and like magic, it sprays of like it wasn’t even there.

So, while Thanksgiving is a lot of things, many people, much conversation and all with a great meaning  – it really doesn’t have to be all about the work involved. We can lessen the chores and the cleaning if we just have the right products on hand.

Let’s hear what the home entertaining experts have to say. Stars such as Janet Jackson, Kerri Kenney, Nicole Sassaman provide their top Thanksgiving Tips for Prep Work, Decor and Cleanup.



WIN IT: One Canadian reader is going to get a fantastic Thanksgiving Survival Kit that includes:

  • OxiClean™ Laundry Detergent Paks, Fresh Scent
  • OxiClean™ Liquid Laundry Detergent, Fresh Scent
  • OxiClean™ White Revive Stain Remover
  • OxiClean™ Dishwashing 2 in 1 Booster
  • OxiClean™ Unit Dose Laundry Detergent
  • OxiClean™ Extreme Power Crystal Dishwasher Detergent

TO ENTER: Fill in the form below with your qualifying entries. Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is a compensated post yet as always, opinions are my own.




  1. Biggest one for me was two years ago when everyone showed up, and first, my oven rack fell inside the oven, so I had grease everywhere, my granddaughter was being bad and threw dog food all over the house, and to make everything worse after the meal everyone left, so it was just me to clean up the mess and do all the dishes and since I do not own a dishwasher, they all had to be done by hand, boy was I not a happy camper that year

  2. Usually I have help cleaning up after Christmas meal. Once or twice, this did not happen and One daughter and myself spent hours cleaning up and storing leftovers properly. I was totally exhausted.

  3. I’ve had numerous spills throughout the years, but the worst was when I was pouring red wine into the glasses on the dinner table…….when the bottle somehow slipped out of my hand and spilled all over the turkey and stuffing that was on the table, ugh it was a nightmare!!!

  4. My mom was making a fresh cranberry orange sauce in the lender and somehow it turned on. there was res smears everywhere. That wasn’t particularly my mess, but I helped her clean it up.

  5. sadly my biggest mess happens almost every year and they aren’t even held at my house, lol. we potluck our thanksgiving suppers, i usually end up with cabbage rolls, which not only makes a mess all over my table for prep work but also without fail boils over within the oven. then i add in gravy which is put together 2 minutes before we need to leave and my husband is loading the kids in the vehicle, so i’m always trying to rush it and end up spilling all over the stove top. in the end the meal is always fantastic but i dread coming home 4-6 hrs later to the mess 🙂

  6. I tipped the flat, low roasting pan as I was taking it out of the over. All the grease and juices spilled, mostly into the drawer under the stove and on the floor and the floor is not level, so under the stove, too.

  7. My brother-in-law and some friends decided to do Zambuca Shrimp and the pan they grabbed had a broken handle and I had shrimp, zambuca, all over my stove top and to make matters worst it blew my stove top, had to get a new one

  8. Pingback: Purple Monster Coupons – Win a Thanksgiving Survival Kit
  9. I use those aluminum trays for the turkey, and once there was a little hole in it,so the dripping spilled through and there was smoke build When I opened the door it set off the fire alarm. Then trying to lift the tray and the pan split and the turkey fell, luckily on the oven rack. So the turkey was saved but it made a mess of the stove and the floor by the door.

  10. Cranberry Sauce on a table cloth is always the worst and without fail happens every year.

  11. I dropped apple pie as I was getting it out of the oven. Some went on the floor and some into the bottom of the oven. The floor was hard to clean, the oven was darn near impossible!

  12. The biggest holiday mess by far was when the hubby had almost ALL his friends over. It was like a frat party on steroids and the mess was even worse. Never again I tell ya!! He know has a man cave in the garage for those events – lol-

  13. Tomato sauce all over the kitchen when someone (no names to be mentioned) shook the bottle without checking that the top was on properly,

  14. Chocolate mouse and a crazy, fast stand beater… Mouse every where… 1 cupboard open… was on ceiling AND the floor… Bad. Bad. Bad.


  15. My parents used to make concord grape juice which is amazing but also stains like crazy! One year, one of my kids spilled a glass of this juice onto my mom’s antique white hand stitched table cloth………..

  16. I left a stew I was warming in the oven in for too long at too high a temperature and it turned into a crusty, burnt disgusting mess. Thankfully I managed to chip it out and clean it.

  17. I am entering your giveaway.
    It would be great to win this OxiClean Thanksgiving Survival Kit.
    In response to your question of What is the biggest holiday mess you’ve had to tackle?
    The biggest holiday mess was dropping the gravy boat on the kitchen floor
    and my nephew throwing cranberry sauce all over the kitchen.
    Thank you for having this giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. My worst mess was last Christmas we were just getting ready to sit down to eat when my sister dog chases my cat who just upon the dinner table and knocks over 2 bottles of red wine.

  19. Salad dressing bottle cap not on tightly. Shaken dressing all over the kitchen walls and floor!

  20. The Christmas Eve Meas when the blizzard popped up and we ended up cooking many meals for relatives that were storm stayed.

  21. Christmas 2012 I had my whole family from out of town come for dinner. I was cleaning food off of furniture and walls for weeks!

  22. Just all the dirty dishes/pot & pans and crumbs on the floor & abandoned glassware all over the house – NOT to mention gravy & pickled beet juice stains on my lovely fall tablecloth! But , you know, I’ll do it all over again at Christmas just to have everyone home for the holiday!

  23. Our dog got into the pumpkin pie and then thoughtfully threw up it up all over the carpet !

  24. I remember taking a dessert (Lemon Squares) out of the oven and having it fall on the floor onto the carpet as I was putting it on the counter that is open between the kitchen and living room. What an awful mess.

  25. My biggest holiday mess was from cleaning up after 22 guests came for dinner. My table cloths are such a mess afterwards.

  26. My holiday messes always involve the dogs getting into the fridge, eating the goodies and leaving a trail of mess everywhere.

  27. Made a flan, and when I inverted it onto the plate, it turns out it wasn’t fully cooked, so it all went all over the counter, down the cabinets, on the floor…along with the caramel topping.

  28. When am I not making a mess around the holidays lol. I have been told not to do anything anymore. Last year I dropped the whole turkey on the floor with all the juices…that was not fun

  29. Forgetting to defrost the turkey fully was a mess! We had demolished the oven and lots of dishes by the time we got it cooked.

  30. One thanksgiving I hosting hubbies family and we had 24 people including many children. My tablecloth was pretty disgusting!

  31. Tripped and dumped mashed sweet potato EVERYWHERE! The worst stain I’ve ever had to tackle though, un-holiday related, was red tattoo ink in my white area rug! Talk about painful!

  32. I dread the dishes and clean up mainly because my dishwasher is me…I have been meaning to try oxi clean for ages.

  33. Having a Christmas dinner for 15 Teachers living in Taiwan in a 1 bedroom apartment!

  34. Back in College we decided to host a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner in our dorm room. That was a challenge.

  35. We had friends over for the holidays and we never eat messy food on the couch but they let the little one & had a whole plate of mixed food dropped on it. Took many cleaning to get it out. But things happen!

  36. My first thanksgiving at my future in-laws and I reached for the bowl of potatoes and knocked over my glass of red wine all over her treasured cloth tablecloth and onto the carpet. He married me still but just such an awkward and messy memory.

  37. I did have baked potato explode in the oven. I forgot to put holes in them. I always wrap them now plus put holes in them.

  38. Dropped the container with cranberry sauce in it and it hit the floor, glass shattered and cranberry sauce flew everywhere. I think I found splatters of it for weeks after 🙁

  39. The biggest mess for me is cleaning the roaster and the veggie pot when something burned on the bottom of it.

  40. Every holiday meal creates us around the same mess since we’re always cooking for the same amount of people. The mountain of dishes to tackle at the end of such a yummy meal can be a little bit of a downer!

  41. tipping over a bottle of beets is never a good idea…Soooo messy,and it stains badly!

  42. Last when was a pretty messy year! My boys were two and three years ago and my youngest was a VERY messy eater! There was food all over the floor, his highchair, his clothes, in his hair- everywhere!

  43. working on thanksgiving dinner years ago and started on my pies, left the kitchen for 5 minutes and came back to discover the dog had destroyed an entire bag of flour and the kitchen was coated.

  44. We had 3 families for dinner and 4 friends so I set of warming trays the triple ones, had 4 of them so 4×3 is 12 dishes, yes 12, perogy’s, cabbage rolls, gravy the whole works, there is always one person who has way too much to drink and thank goodness she went last so everyone had at least a plate of food, she flew forward and grabbed on the island and the cords and 3 of the 4 trays flew all over, top it all off she burnt herself from the hot gravy so couldn’t even yell but I was mad and the clean up was not pretty.

  45. The biggest mess I have made was dropping the gravy boat on the floor. Broke the gravy boat and there was gravy everywhere

  46. My little girl tried to help me make muffin and I told her that we need to do it step by step. We first need to have all the ingredients on our countertop so for easy access. By the time I went to the fridge to get eggs, she already poured the flour to the bowl but only not only in the bowl, but also, the countertop, the floor and on her clothes

  47. I cooked Turkey Thanksgiving for 11 friends last year & their kids!! Big time clean spree afterwards.

  48. My kids had a great idea on Easter to colour eggs not realizing the needed to be boiled so when they were colouring them they cracked and broke everywhere.

  49. Very much looking forward to being able to spend Thanksgiving with my family this year.

  50. The year we had the upstairs bathroom reno done (or not done) before Christmas. The contractor promised to finish but left us with a disaster and a houseful of people- only one bathroom and no shower. Will never for get that year!

  51. Christmas morn after first born being only 9 mon have to clean up after breakie, prepare meal clean up that and the tons of stuff everyone brought was lots of clean up from that too. Usually almost week later before things get a storage spot.

  52. The biggest holiday mess I’ve had to tackle was cleaning up all the dishes from a big Christmas dinner (13 people) all by myself with no dishwasher. My sister in law built a gorgeous custom home and decided to NOT put in a dishwasher because she had not grown up with one and she figured she would prefer the extra cupboard space. The Christmas that she had really little ones she was busy putting them to bed after dinner, the other guests went home because a snow storm was coming (we were visiting back east), my husband was putting our oldest to bed, and my mother and father in law had to leave because of his health. My brother in law doesn’t help in the kitchen, so there I was washing 13 dinner plates, bread plates, dessert plates, forks, knives, custard bowls etc plus serving bowls and cutlery and all the casserole dishes with caked on mess and greasy roasting pans etc all by hand all by myself. I had to fill and empty the sink several times to get clean water, plus I had to keep stopping to dry when there were too many clean dishes to make room for more in the drying rack. Ugh, it was such a big greasy, sticky mess and I was so annoyed. The next house they moved into they put in a dishwasher, thank goodness… They make very big multi-dish traditional meals, so there are always a TON of dishes!!

  53. Well, my daughter’s second birthday actually. My younger brothers decided to have a food fight with the birthday cake. =(

  54. That would be the year that the oven baked brie blew up in the oven. DH had to clean by hand before running the cleaning cycle. Luckily everything else was cooked.

  55. Hosting holiday dinner for my boyfriends family so I went all out to impress them. After they left I had all the dishes and pots and pans to wash (by hand, no dishwasher).

  56. no memories about ‘the biggest mess’ but each year, my grandma – in – law hosts … my one sis-in-law has a ‘convenient’ fight with her hubby (every year, promptly on Christmas and thanksgiving dinner) and my other sister in law always has a conveniently timed extra long poop. to make matters worse, Grandma in law handwashes ALL of her dishes prior to putting them in the dishwasher ….. we have a huge amount of family and have to do this TWICE.

  57. Dropped the turkey on the floor when I took it out of the oven to baste. Bout sums it up… 13 pound bird with fixings in the roaster..

  58. When my husband and I hosted our first holiday dinner…It looked like a crime scene…lol. The meal was awesome though!

  59. My mom dropped the turkey on the floor of my house and juice went all over my cabinets and floor. I was cleaning it for weeks it seemed.

  60. Red wine bottle (1/3 full) tipped over near the edge of the table. red wine spilled over onto the rug as well.

  61. I’m pretty good about cleaning up. What makes things difficult are people that “try” to help me. Get out of my kitchen!!

  62. My biggest holiday mess was this thanksgiving. It’s also my sons birthday. So when he blew out the candles SOMEONE (I won’t mention names for their own safety, lol) decided to push his head into the cake. Well..let me tell brought on a 13 person family food fight! It was fun while it lasted but not so much when I had to clean up. I am still finding bits of food in places you’d never imagine!

  63. My biggest holiday mess was this thanksgiving. It’s also my sons birthday. So when he blew out the candles SOMEONE (I won’t mention names for their own safety, lol) decided to push his head into the cake. Well..let me tell brought on a 13 person family food fight! It was fun while it lasted but not so much when I had to clean up. I am still finding bits of food in places you’d never imagine!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.