A Renter’s Guide for Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Space

by Patrick Freeze  11/18/2022

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family to talk and visit over a large meal. However, the roles of guests and Thanksgiving hosts are much different. After all, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving in a small space, you have to worry about seating, comfort, and space. That said, if it’s your turn to host this year’s Thanksgiving and you live in an apartment or small rental home, just keep reading. We’ll review some helpful tips and considerations for hosting Thanksgiving in a small space. 


Contents of This Article: 

  • Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Space
  • What to Consider Before Hosting Thanksgiving at Your Rental
  • Protect Your Rentals All Year Round With Property Management

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Space

If you know that you’re hosting Thanksgiving in a small space, it’s best to start planning as soon as possible. After all, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to scramble and prepare your home or rental for guests. As such, we’ve devised a list of strategies to help you prepare for Thanksgiving if you’re hosting it this year. 


  1. Come Up With a Plan
  2. Get Creative with Seating
  3. Free Up Some Space
  4. Use What You Have
  5. Clean As You Go
  6. Assign Tasks to Guests
  7. Use Disposable Dinnerware

Come Up With a Plan

First and foremost, it’s crucial to come up with a full plan before putting anything in motion. After all, it can be harder to host your friends and family if you’re in a small apartment or rental home. Depending on how many people you invite, you’ll need to figure out seating solutions, buy enough food for your guests, and find space to host everyone. 

That said, the earlier you plan, the better. A week or two before Thanksgiving, ensure you have all the food, drinks, and dessert that you need. Additionally, start thinking of how you will seat everyone in your home. Then, you can start putting all of the pieces together to make it a successful Thanksgiving Day. 

Get Creative with Seating


Small settings don’t provide a lot of space for seating. So, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving in a small space like an apartment or rental home, you’ll need to get creative with seating solutions. For instance, if you don’t have a large table and chairs to seat all of your guests, use the furniture you do have. Then, put together couches, chairs, or window benches to comfortably seat all of your friends and family. 

On the other hand, if you want a more formal meal with everyone around the table, you can rent foldable tables and chairs. Most party rental companies let you rent everything you need, from tables and chairs to napkins, at a reasonable rate. 

Free Up Some Space

You have to make the most of your space if you’re inviting guests over for Thanksgiving, especially if you don’t have much of it. For instance, you can repurpose furniture like a coffee table for some of your guest’s plates. Or, you can move some furniture to a different room if there’s not enough space for your guests to sit together comfortably. 

Use What You Have

As stated above, you have to make the most of the space and items you have in your home. So, if you don’t have enough tables or seating for everyone, consider utilizing various surfaces to help accommodate your guests and Thanksgiving meal. 

For instance, you can use coffee tables, side tables, or your office desk to stage party snacks, drinks, or food in your home or rental. Then, you don’t have to spend money on renting tables, and you can help your guests feel more comfortable and spaced out.

Clean As You Go


Waiting to clean up after your guests until they leave sounds like a great idea–until you’re left with piles of dishes, food scraps, and leftovers to put away. So, instead of delaying the inevitable, start cleaning up food, dishes, or drinks as the night progresses. 

Once dinner is over, you can pick up plates from your guests, put away leftover food, and clean the used counters and tables. Taking care of cleaning tasks immediately can help you feel less overwhelmed after your Thanksgiving meal is over. 

Assign Tasks to Guests

Instead of hosting AND preparing all the food for Thanksgiving, consider assigning tasks to some of your guests. For instance, you can make this Thanksgiving a potluck, where everyone brings their own dish to share with all of the guests. 

Or, you can split up the preparing, cooking, and serving tasks between you and a few others to take the pressure off your plate. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with hosting and cooking, consider asking for help. 

Use Disposable Dinnerware


Finally, use disposable dinnerware to make cleanup a breeze for you and your guests. After all, cleaning your home after hosting a huge meal and several guests can take hours to complete. That said, if you can eliminate one of the most significant issues–dishes–why not?

Thankfully, plastic dinnerware and party supplies have become more classy and formal in the past few years. Additionally, most plastic cutlery and tableware are reasonably priced, durable, and easy to find at Walmart or Amazon. 

What to Consider Before Hosting Thanksgiving at Your Rental

If you’re thinking about hosting Thanksgiving at your rental home this year, there’s a lot to consider. For instance, you’ll want to be mindful of your neighbors and your landlord. Additionally, you must ensure you and your guests follow the lease agreement for your rental unit. So, if you plan to host Thanksgiving at your rental this year, keep these tips in mind. 

  • Follow All Lease Terms- Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal or having a few friends over to hang out, it’s crucial to always follow all of the lease terms. After all, violating the terms can come with serious consequences. 
  • Maintain Control- If you invite guests over to your rental, you must maintain control of the party. It’s the tenant’s responsibility to ensure their neighbor’s right to quiet enjoyment. tips-for-hosting-thanksgiving
  • Protect Guests and Your Rental- Whenever you have guests in your rental, there’s an added risk of safety issues or damages. As such, you must work to protect your guests and the rental unit. For instance, get rid of tripping hazards and put away breakable items.
  • Be Proactive- If you live in an apartment or duplex and plan on having a lot of guests over for a holiday, it doesn’t hurt to let your neighbors know. Open communication can prevent misunderstandings and give your neighbors a heads-up about any added foot traffic. 
  • Take Responsibility- If something happens at your rental property, you’ll have to take responsibility for any damages or noise disturbances. After all, it’s your job as a tenant to ensure you and your guests follow the rules listed in the lease agreement. 

Protect Your Rentals All Year Round With Property Management

Thanksgiving can be a stressful time of year for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of stressing out about the holidays, be proactive with planning and hosting guests at your rental home. 

Remember, tenants have the right to host guests but an obligation to protect the rental property. On the other hand, landlords can protect against unruly holiday parties and events with a well-written rental lease agreement. 

That said, whether you’re looking for your next rental home or want to protect your rental investment, Professional Property Management in Northern Virginia can help. Our team of dedicated property managers can help you throughout the entire rental process. So, do you need rental management services in NOVA? Contact PPM today!

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