Spaces for Life

The ReTouch Home Improvement blog



Spaces for Life: How does your home score on the Thanksgiving Test?

By Lance McCarthy

I have a confession. I love quizzes. I used to sneak my sister’s Cosmopolitan magazine and take the Cosmo quiz. You know what I’m talking about. Are you in love or forcing it? Are you good in bed?” What kind of female are you? Aren’t you curious now? You’re welcome. Quizzes are great. You don’t need to study. You get a score in 5 minutes. And they boil all the really complex ideas down to the very basic. The straight dope.

Thanksgiving Day is the Cosmo Quiz for your home. Are you in love with your house, or are you forcing it? Is your house good in bed? Ok, I don’t really know how to make that one work… Thanksgiving tests your home because it requires all the important parts of a house to work really well. It squeezes a lot of people into one space, then asks them to do life stuff together without feeling cramped or uncomfortable.

So, if you find some time between the cranberry sauce and Black Friday Eve (or whatever that is called), grab a pencil and jot down your score. See how you stack up. Let’s find out how good the ol’ house really is!

Read these questions and add up your points:


  • Does the doorbell work?  +1 for yes   0 for no   -1 if you don’t know if you have one
  • When it is raining, does Uncle Harold get wet standing on the front porch?  +1 for no, 0 for yes  
  • When Aunt Ruby gets inside, where does her coat go?  +2 for entry closet, +1 for coat hook, 0 for daughter’s bed


  • How many butts can your kitchen hold?  +1 point per butt (butts only count if they can move freely about the space without bumping each other)
  • When the dishwasher door opens…  -1  if another appliance has to stay closed   0  if nothing happens   +1  if kids run over to put the silverware away in the cool soft-close drawers  
  • Give yourself 1 point for each of these items that is actually stored in the kitchen or pantry:  1) The turkey  2) a big mixer  3) enough matching forks for everyone  4) the leftovers after the meal  

Dining Room

  • Do any adults have to sit at the kid’s table because there isn’t enough room? +1 for no   0 for yes   -1 for “Table? We use tv trays”
  • Awkward factor–Give yourself 1 point for each of the following that is NOT true:  1)  The cousin sitting in the back corner of the table can’t get out unless everyone stands up  2) If anyone uses the bathroom during dinner they are so close we hear EVERYTHING  3) If you forget the ketchup, it is more than 20 steps to the fridge to get it
  • What is the dining table used for every other day of the year?  +2  for “eating most meals” +1 for “eating some meals”  0 for “nothing”  -1 for “storing our unopened mail”

Living Room

  • Do you have line of sight with people in the kitchen?  +1 for yes  0  for no
  • Can the TV be seen easily from more than two chairs?  +1 for yes  0  for no
  • Is the seating is arranged close enough for a comfortable conversation?  +2 for yes  +1 for no   0  for “if you had my family you wouldn’t want to talk much either”

Everything Else

  • Where do the kids go after dinner?  +2  for crash room or finished basement or sunroom  +1 for somewhere else  0  for kitchen-living room-kitchen-kitchen-living room-kitchen…
  • If Cousin Sharon stayed, where would she sleep?  +2  for the guest bedroom   +1  for the futon in the office that used to be the guest bedroom before kid #2 came along  -1  for “why would she want to stay at our house?”
  • Give yourself 1 point for each of the following, regardless of your score so far:  1) People suggest your house to use for a holiday  2) You actually think that is a good thing  3) You really enjoy cooking big meals in your kitchen  4) You really enjoy eating big meals in your dining room  5) You feel like you have room to breathe and love the space you are in

Ready to Score?

20 or more - You really have an amazing house. I’ll be over in a few minutes with some pumpkin pie.

10 to 20 - You have an okay house. It is probably fine or normal Thursdays, but Thanksgiving Thursdays are a bit of a strain.

0 to 10 You are coping with a house that is even more dysfunctional than Uncle Frank. It’s time for an intervention.

Less than 0 Really? Why are you still reading? You need help immediately.

Ready to Take the Next Step?