Preparing For Shabbat

Here are some suggestions (these are NOT halachot!) of what to prepare in advance of Shabbat. Add or delete to suit your needs!
 
Candle Lighting
  • Check candle lighting time
  • Set the candles in their holders (and have matches nearby)
 
Set the Table
Set the table, including the challa and its cover and the wine cup.
 
Kitchen Preparation
  • Sharpen knives
  • Tear paper towels
  • Refrigerator: Turn off or unscrew lights; disconnect any LEDs or fans
  • Set up blech
  • Set up hot water urn
  • Turn off stove, oven
 
Food Preparation
  • Thaw frozen meat, fish, and other food that might take hours to defrost before being cooked
  • Cook whatever can be cooked ahead of time on Thursday night, Friday morning, or earlier in the week
  • Squeeze lemons; do any other boreir-type preparations
  • Chill wine
  • Open bottles and cans that will be needed on Shabbat
  • Prepare tea essence
 
Cleaning
  • Make beds
  • Sweep or vacuum
  • Dump garbage
 
Clothing
  • Do laundry
  • Empty pockets of muktza (or if there is no eruv, of everything!)
  • For men, set out Shabbat talit
 
Muktza
Check that nothing you will need is beneath a muktza item
 
Personal Care
  • Cut hair and nails, if needed
  • For men, shave or trim beard and mustache, if needed
  • Tear dental floss
  • Tear toilet paper or put out tissues in bathrooms
  • Open any new boxes of tissues
 
Electronics
  • Set heat or air conditioning
  • Turn on or off lights, or set timers for them
  • If desired, turn off or disconnect:
  • Alarms 
  • Cellphones and phones
  • Computers
  • Microwave detectors
  • Other electronics
 
Eruv
Check that the eruv (if any) is good
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I just read this halacha, Preparing For Shabbat, at www.practicalhalacha.com. I think you will find it very interesting.