Here’s a tip I came up with as I was poring through my nifty Thanksgiving Supplies List (available for download at the Parent Toolbox over at Slideshare): label each serving piece with whatever dish you plan to serve. That is, stick a label or Post-It note that reads “mashed potatoes” inside the bowl in which you plan to serve your mashed potatoes. (If you’ve borrowed the piece from someone, include that person’s name on the note.) Not only will you be sure you’ve got enough serving ware, you can more easily delegate the job of setting up the buffet.
If you really want to get serious about it, label the serving spoons as well.