The home is almost always the center of the family's holday experience. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Year, your home provides the stage where you will be hosting guests, creating and sharing memories that will last a lifetime. The holidays are indeed a wonderful time, but preparing to celebrate them with company can be hectic. Here are some quick tips that may help you get ready for the holidays with a little less stress.
Tidying isn’t just limited to putting things where they belong and making a space look nice. It’s also a great opportunity to declutter. Take this time to consider what you’d like to keep, throw, recycle, gift, and donate. Do so room by room.
- In the kitchen, toss out expired food and remove unnecessary items from the countertops.
- Clean out cabinets and put things in their respective places.
- Donate old coats and shoes and make sure there are plenty of hangers and/or hooks for guests to hang their coats up when they visit.
- If you have kids, declutter their toys as well. They’re more likely to organize their things when they know there are gifts around the corner.
You’ll be surprised by how much you can clear up.
Vacuum thoroughly, wipe down surfaces, clean windows, tables, and pillows, and ensure that high-traffic areas like doorknobs and handrails are sanitized and/or cleaned. A clean, fragrant house is inviting and welcoming to guests. If you’re taking decorations or extra kitchenware out of storage, ensure that these are clean as well.
The right décor will transform a place. To avoid getting overwhelmed, decide which room(s) you would like to decorate. To save money, you may want to focus on decorating your home’s main spaces with items you’ve collected over the years, rather than buying a mountain of decorations all at one go. Some garlands, themed throw pillows, candles, and any symbolic staples (such as a menorah or Christmas tree) will go far in turning your space into a themed, cozy, and welcoming space. Consider filling up the air with soul-replenishing holiday music to bring it all together.
4. Stock up
With guests coming over, it’s best to be prepared so that you can avoid last-minute, expensive shopping and competing with other shoppers. In the weeks leading up to your event, keep an eye on your local grocery stores and wholesalers for sales, vouchers, and promotions. Buy non-perishable items in bulk and stock them neatly in your (now decluttered) pantry. You can consider doing the same for perishable items as long as you’re okay with freezing them and/or they can be frozen. You could also consider getting your groceries delivered at a scheduled time or on a scheduled basis, so that you don’t have to worry so much about them. Any meals for your festivities that can be made and then frozen will mean that you can make them ahead of time and save yourself the hassle on the day itself.
5. Remember what really matters
You don’t need to break your back (or the bank) to be a good host and friend. You and your space just need to be warm and inviting. Clean your house, do what you can to prepare, and then enjoy your guests’ company.
Don’t apologize for messes or imagined shortcomings, because most people won’t notice it and they realize that this is what a home looks like when it’s lived in.