It’s that time of year again, when you start thinking about all the things you need to do to get your home ready for the holidays.
The holidays can be a stressful time and it’s easy to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day or energy in your body to accomplish everything on your holiday checklist.
There are many ways you can make your house festive and welcoming during this busy holiday season without feeling overwhelmed. Here are 10 best tips for getting your home ready for the holidays – from packing away clutter, creating memorable moments with loved ones and more!
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- 1 | Get rid of clutter
- 2 | Deep clean your home
- 3 | Prepare the Kitchen
- 4 | Exterior maintenance
- 5 | Prepare the guest bedroom(s) & bath
- 6 | Food Prep
- 7 | Holiday decorating
- 8 | Make a date with your family
- 9 | Create a wrapping area
- 10 | Take time for self care
How to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays with Less Stress
The list ahead may look long and overwhelming, but if tackled one at a time, and early on in the season, it can be accomplished in time for the hectic holidays.
If you can, set aside some time each day to check off a few items on the to-do list. Some of these ‘chores’ can be complete more quickly than others. If you have help, even better!
The goal, though, is to plan well ahead so you can calmly work through the list of items to get your home ready for the holidays.
1 | Get rid of clutter
We all accumulate more than we need, and over time it can become overwhelming. Take the time to get clutter under control before the busy holiday seasons hits. Here are some helpful decluttering tips:
- Start with the living and high-traffic rooms in the home. Those areas see the most use and will benefit from a thorough inspection and ruthless declutter.
- Remove any unnecessary items and expired food from the countertops, refrigerator, and pantry.
- Leave each dish, pot, and pan in its own unique location to make cleaning up after evening holiday parties a snap.
- Organize the coat closet by donating old clothes and shoes, and by doing so you’ll create the needed space, and the extra hangers, for guest’s coats during holiday gatherings.
You might not think about it this way, but a home that is free of extra stuff, clutter, and generally unnecessary things is actually a stress reliever.
2 | Deep clean your home
Do a deep clean of your house and choose items that can be donated or given away before your guests arrive so you have more room to enjoy yourself during the holidays.
Cleaning with natural products can be a way to contribute to the environment. The folks at Grove have made great strides in creating products and packaging that are earth-friendly, with cleaning products and so much more. Check out what you might need here: Grove.co.
I love their reusable cleaning glass spray bottle, and have begun my collection, to eliminate plastic cleaning supplies going forward. It will be a process; their all purpose cleaner is awesome!
Here are some deep cleaning tips:
- Clean windows inside and out (don’t forget about outdoor surfaces that have been affected by snow
- Wipe down the baseboards
- Clean behind and under the furniture
- Check for cobwebs up high on the walls and in the corners
- Vacuum the sofa and armchairs that will be most-used by holiday guests
- Wash window coverings, such as blinds and curtains, if at all possible
- Wipe down and dust the light fixtures
- Make sure the fireplace is clean and ready to go – bring in a professional fireplace cleaner if needed. I have done that and felt much better about the condition, and the cleanliness, of my gas fireplace.
By starting early, you can plan ahead and not be in a rush to get everything done in a short (and stressful!) period of time.
If hiring a cleaning crew is in the budget, it can be a worry-free way to prepare your home for holiday decorating and memorable gatherings.
3 | Prepare the Kitchen
Unless you hire a chef to do the work for you, the kitchen is an area that you’ll be very familiar with throughout the holiday season! Plan well ahead to get it in ship-shape, from the appliances to the cabinets, to the baking supplies.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
- Clean out the oven
- Give kitchen appliances a thorough cleaning
- Cleaning the fridge, freezer and ice maker are musts! A professional cleaner can also help remove odors so your guests won’t smell any leftovers.
- Having pantry organization systems in place makes it easy to find everything you need when baking for an army (or even for yourself when you’re in the mood to cook up a storm)
- Purge the old and unused items from kitchen drawers and cabinets. I am amazed at the stuff that accumulates in my kitchen drawers and pantry!
- Organize your pots, pans, and baking supplies
- Stock the pantry with baking staples and any ingredients you know you’ll be using through the holidays. I have a few family recipes that I pull out each year, and some of them require very specific ingredients. How about you?
- Do you use paper products like plates, silverware, or cups? If so, shop early to make sure you get the product, size, and design you want
4 | Exterior maintenance
Don’t forget the outside of your home when it comes to preparing for the holidays.
Here are some helpful tips to get your home ready for holiday decorating:
- Pick up any extra leaves falling from trees. Depending upon where you live that could be a huge, ongoing task, but tackling it early will help keep things under control
- Maintain the landscaping by sweeping away dead plant material along walkways and around garden beds
- Make sure the exterior lights are working and that they aren’t tangled or missing any bulbs
- If you’re using outdoor decorations such as Christmas trees , make sure those arrangements are looking their best by checking out all of the materials and parts well ahead of time
- freshen up your front door/entry to prepare it for the holiday wreath.
5 | Prepare the guest bedroom(s) & bath
If you have family or friends anticipated over the holidays, here are some tips to preparing the bedrooms and bathrooms for their arrival:
- Arrange the bedding so it looks inviting. You can create a fresh appearance by changing up the accent pillows and rugs.
- It’s not necessary to go out and purchase new linens for guests, but be sure you keep an eye on any potential stains that may be visible when the linens are in use. A small amount of time cleaning and preparing for guests can help ensure they feel comfortable, and it will add to your peace of mind as well!
- Check the lamps and any other lighting to make sure it is clean, dusted, and the bulbs are in working order
- Give the bedroom a good dust and vacuuming
- Check the closet and make sure there is room for your guests to hang some clothing if needed
Prepare the Guest Bathroom
Guest bathrooms can sometimes get overlooked when it comes to holiday preparations, but here are some tips for ensuring the cleanliness of the room:
- Make sure there’s toilet paper in all of the restrooms (if you don’t want guests to be tempted with your premium brand, make sure you have a backup supply available)
- Make sure the shower is sparkling clean
- Empty the trash can and give it a good cleaning
- Check for any water leaks or other damage that may require attention
- Replace any damaged or stained towels, and if possible update your guest linens with something newer but still in keeping with the colors of fall/winter decorating
- You may also want to think about setting out some extra guest amenities such as soaps, shampoo, toothpaste and mouthwash.
6 | Food Prep
Make things easier on yourself and prepare some meals ahead of time.
- Prepare some meals that can be frozen ahead, then thawed and enjoyed when you’re too busy with other holiday happenings to cook.
- Food safety is a good idea when you’re freezing meals, so make sure you know how long foods can be kept in the freezer and what kinds of things you should always include in your pre-made food preparation.
- You can make a big batch of soup, chili, or another staple to last for a few days, for family and guests to enjoy.
7 | Holiday decorating
If you want to give yourself a gift and also eliminate unwanted stress, take the time to give your holiday decorations the once-over BEFORE you’re ready to put them up.
Take stock of how everything looks, and determine what might need to be replaced. If you do this early in the season you’ll have much more to choose from when shopping.
Is it time to donate, recycle, or perhaps trash some of the well-used holiday decorations? I know…some of those are treasures to you with fond memories. I get it. Try to separate those from the things that are just tired, worn out, and need to be replaced.
Consider using a new and different color in your decorating theme this year. By planning ahead, you can do that without rushing and stressing yourself out. Decide what you want to use again, and what needs to be added to freshen things up.
When the time comes to decorate, here’s a tip: Take your non-holiday decorative accents and pack them away in the holiday bins. You don’t need to display everything.
Enjoy the holiday decor, and when the time comes to put it away, your non-holiday decor will seem fresh and new again.
Holiday Decorating Ideas
Holiday Wall Art – I decided to invest in a couple of large canvas prints for the holiday season…starting a new tradition in my home! I’ll swap out the two large pieces in the Great Room for the Christmas season themed prints. When the season is over I’ll just switch them back. Check out this holiday wall art from Wayfair. That’s my go-to for wall decor!
Freshen up the holiday decorative accents – As mentioned above, if your holiday decor is starting to look mighty tired, it might be time to retire the old and bring in the new. Work within your budget. If you can afford two or three new pieces this year, that’s great.
Do the same thing each year and in a few years you’ll have a nice collection of fresh holiday decor. Here are some of my favorites, curated for you:
8 | Make a date with your family
Many families enjoy some holiday traditions that they love to share as a group each year. These special activities are wonderful opportunities to create lasting memories as well as helping your home look great for the holidays.
Here are some ideas to help get you inspired:
- Pick out your favorite holiday movies and set up a family movie night, or pick out that special Christmas movie everyone loves so much!
- Create a list of all the decorations you want to put up so everyone can pitch in and help get the job done faster
- Decorate the Christmas tree with your children, if you have any. It’s another wonderful tradition that you can enjoy year after year!
- Create a “Winter Wonderland” outside on your lawn by sprinkling white glitter on the grass to make it look like snow (unless, of course, you have the real thing!)
- If you’re feeling ambitious (and want to make sure the house is fully decorated before your guests arrive), go ahead and make a list of everything you need to buy or put away, and then go shopping for it!
9 | Create a wrapping area
Designate an area of your home to be the gift wrapping center, and a place to keep the wrapping supplies together and organized.
It is so frustrating to run around looking for the tape, a pair of scissors, those pesky gift tags…you know what I mean.
- Take your supply of gift wrap, bows, ribbon, tags, and the needed hardware, and put them together.
- Store them in a bag, box, or bin.
- Designate one spot in your home to wrap gifts. It could be in a bedroom, an office, or wherever it makes sense for you.
- Keep all of the supplies in that area so that when you’re ready to wrap, everything is right there waiting for you (sigh of relief!)
10 | Take time for self care
Of course, we know the value of caring for ourselves as women in midlife, no matter the season. It becomes even more essential to take the time during the busy holiday season to ensure our body, mind, and heart are in balance.
Stay true to your morning routine, your bedtime routine, your weekly routine, and remember to exercise regularly.
Yes, cleaning and holiday decorating expend the calories too, but don’t set all of the exercise aside. You’ll probably have some extra calories to work off from the holiday eating that we all tend to partake of!
Conclusion: Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays
There’s no doubt about it: holidays are stressful. Wonderful, but stressful.
Start early, plan ahead and you’ll be able to get your home ready for the holidays and feel great about it!
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