It’s that time of year again… Are your halls decked with boughs of holly yet? Whether you’re planning on entertaining in the next couple weeks, or just want to give your space a little holiday cheer, we’ve got your back. Use our checklist below while getting your home ready for the holidays!
Your first task is to declutter the main spaces. Even if you don’t have time to do a thorough deep clean, the appearance of a decluttered room will give the illusion of cleanliness. Concentrate on the high-traffic areas that guests will pass through and spend time in, like the front porch, living room, dining room, kitchen, and the bathrooms. Tidy up these areas, return belongings to their rightful places and remove unsightly clutter from view. Decluttering also serves as a prime opportunity to donate unneeded items that take up valuable space. There are plenty of worthy charities that would appreciate the things in your home that no longer serve a purpose. ‘Tis the season for giving!
Declutter your coat closet by donating unwanted coats to charity too, also leaving plenty of empty hangers for guests to use. If you have kids, ask them to choose some toys they don’t play with to donate to children in need. They may be more willing to part with things at this time of year when they know that Santa will be bringing some new additions.
Declutter kitchen countertops by removing any unnecessary appliances, papers or random objects that tend to build up. In the refrigerator and pantry, toss out any expired food or things that you don’t need. Give each dish, glass, pot and pan a designated space in your cabinets for easy access and organization. Getting your home ready for the holidays includes solving problems in advance so you can spend more time relaxing with family and friends.
Like decluttering, it’s best to focus on the main spaces. Rather than worrying about every nook and cranny, create a cleaning checklist that focuses on high-traffic areas where people will spend most of their time. Dust the horizontal surfaces, do the vacuuming or mopping and giving the bathrooms a good cleaning. If you have time, tend to those tricky spaces like ceiling fans, doors and blinds. And if you have carpeting, don’t forget to spot-clean those pesky stains.
The bathrooms and kitchen are where most of the deep cleaning will take place. Make sure all countertops are free of residue and smelling fresh. Leave the toilets and showers spotless, floors shiny and mirrors mark free. Give your oven a good clean, removing greasy buildup and crumbs. You’ll want everything to feel brand new when cooking for guests, so don’t leave it until the last minute.
Deck the Halls
There’s nothing more welcoming than stepping into a home with cheerful decorations and festive flair during the holidays. If you haven’t already, pull out your decorations from storage, visit a home decor shop, or find some simple DIY ideas online. There are levels to transforming your home into a winter wonderland… but we’ll break down the basics.
Adorn your front door with a wreath, weave garland through the railings and make sure that tree is trimmed. Break out the holiday placemats, dish towels and centerpiece in the kitchen and dining room. In the living room, decorate the mantle and toss some holiday throw pillows on the couch. Some final touches you can make to really set the holiday mood include seasonal scented candles, a roaring fireplace and holiday music. Of course, these are just a few ideas and every home has its own unique features to decorate!
Prepare for House Guests
Do you have any family or friends staying with you over the holidays? Overnight guests require a little extra preparation, as you know. Make sure the bedrooms or makeshift spaces they’ll be sleeping in are made up with fresh linens, towels and toiletries for their stay. Think of it as creating a hotel experience. Stock up on household essentials like toothbrushes, lotion, soap and shampoo. It doesn’t hurt to have extras on hand in case your guests forget something.
If you have young children staying with you, be aware of what’s in their reach and make sure that the house is generally baby proof. While their parents likely have everything packed for them, it can be helpful to pull out any games or toys you have to entertain them as well. The objective is to make each guest feel comfortable, so be mindful as you prepare to host.
Optimize Your Entryway
The first thing your guests will see when they arrive is your entryway, so it deserves some special consideration when getting your home ready for the holidays. You should make your front entrance memorable, as well as functional and accessible. A festive doormat and wreath create a welcoming vibe and a drying rack for wet boots is essential for wet weather. You can set up a coat rack directly inside your front door, or make room in the closet for the incoming coats and nice shoes.
If you live in a cold climate, be sure that your driveway and walkway are cleared of ice and snow. Depending on how much snow is falling, you may need to address this a few times as you await your guests. An eco-friendly hack for snow and ice clearing is using coffee grounds or sand to help break down the settled ice.
Do you have your own tips for holiday home preparation? Let us know in the comments!