The holiday season is almost upon us, which means it’s time to entertain family and friends. Here are some helpful home prep tips to remember as you get ready to entertain family and friends over the next few months. Getting ready for the holidays is often stressful, but with advanced planning, you can spend more time relaxing with friends and family and less time worrying about last-minute preparations.
Take Care of the Dirty Work Before It’s Too Late
Clean out the drains and dish disposal if you have one, check the toilets as bathrooms become a high traffic area with guests in town and a constant stream of holiday goodies. Unfortunately, most of us don’t give toilets much thought until a problem arises. If you already know your trips in advance, take care of the busy work before you leave so you can return to your home feeling refreshed and unburdened.
Consider Electrical Safety and Energy Saving
Part of what makes the holiday season so sparkly is the festivities that light up the night. Between gifts, family celebrations, and the cold of winter, most households see a spike in expenses during the holiday months. Be safe when plugging in Christmas lights, and consider replacing old ones with low-energy LED string lights, which is just one way to help lower your overall energy costs. Don’t overload electrical sockets with multiple extension cords. There’s no fun in kicking off the new year with a surprise electricity bill.
Prepare for the Worst
It’s better to be over-prepared than under. Depending on where you live, you may be headed into a bout of bad weather over the holidays, and you want to be as secure as possible, especially if extended family and guests are occupying your home.
Although everyone is excited about big family meals, it may be a good idea to stock up on some nonperishables and toiletry supplies in case you are stuck with a power outage or even snowed in.
With all the cooking and extra bodies bustling around the kitchen and dining area, the holidays are the prime time for accidents. Check that your smoke detector is functioning. You may even want to double-check your HVAC set up to preempt any issues as the temperatures fluctuate. Check that your vacuum cleaner is functioning, or if you’re looking to invest in a new one, the holiday would be the perfect time to consider an iRobot Roomba. A robotic vacuum that can be left to clean up the mess while you get back to spending time with loved ones.
Prep For Guests
If you don’t normally have the house set up to accommodate younger children, then childproofing your home is something people will really appreciate. As extended family and guests roll in, they may have new little ones tagging along behind them. Perhaps have a play area with toys and games contain any messes can allow parents to unwind without worry. When decorating, simply be mindful about placing fragile items, glass, and valuables within a baby’s reach.
Decluttering Isn’t Just For Springtime
Disorganized and cluttered spaces add unwelcome anxiety and disarray, especially during the holiday hustle and bustle. Clean out the refrigerator and pantry to make room for the big-time meal prep ahead. Organize closets and discard or donate items never used or outgrown. A clean and clutter-free space will help lead to a more relaxed and peaceful mindset so you can focus on the rest of your to-do list and enjoy your time off. An added bonus is that your newly decluttered home is not only more relaxing and welcoming but also you’ve gotten rid of extra stuff and made room for some new holiday additions.
Decorate as You Wish
Elaborate decor can always add an extra taste of the holidays, but know that your guests came to spend quality time with you not ogle fancy decorations. You can cut costs with some of these DIY holiday decorations. Try and set aside a day or weekend for all things decoration. Letting it drag out with boxes and supplies left around the house is just an added headache for everyone.
Our sense of smell is known to be one of the strongest and so naturally memories are often made stronger by scent. About an hour before people are expected when people walk in your home, throw a mix of cranberry, orange and cinnamon on the stove for the perfect fresh and cozy holiday potpourri.
Everyone’s holiday traditions are different and special in their own way, but in order to get the most out of them, you’ll want to kick things off with the least amount of unnecessary stress. Be preemptive and cut yourself a break. Develop a budget and make organized lists to keep you on track. Be intentional about how you prioritize your time, discover what traditions and activities are most important to you and your family and put the most effort into preserving those memories.