The holiday season is going to be here before we know it. It can be the most wonderful time of the year — and the most stressful. It’s easy to feel burnt out before the first Christmas carol starts playing on the radio. But before you become overwhelmed, check out six of my favorite ways to prep for the holiday season. Yes, it would be great if we deep-cleaned our chimney to prepare for Santa and had all the carpets shampooed in preparation for guests, but this is the real world. Most of my holiday prep tasks should only require a few minutes and will make you feel much more prepared once it’s crunch time.
- Deep Clean Your Fridge
Unless it’s been a while since your house got a good clean, I say skip the ambitious deep-cleaning projects like washing all your windows. It’s going to create a never-ending to-do list and just stress you out. Plus, once your house is full of family, is anyone going to be eyeing your baseboards that closely? If you can, stick to your normal cleaning routine leading up to any holiday hosting. But one thing I don’t skip is the fridge. Even if you aren’t having people over, food tends to accumulate during the holidays. Friends drop off cookies, family members foist leftovers on you…. It’s a wonderfully delicious problem to have. To make room for the turkey, plan a quick deep clean of your fridge and freezer. Check expiration dates (you’ll be amazed what can hide in plain sight for way too long). Toss anything you know your family won’t eat. Wipe down the shelves with a disinfecting wipe, replace what you want to keep, and you’ll have a sparkling clean canvas for all your future holiday feasts!
- Declutter & Check Your Closets
OK, I said no cleaning, but decluttering hardly counts. No scrubbing or vacuuming, just clearing out. Especially if you expect presents to invade your home over the holidays, you’ll want to make some space. If you don’t have time to do an ambitious declutter, take aim at your closets. Two reasons: It’s where you’re probably going to be hiding presents, so it’s good to make some room. It’s also where a lot of your hosting essentials, like linens and towels, are stored. Going through your closets allows you to take quick stock of what you have and what you might need.
- Stock Up On Pantry Items
This should be pretty painless: Next time you’re at the store, grab a spare of family favorites and all those things you’ve used over and over again this year. If you always make cookies, grab an extra bag of flour and sugar. If you know you’ll make pie, get a premade crust and pop it in the freezer. The idea here isn’t to hoard, but to grab things that can often be in short supply as the big day approaches. Because on December 24 when you remember that the kids want to leave some peppermint cookies out for Santa, you will be ready.
- Check In On Your Decorations
If you have holiday decorations, they’re probably in a box somewhere for 10 – 11 months out of the year. Unless you start decorating at Thanksgiving or have a holiday decor inventory list, and kudos to you if you do, you probably aren’t 100% sure of everything you have available to use. Meanwhile, beautifully merchandised and enticing store displays are trying to sell you on everything from glass blown ornaments to blow-up snowmen and elaborate wreaths. It’s easy to fall for these clever tricks, but do you have room for that 6 ft nutcracker? Do you really need another box of ornaments? If you are like me and start your decorating sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, consider taking a quick peek at those boxes. The review will refresh your memory so that you can give into that new tree skirt or set of snowflake ornaments. Otherwise, just unwrap all those family favorites that you put away months ago, and enjoy the memories while getting your home ready for family and friends.
- Cozy Up Your Space
Really, though, I think most people’s best bet for the holidays isn’t investing in more holiday decor. Instead, figure out ways to make your home feel more wintery. That way, you can enjoy it well into the New Year and beyond. If you have blankets, this is a great time to pull them out and drape them on sofas, armchairs, and beds. Get some wintery candles (I love anything cedar-scented). Even simple, yet elegant taper candles in holders placed on tables, fireplace mantles or bookshelves and that little bit of glow and warmth. I love seasonal throw pillows (not too many). You won’t believe how they can spice up and renew your room. I tend toward darker, warmer tones for winter, but there’s just something about a big, warm, textured white pillow that feels right at home during this season too. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, revamp your space with a new rug or curtains. Think about the plush softness on bare feet or a rich, plush fabric to hold back the winter chill from windows and sliders. It’s all about creating that snug, warm, inviting environment, your place to refresh and recharge.
- Deep Clean Your Fridge
Live Beautifully Today,
Mia, the Furniture Girl