The days are getting colder and fall foliage is turning brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange, which can only mean one thing – the holiday season is just around the corner! With Thanksgiving fast approaching, followed by a host of other winter holidays over the next few months, people typically look forward to this festive and fun time of the year spent with loved ones.
With holiday meals, parties, and potential overnight guests, the start of this season means it’s time to start getting your home ready for visitors. But before you start making a mental list of to-dos, check out our top five tips for getting your home ready for the holidays so you can zero in on where to focus your efforts.
Declutter Main Spaces
Your first task is to declutter main spaces. This is because the appearance of a de-cluttered room often gives the illusion of it being clean, even if it hasn’t been scrubbed down from top to bottom.
You don’t have to declutter every room in the house. Concentrate on the main areas guests will pass through and spend time in, like the front porch, living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathrooms. Tidy up these areas, putting belongings back in their rightful place or donating unneeded things that take up valuable space. For a quick cleanup, place clutter in a laundry basket to temporarily store in a spare room, basement, or attic, where it will be out of sight.
Clean High-Traffic Areas
Speaking of scrubbing, that’s next on the list of things to do to prepare your house for guests. There’s no need to cover every nook and cranny. Instead, create a cleaning checklist that focuses on high-traffic areas where people will spend most of their time.
Tackle the main tasks of dusting horizontal surfaces, vacuuming or mopping floors, and giving the bathrooms a good cleaning. If you have time, get those hard-to-reach spaces, like ceiling fans, doors, vents, and blinds. And if you have carpeting, spot-clean to remove stains from spills or pets.
Stock up on Essentials
When you’re in host mode, the last thing you want is to run out of a household essential.
To avoid this inconvenience, make sure you take a trip to the store in advance. Stock up on paper products, including toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins. If you’re going to do a lot of cooking for guests, stock the pantry and fridge with all the necessities. Also make sure you have basic baking supplies on hand, like flour, sugar, oil, eggs, and spices.
One of the best things about a holiday feast is the leftovers. Stock up on plastic wrap, tin foil, or to-go containers, so guests can bring extra helpings home with them.
To help guests stay clean and healthy, have a good supply of hand soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes available to quickly wipe up spills or messes.
Prepare for Overnight Guests
One of the best things about the holidays is spending extended time with friends and family. Sometimes, this includes hosting them as overnight guests. To prepare for their stay, make sure the bedrooms or makeshift spaces they’ll be sleeping in are made up with fresh linens, along with a supply of towels for them to use for the duration of their stay.
When making your shopping list of household essentials, be sure to add some basic toiletry items, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo. Even if guests bring their own, it doesn’t hurt to have extra on hand in case they forget something.
If you have children or babies staying with you, you should be aware of what’s in their reach and make sure that areas where they’ll be are generally baby proof. While mom and dad usually have everything packed for them, it can be helpful to pull out some games or toys from the attic or basement, if you have any, to help entertain the kids.
Add a Festive Touch
Nothing feels more welcoming during the holiday season than stepping into a home with cheerful decorations and festive flair. It’s time to pull out your boxes of decorations from storage, scout out your favorite home decor stores, or find some creative and simple DIY ideas online.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started. Add a wreath to the front door, so visitors receive a warm greeting as they enter your home. Create a festive atmosphere in the dining room and kitchen with holiday placemats, dish towels, and a holiday centerpiece. In the living room, add garland and a few focal decorations to the mantle, and finish it off with some holiday throw pillows on the couch.
There are a few final touches you can take to really set the holiday mood. Use seasonal scented candles in main areas that will welcome your guests as they step in your house. If you have a fireplace, have a warm and cozy fire going as people relax in the living area. Just make sure to clean your wood fireplace and chimney before you start using it for the season. Lastly, play holiday music to help get everyone into the holiday spirit.
The holidays are a special time of reminiscing about old memories and making new ones with your family and friends. With how busy the season can be, it’s important to keep the cleaning and preparations as simple as possible so you can focus on what matters – spending time with loved ones. Use these five tips to get started with preparing your home for the holidays, and your guests will be sure to appreciate the work you’ve put in to make your home a special place to gather this holiday season.
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The included content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as professional advice. Additional terms and conditions apply. Not all applicants will qualify. Consult with a finance professional for tax advice or a mortgage professional to address your mortgage questions or concerns. This is an advertisement. Prepared 11/4/2021.