Quick Tips To Get Your Home Holiday Ready

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

The holidays often stir up feelings of magic, whimsy, and heartwarming cheer. But if you spend more days stressing about your house than basking in the joy of the season, it’s time for a change. Get your home ready for the holidays without feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

Declutter your house in the weeks leading up to the holidays, so it’s easier to keep tidy. Starting early gives you more time to clean in manageable chunks. Make sure you have essentials and adequate seating, so you can make adjustments well ahead of time. Concentrate on main living areas, add special touches for overnight guests, and close off unnecessary spaces.

Understandably, you want your home to make a good impression during the holidays. Everyone wants their house to be a welcoming place that makes guests feel at home and comfortable. But you deserve to feel comfortable too, so don’t let the holiday prep stress you out.

Holiday House Prep Tips To Do In Advance

One of the best ways to alleviate the stress of prepping your house for the holidays is to start early. Don’t wait until you’re in the height of the holiday madness to deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms.

Likewise, when guests are knocking at your door is not the time to make sure you have enough resources for everyone. You can work on the following steps a few weeks before the holidays begin to make the prep more manageable.

1. Start Decluttering

If your house is filled to the brim with stuff and clutter is out of control, it makes cleaning and tidying harder to do. You have more things to clean, move out of the way, and store. Therefore, every cleaning task becomes more overwhelming because each one involves more steps.

A few weeks before the holidays begin, start decluttering your space in chunks. Toss broken, damaged items, and donate or sell duplicates and things you don’t need.

2. Deep Clean In Stages

Approach cleaning your home in stages to make it easier to handle last-minute visits and guests. Instead of waiting until a few days before company arrives to deep clean the whole house, do it in small sections. Starting the cleaning process early allows you the luxury of doing a little at a time.

Concentrate on one room or task per day over a two-week span before the holidays. Then, you only need to do light cleanings and touch-ups before guests arrive.

3. Stock Up On Essentials

You don’t want to have guests show up only to find out at that moment you’re running low on toilet paper. It’s also a pain to realize you’re out of sugar when you decide to whip up some brownies or other sweet treats for company.

A few weeks ahead of the season, stock up on household and kitchen essentials to ease the stress of holiday entertaining. Things like toilet paper, hand soap, flour, sugar, baking powder, chicken or beef broth, coffee, creamer, etc. are all good examples.

4. Make Necessary Repairs

Go through your home and start making a list of things you need to fix before you have guests. Put them in order of what is most important to complete (repairing a busted refrigerator) to the things you’d like to get done (touching up the paint in the guest bathroom). Start working your way through your list, enlisting help as needed to accomplish each task.

5. Assess Your Seating Situation

Determine how many people you can comfortably accommodate at one time. If it isn’t enough for the number of guests you expect to entertain, start gathering some extra seating. Folding chairs offer an excellent temporary solution, as well as folding tables if you’re hosting a large holiday meal.

6. Decide On Dishware

Are you using the good china for your dinner party? If so, do you have enough for anyone or do you need to fill in with some extra dishware?

Or, are you taking the easier route and going with paper products? No matter what you choose to use, decide ahead of time and make sure to have it ready to go.

7. Add Special Touches For Overnight Guests

Make holiday guests feel at home with extra special touches, like a fuzzy robe in the guest bedroom and lush bath products. Other fun additions are a few books or puzzles, a basket of decadent treats, bottled water, and a cozy throw blanket.

8. Don’t Put Off Putting Up Christmas Decorations

Everyone has their own idea of the best time to put up Christmas decorations. For some, the ideal time is the day after Thanksgiving. Others wait a couple of more weeks, and others are already stringing up Christmas lights after Halloween.

You do what works for you, but try not to put off decorating until it’s almost Christmas day (or whichever holiday you celebrate). The longer you wait to decorate, the more your stress levels will rise as your to-do list inevitably grows and grows.

Quick Ways To Get Your Home Ready For Guests In A Pinch

Take the above advice of prepping things a few weeks before the holidays, and the rest becomes a breeze. All of the last-minute visits or quick clean-ups are much easier to handle. So, when you’re minutes away from your next holiday event, use these steps to freshen your home and make it ready for guests.

1. Do A Ten-Minute Tidy

Each night, spend roughly 10 minutes returning items to their proper places, wiping down countertops, and emptying the dishwasher. Devoting a few minutes to these quick clean-ups makes it more manageable to keep your house ready for holiday guests.

2. Wipe Down Counters And Surfaces

Before guests arrive, wipe down all your counters and surfaces, like bathroom vanities, the kitchen table, etc. It keeps things looking clean and fresh without having to go all out with a full dusting or disinfecting routine.

3. Clean Toilets And Bathroom Sinks

Nobody likes a dirty bathroom. So, stay on top of cleaning your bathroom sinks and toilets, making sure to clean them weekly. An easy trick to keep your bathroom smelling fresh is to put a little bit of Pine Sol or similar cleaner in the bottom of your toilet brush holder.

4. Use Candle Warmers Or Diffusers

Infuse your home with the scents of the season using oil diffusers or candle warmers. You won’t have to worry about open flames from candles, and you’ll get a pleasing aroma throughout your space. It also helps stir up cheerful holiday memories and gets people in the spirit.

5. Close Off Spaces

Limit the number of rooms you need to keep clean by closing off unnecessary spaces to your guests. For example, guests don’t need to go into your laundry room, home office, spare room full of scrapbooking supplies, etc.

6. Concentrate On Main Living Spaces

Don’t feel like you need to clean your entire home every time guests are on their way. Concentrate on the main living spaces, like the kitchen, living room, and bathrooms. If you have overnight guests, add the guest bedroom to this list.

7. Remove Non-Essential Items From The Kitchen

Keep anything you don’t need in the kitchen for preparing meals out of the space during the holidays. Your laptop, kids’ homework folders, a week's worth of mail, and similar items have no business living in the kitchen, especially during the busy holiday season.

Aim to keep countertops as clear as possible. This not only makes the space feel cleaner, but also makes it a lot easier to tackle holiday baking and cooking.

There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays

The holidays are all about spending time with family and friends, not stressing about how your house looks. Tackle clutter, repairs, and deep cleaning of main living spaces a few weeks before the holiday festivities begin. Make sure you have enough essentials, seating, and dishware to accommodate your guests.

Close off extra spaces to limit the areas you need to keep tidy. Use candle warmers to add seasonal aromas to your home, and make guests feel at home with special touches.

The biggest lifesaver when it comes to getting your home ready for the holidays? Starting early; you can approach your holiday house prep gradually and calmly. You won’t need to fret when the in-laws decide to pop in at the last minute. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect holiday gift to give yourself this season?

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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