How To Prepare Your Home for the Holidays
The most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching and it’s hard not to embrace the festive spirit. To help you get started, we’ve created the ultimate checklist to help you prepare your home for the holiday season!
Step 1: Begin With a Deep Clean
Kickstart your holiday preparations with a thorough cleaning to create a fresh canvas for the season’s festivities.
Make sure your entertaining space is spick and span with this checklist before welcoming any guests:
- Vacuum and clean upholstered furniture to remove any dust or pet hair
- Wipe down and polish coffee tables and other surfaces
- Dust off your bookshelves and decorative items
- Ensure that your entertainment centre and electronics are free of dust and fingerprints
- Clean out the fireplace if you have one to ensure it’s safe and ready for use
Ahead of preparing those hearty holiday meals, clean, organise, and declutter your kitchen for the perfect workspace.
- Start by cleaning out the refrigerator to make space for leftovers
- Shine your tapware and sinks
- Declutter your kitchen by removing unnecessary items and wiping down surfaces
- Give major kitchen appliances like ovens, stovetops, and microwaves a thorough cleaning
Before you freshen up, let’s make sure your bathroom cleans up well too:
- Ensure mirrors are crystal clear with a good wipe and polish
- Clean shower doors, tapware, and drains to eliminate any marks or grime
- Re-caulk your showers and bathtubs
- Place deodorisers in your toilets
- Use this opportunity to perform any necessary maintenance for the upcoming year
The festive season is all about bonding with family and friends, and there’s no better way to do that than over a good meal. Don’t let a dusty dining room stop you from wowing your guests at the table. Here’s how to prepare this space:
- Thoroughly dust and wipe down all surfaces in the dining room, including the dining table, chairs, and any display cabinets
- Wipe down any light fixtures and chandeliers, and replace any burnt-out bulbs
- Ensure a smooth flow from the kitchen to the dining area to facilitate serving — this might require some rearranging of furniture
- Pay special attention to any glass or mirrored surfaces, making sure they’re streak-free
- Polish the dining ware, ensuring that plates, cutlery, and glassware are spotless
- Sweep, mop, and wax all tiles
- Vacuum all carpeted and upholstered areas
- Dust and clean high and low areas in every room. This includes ceilings, ceiling fans, and baseboards
- Wash and disinfect commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs and switches
- Declutter all shared spaces; consider getting a storage unit for excess items you aren’t ready to part with
Step 2: Stock Up on Holiday Essentials
We know how crazy the stores can get at the end of the year, so get your essentials ahead of time to avoid the holiday rush.
- Begin by stocking up on pantry staples and frozen foods. It’s a good idea to contact any guests you’re expecting before creating your menu to find out if they’ve updated their dietary preferences
- Make sure you have enough matching cutlery and crockery, serving platters and utensils, and glassware for your guests
- Consider getting festive placemats, tablecloths, and serviettes — think Christmasy prints and seasonal colours
- Ensure you’ve got enough plastic containers — those leftovers will go a long way
- Make sure you have enough toilet paper, hand towels, and bath towels.
- Refill hand soaps, sanitisers, and lotions in every bathroom
- Fill your bathroom cabinets with spare toiletries for your guests
- Create or update a holiday emergency kit with essentials like bandages, pain relievers, and indigestion remedies
- Include an updated list of local emergency numbers in your First Aid kit
Some other things you might have to stock up on include:
- Firewood, as well as matches and lighters, for a healthy hearth
- Rubbish bags for post-celebratory clean-ups
- Board games and cards for entertainment
- Gifts (lest we forget!)
Step 3: Prepare for Guests
If you’re expecting any overnight guests during the holiday season, give them a five-star stay at your home — after all, choosing to spend this special time with you is the highest compliment!
- Give any underused guest rooms a thorough dusting, sweeping, and polishing
- Clear out clutter in closets (especially if you’ve been using it as storage space), making space for your guests to unpack their suitcases or overnight bags
- Provide fresh bedding and towels
- Prepare a thoughtful basket of essential toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and toothbrushes
- Prepare for chilly weather by offering extra blankets or a heater
Step 4: Start Decorating (Sooner Rather Than Later)
Finally, we’ve gotten to the fun part. Decorating is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the holiday season, so start early to fully embrace the festive cheer.
Retrieve your decorations from storage early to assess what you have; things tend to go missing or get damaged from one holiday season to the next. Once you’ve had a good look at your options, you might have to shop for replacements — or maybe you just want to spruce things up this year to compete with the neighbours.
Consider these decorating ideas:
- Deck the Halls: Hang wreaths, garlands, and twinkle lights on the inside and outside of your home. Use greenery, pinecones, and berries to add a natural touch.
- Tree Traditions: If you celebrate Christmas, consider adding personalised decorations to your tree, like a homemade tree topper and ornaments.
- Mantel Magic: Create a warm and inviting fireplace mantel with candles, stockings, and figurines.
- Window Dressing: Adorn your windows with holiday curtains or drapes, or simply hang up some fairy lights for added ambience.
- Holiday Centrepieces: Create stunning centrepieces with seasonal flowers, pinecones, and candles. Place these on the dining and coffee tables.
- Outdoor Winter Wonderland: Don’t forget your outdoor spaces! Place holiday decorations in your yard or on your porch. Think holiday signage, colourful string lights, lawn reindeer, and lanterns.
- Grand Entry: Your entryway sets the tone for the rest of your house, so give your guests a grand welcome with holiday signage, and dress up the space in red, green, and gold.
- Festive Freshen Up: Bathrooms are often neglected when it comes to decorating, but they get a ton of foot traffic. Holiday-themed hand towels, scented candles, and a vase of seasonal flowers can go a long way.
Tip: Remember to stock up on practical items like batteries, bulbs, plug adapters, and glue too!
Step 5: Prepare Your Gifts
Hopefully, you’ve got all your gifts sorted by this point. The next mountain to climb is getting your gifts wrapped. To make this easier, set up a station with festive gift wrapping paper, tape, scissors, ribbon, tags, and anything else you might need.
Choose a discreet corner where you and each family member can go one by one to wrap gifts out of sight (no spoiling the surprise!). Have a paper bin stationed here as well to keep the area clean and recycle any scraps.
Step 6: Infuse Your Home With a Signature Scent
Create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your home with delightful holiday scents. We’re sure some mouth-watering aromas will be floating through the hallways from your kitchen, but here are some other ways to get those seasonal notes into the air:
- Light a candle with seasonal scents.
- Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil to a humidifier.
- Place some reed diffusers around your home.
- Burn incense sticks.
- Add eucalyptus around shower heads for a fragrant steam.
- Make a simmer pot with your favourite seasonal ingredients.
A simmer pot is a great way to make the most of your food, by using peels and scraps while giving your place a homely, personalised scent.
How To Make a Simmer Pot
- Fill a small pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Add ingredients like cinnamon sticks, apple peels, citrus rinds, and nutmeg, or whatever nice-smelling discards you have in your kitchen.
- Allow the pot to boil for a few minutes before reducing it to a simmer.
- Monitor the pot and add water as needed (typically every half an hour), allowing it to simmer for a few hours.
Experiment with different combinations to create the scent that best suits your preferences, whether it’s the aroma of freshly baked goods or a refreshing herbal fragrance.
Step 7: Create a Hot Chocolate Station
Warm up during the holiday season with a hot chocolate station for your family and guests. Provide mugs, hot cocoa mixes, mini marshmallows, whipped cream, and flavoured syrups, allowing everyone to customise their perfect cup of hot chocolate.
Add some coffee varieties and tea blends for the non–hot chocolate drinkers.
Some Extra Tips for a Successful Festive Season
- Set a budget to avoid overspending during the holidays.
- Make sure to give yourself time to relax and enjoy the festivities. Don’t be afraid to delegate; you can create a rotating chore list so everyone does their bit.
- Create a holiday music playlist to set the mood! Alternatively, there are many existing ones online to choose from.
- Plan, plan, and plan some more! Create to-do lists, shopping lists, and a holiday calendar to keep track of everything.
Is your home bursting with gifts, garlands, and goodies after every festive season? Clear out your holiday clutter with Louth Self Storage. We have a range of affordable storage units, perfect for storing your holiday mementoes and décor until next year. Contact us today for your ideal space!