Preparing Your Home for the Holidays

Tips and Advice

Rosh Hashanah is almost here, and from there it is a fast downhill run of holidays through welcoming in 2016. It’s a good idea to get your home prepped for the holidays now, before it becomes one more hectic To-Do on an over-crowded list. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Update your front porch with autumn décor that can be easily changed out for evergreens after Thanksgiving. Make sure your outdoor lights are working and replace any burned out bulbs so guests won’t fall as the days get shorter. Check for slip-and-fall hazards like loose pavers, broken steps, and loose handrails. It will be easier to fix problems now while the temperatures are nice. In fact, it’s never too early to string up for a few twinkle lights to set the mood and light the way to the front door. You can even hang an autumn door wreath and garland, then you are all set to reuse the hangers for your winter display.

Autumn Decor from Pottery Barn
Autumn Décor from Pottery Barn

We can deny it all we want – winter and all the mess that accompanies it will still be here soon. Prepare your entryway for winter coats and boots, slush and rock salt. A bench for guests to sit while removing boots can help keep the mess contained to the entryway. Be sure to move lighter jackets to storage to make room in the entryway closet for guest’s coats. This beautifully organized entryway on Better Homes & Gardens is good inspiration!

bhg entryway2

Kitchen and Pantry
Now is the perfect time to go through the refrigerator and freezer and toss out expired food to make room for holiday cooking. It’s also a good time to take stock of spices, baking essentials, trays and dishes. Make a list of items that need replaced so you won’t be caught off guard later. If your pantry is too much of a mess to take stock, retailers like The Container Store have everything you need to get your organized so you aren’t scrambling later. It’s even a good idea to test out those small appliances you only use over the holidays and have your garbage disposal and drains cleaned. Many a holiday dinner has been derailed by plugged up sinks!

container store pantry2

Living Room
Change out the batteries in your smoke alarms so they don’t start beeping at the worst possible time (like in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner!) and make sure your fire extinguishers are in working order. Start tucking away decorative accessories from the tabletops and rearranging your furniture to make room for holiday décor, especially if you like a big tree. Get out the table cloths, napkins, and runners and inspect them for damage. If they don’t need replaced, it’s a great time to launder them so they are ready to use. Inspect your furniture and carpets to see if you need to have them cleaned. If not, consider having them treated with Scotchgard. You can even set out some of your serving dishes that you use for party treats and keep them filled with healthy snacks like fruit and nuts for your family. If you haven’t used your music system in a while, you better test it out now just in case there is a problem.

Guest Room and Bathrooms
Whether or not you have a dedicated guest bedroom or bathroom, you can inspect your linens, pillows, and towels to make sure everything is in order for company. Make sure you have some pretty hand towels for parties and stock up on scented candles, scented hand soaps, and hand lotions. Don’t forget to check your supply of hand sanitizer – we all love our guests but not the flu bug they might be carrying.

Holiday Bathroom from Macy's
Holiday Bathroom from Macy’s

Some prep work now can make your holiday experience a lot less stressful and more fun later. Is it too early to say Happy Holidays? Check out our pinterest board for more ideas.

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