Preparing Your Home for the Holidays: Tips on Decluttering and Getting Organized
Sitting by the fire, eating delicious feasts, seeing loved ones for the first time in a year...the holidays can be a magical time.
But around 80% of Americans also find them stressful. Hosting a holiday celebration or having guests stay can turn a joyous occasion into a taxing one. Your to-do list never stops growing and there's always a last-minute panic trip to the grocery store or mall. And no matter how many times you tidy up, your house still looks like Santa's sleigh crashed into it.
That's why you should start preparing your home for the holidays as early as possible!
This guide will help you organize your home before the holidays so you can actually enjoy yourself this year.
Clear the Clutter as Soon as Possible
You should start preparing for the holidays by clearing your clutter in October. We're not joking! Finding someone to take away your old broken TV when you're days away from welcoming guests will be a headache.
Start by assigning bins in your kitchen or hallway with the following labels:
Throughout the month, when you stumble across items you no longer need, throw them into a bin. Try to get rid of one item each day. Get the whole family involved and turn it into a competition!
Clear your calendar for the entire last weekend in October (or another convenient time). Take one last walk through your home to get rid of any last pieces of clutter. Pack up your car or hire junk and donation removal services for larger items.
Deep Clean Your Living Spaces
Give your home a deep clean in early November so you only need to do a "top-up" clean before hosting. And cleaning and preparing your home for the holidays will be a lot easier without the clutter!
Focus on your kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and other high-traffic areas first. Only tackle your garage, attic, and other places that guests won't see if you have spare time. These are some examples of deep cleaning tasks:
• Scrubbing grout from the bathroom and kitchen tiles
• Wiping baseboards, doorknobs, and blinds
• Sanitizing trash cans
• Carpet cleaning and polishing wood floors
• Cleaning kitchen appliances
Break down all your deep cleaning tasks by room or by type. And you don't have to do all these tasks yourself! Fore example, you can hire carpet and oven cleaners.
After you've deep cleaned, you'll only need to vacuum or do some light dusting before welcoming guests for the rest of the season.
Create Space for Holiday Decor and Guests
Most people don't live in a huge mansion like the McCallisters in Home Alone and have tons of spare rooms for guests. You might not even have a designated space for a Christmas tree!
Continue your holiday season preparation by moving some furniture around. Checking you have enough space for futons and for guests to store their belongings. Put away any ornaments, couch cushions, and other knickknacks to make space for decorations.
Decorate Your Home for the Holidays Early
One of the biggest steps in home organization for the holidays is to decorate. If you have fall decorations, you can start putting these out in September. You can decorate for Halloween on October 1st, Thanksgiving on November 1st, and Christmas right after.
Don't listen to the grinches who say you can't decorate for Christmas or other December holidays until the 1st. It's your home! The earlier you decorate, the sooner you can check another job off your list. While decorating, make note of the containers you use to store your decorations. Are they falling apart? Is it difficult to find the decorations you need?
Invest in clear, airtight containers and put labels on them. Find containers with dividers for your smaller, more fragile ornaments. This will make it easier to find your decorations next year and they won't smell like mildew.
When you've finished your decor holidays preparation, see if there are any leftover decorations. Consider donating these to free up more space in your attic. Now is the perfect time to donate them, not January when the season is over!
Sort Food and Plan Meals With What You Have
Many holiday treats start hitting the shelves in every grocery store across the country in October. There's no reason to put off buying packaged food that won't expire. Make a list of everything you need to cook and bake over the holiday season and stock up on what you can.
This is a great time to make sure you have enough dishes to feed your guests and a tray big enough to fit your turkey. Those Santa-shaped cookie cutters you used last year might not be where you thought you left them!
You could also arrange a grocery delivery online weeks before you schedule the delivery. That way, you won't have to worry about fresh produce being available in your local store.
Get Everything Ready Two Days Beforehand
Do you have guests arriving on December 24th? Make up their beds and lay out towels on the 22nd.
Are you hosting a New Year's Eve dinner? Lay the table, arrange your bar cart, and make party games on December 29th.
Those last-minute panic trips to the grocery store or mall are inevitable. But if you get all the tasks you can do ahead of time two days before, you're still saving yourself a lot of stress.
Preparing Your Home for the Holidays Starts Today
Don't start preparing your home for the holidays in December. The sooner you get organized, the sooner you can put your feet up with hot cocoa and enjoy the festive season. And you can enjoy it in your clutter-free, clean, and decorated home.
Need help getting rid of your clutter?
College HUNKS operates in over 30 states and we can remove your unwanted items. We offer clear pricing and we even donate or recycle around 70% of the junk we haul.
Find out more about our junk removal services and ask for a free estimate today!