Preparing for the Holidays and the influx of guests, cooking, wrapping, and decorating that go along with it can seem overwhelming. But these 8 simple steps help break the daunting task of whipping up a magical and albeit memorable holiday for your family into manageable tasks that you (might) even enjoy.

 

  1. PLAN.
    Write down a plan of what events you’ll be hosting for the Holidays. Is it your turn to host Christmas dinner for the family? Are you having any Christmas parties or perhaps a big bash for New Years Eve? If so, start planning now and keep a list of what needs to be done. Don’t forget to include the linen washing and cleaning the silver that will need to happen.
  2. DE-CLUTTER.
    For the entire house (or you can focus on the areas that guests will see), eliminate clutter. Get rid of old magazines and find a place for those knick-knacks that aren’t holiday themed. You can box them up until after the holidays and store them in the attic or garage.
  3. DIVIDE AND CONQUER.
    Make up a list of jobs to be done and delegate tasks to family members. You may want to clean the carpets, paint a room, or you may even have some larger tasks you will pay a professional to complete. Work those into your plan and get them scheduled early. The closer it gets to the holidays, the harder it’ll be to get the bigger jobs completed.
  4. TAKE INVENTORY.
    Get out the holiday decorations. Check for completeness, burnt out bulbs, and broken items. Repair and replace as necessary. Clean items that are dirty. Fill in with any new purchases and set aside until you’re ready to decorate.
  5. PICK-UPS/SHOPPING.
    Start picking up or borrowing any items you may need for entertaining. Linens and serving pieces can be expensive but chances are they can be borrowed from family or friends. Purchase non-perishable food items and store until the party. Don’t forget to purchase coffee, tea, pop and or alcohol.
  6. DECORATE.
    Pick a couple of weekends to decorate. Enlisting the whole family to help and make it fun. Maybe plan a pizza night or some special meal. Even your kids can help with unwrapping ornaments and decorating the tree. If you have a live or fresh tree, assign one of the kids to water it daily. Take any small pets or small children into account when decorating.
  7. GUEST ROOMS.
    If you’re going to have overnight guests, prepare your guest room(s). Vacuum and clean the room well. Change the bed sheets and wash bedspreads, if necessary. Add a small holiday decoration to the bedside table along with a basket of toiletries, also leave them clean towels. And if they’ll have their own bathroom in your home – make sure it sparkles.
  8. HAVE FUN!
    The most important thing to remember is that your guests are coming to see you and your family, not how you decorate. Keep your home comfortable for you and your guests with clutter picked up and floors cleaned. Take time to enjoy the holidays and don’t stress over what doesn’t get done. Your guests probably won’t even notice.