Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the December holidays are just behind it. For me and my family, it is now officially time to get ready for winter guests.
Having people over for the holidays is one of the best ways to celebrate, and is one tradition my family adores. However, it’s not all fun and games – its also time to start my winter cleaning routine. Luckily, over the past few years, I have mastered the art of preparing for guests. Here are my 5 tips for organizing your home for the holidays this year.
1 – Get Rid of Clutter By Donating
The first step to making more space in your home is to get rid of all the excess. While many simply push extra belongings into closets, garages, and storage units, it’s so much more cleansing to get rid of all the clutter for good. And the most compassionate way to do this is to donate.
Many people save their trip to the local donation center for after Christmas. But try to be proactive this year. Go through both your own and your kids’ belongings and get rid of any items you don’t love or use on a monthly basis. Donating together is also a great chance to teach children the importance of giving during the holiday season.
2 – Take the Minimal Route When Decorating
Although it’s easy to get swept up in the holiday spirit, decorating your home for the holidays doesn’t have to be over the top. A sprinkle of seasonal decor in each room is the best way to transform a space without making your home feel cluttered and noisy.
Going with a minimal decor style not only leaves more space for you and your guests, but it also gives your home a chic, modern look. This will help your guests feel comfortable and will require less storage space once the holidays have passed.
Start by decking the halls and the outside of your house with Christmas lights. An easy way to switch up color palettes in each room is to incorporate throw pillows, fruit bowls, or even plants. And it never hurts to have a huge pile of gifts ready for all of your guests tucked away in a corner.
3 – Arrange Guest Arrivals
Make sure you know how and when all of your guests are arriving. If your family is flying in, plan on taking your car with the most room for passengers and pick them up yourself. This will kickstart your hospitable feel from the get-go.
If your guests are driving in, be sure to give them clear directions. GPS systems can be funny, so remember to give clear verbal directions and always keep your phone nearby. You might even consider meeting them halfway to lead them in your own car.
4 – Prepare As Many Guest Areas As You Can
Another great part about having the whole family visit is that you can all spend quality time together under the same roof. Unfortunately, that may make things a little cramped. That’s why its so important to move as many physical barriers as possible to make plenty of space.
Not everyone has to sleep in an official guest room. Offices and living rooms are great for letting the kids have campouts. Just remember to have:
● Plenty of clean sheets
● Lots of laundry soap (for accidents)
● Plenty of cleaning supplies and trash bags
● Lots of space for luggage
● And tons of food
No one wants to make their family feel unwelcome. Try to make sure that every amenity a guest might want is available. That way you don’t get any fussy tears or feelings of homesickness.
5 – Get Ready to Feed the Masses
No holiday would be complete without food for days. When your guests arrive, expect them to come hungry. And you should definitely make sure your kitchen is as clean as it can possibly be. By the end of the visit, it’s going to be a war zone.
As a backup, create some plans that include meals. Your guests flying in will be dependent on you for transportation, and most of your guests may not be familiar with your area. Present different options for cooking on certain nights or going out as a group. Talk to them about their dietary preferences. If you’re planning on cooking, see what everyone can do to pitch in—you might be the host, but your guests are family, and you have every right to recruit them.
The holidays are a magical time of year. A time for laughter, for love, and for creating memories. Don’t let the ideas of getting ready for guests overwhelm you – head into battle with a clear head and an excited heart.