Fall is already here, and the Texas temperatures are tugging at our heart strings! The holidays are growing near.
As time flies by faster and faster with each year, it seems like there’s less time to prepare for guests and holiday feasts and festivities. November is half over! Blink once and it will be Thanksgiving.
There’s always a way to prepare for the holidays better, and why not? We can buy gifts earlier and get envelopes ready for the annual holiday cards before the family photo is even taken. We can deep clean now to make light cleaning easier later. We can even pre-order our groceries online.
Yet, in many ways, getting the home ready seems like something we can’t even start until that first family dinner looms near…because whatever we clean will just get dirty again! There are some HUGE benefits, though, to getting key tasks out of the way now so your home can be that much easier to prepare for the first round of guests.
These six things make all the difference in your holiday home preparation if you do them now!!
1: Power-clean the fridge
It would be nice if you could just get a hose and power wash the inside of the fridge, then wipe everything down and put it back.
…But that won’t work for obvious reasons.
Instead, a power clean is a deliberate step-by-step to get you in to deep-clean the nitty-gritty in less time than ever before.
You DON’T want to pile expensive hams and produce or post-feast leftovers into a too-full fridge with goo stuck on the shelves. Take these steps now and your WHOLE cooking experience will be more pleasant this year!
- First, prepare a staging area. You’ll need to take ALL food out of the fridge to assess it all and clean the fridge inside, so start with a TON of ready counter space.
- Gather your supplies. Ensure you have ALL the cleaning products and cleaning items you need to cut through the goo, wipe things down without too much elbow grease, get into the nooks and crannies of every drawer, dry every surface, and leave sparkling clean.
- Work shelf by shelf. As soon as you empty one shelf, you probably realize that your great staging area STILL isn’t big enough. Go shelf-by-shelf to save any perishables from getting gross before you’re done!!
- On each shelf, assess all products first. Toss anything that is expired or that you have not touched in the last month. Then, check each bottle and container to see if there have been cracks, leaks or spills, clean them and get some replacement containers if necessary.
- Then, scrub every inch of that empty shelf! Pull out shelves so you can get into the creases and clean the back and corners out completely.
- Clean all other items before you put them back. Even those without spills or cracks can use a good wipe-down!
- Once you’re done with every shelf, wipe down the outside, too. Remember that caring for stainless steel requires special cleaner.
2: Focus on the front entrance
The very first thing your guests will see is your entryway.
Do you know what kind of first impression your home makes??
Start by ensuring your house number is well illuminated and big enough that it’s visible from the street. Then clear the entryway of debris and ensure space right inside the front door is clear, too. No leaving boots or dropping the mail right inside!!
And how about a little décor flare?! Do you like wreaths? Could your front door use a fresh coat of paint? Take care of all of that NOW and you’ll ensure a charming first impression for everyone about to come to visit…
3: Be safe and smart with electric cords
Even the most festive holiday lights are NO excuse to neglect safety. Spread lights out through your home to prevent overloading any circuit, and cover outlets that have lights so they aren’t easily accessed by pets or children.
Definitely think of your pets’ safety over the holidays, too! They don’t know that cords and lights aren’t chew toys…
Be careful with extension cords, also. Don’t use an indoor extension cord outside, or vice versa. Don’t plug too many things into any one extension, either, even if there are plugs available on the extension cord pad!
4: Prepare the guest amenities!
There are SO many ways you can charm (and impress) your guests, and most of them are things you can—or even have to—asses now.
Don’t you want each guest to think of a visit to your home as something “unforgettable?!”
Some of the details to prepare now are:
- Keep your yard well-groomed
- Have your home exterior power-washed at least once per season
- Ensure a clean entryway (washed and free of debris)
- Ensure adequate lighting outdoors, at the front door (including the house number)
- Use the light directly inside as the lighting that “sets the mood” you’re after!
- Consider details at the front door like a new coat of paint or décor to spruce things up
- Keep up with basic home maintenance of doors, windows, finishes and home systems
- Offer slippers for guests to wear indoors, especially during the winter
- Use soft aromas, but never overdo it (some people are sensitive to powerful smells)
- Ensure each space has a little design “eye candy,” such as decorative lighting, custom outlet or light switch covers, “pops” of color in towels or pillows, etc.
- Control lighting throughout your home with dimmers
- Under-cabinet lighting to keep people safe (and keep toes intact in unfamiliar spaces)
- Leave a basket with fresh hand towels rolled for guests in the bathroom
- Consider some “wow” selections like a “smart toilet…”
- Use occupancy sensors to automate things like music, temperature, and even starting the oven to cook the meal you’ll serve!
- Know who eats and drinks what, and have it on hand
Read all about how to do this in a recent article on leaving the best impressions on guests…
5: Get the lighting right!
Which parts of your home will you be entertaining in? And at what time of day?
The lighting in your home has a deep impact on our moods and emotions. “Ambience” is really just a fancy way to say that! With the right lighting, you create the right visual stimulation for the kind of event you want to host.
But…how do you do that? You over-light everything! That means installing new can lights, installing brighter bulbs, adding a new floor lamp or a “portable” (check out the High Point Market selections for inspiration)…BUT install them ALL on dimmers!
Dimmers give you precision when you bring light up or down—depending on the time of day, the weather, and the nature of your event. There’s no better way to prepare for the holiday season than to prepare this essential element of the setting.
Check out some outdoor lighting inspiration, too!
6: Whatever you do, stage before you put up décor!
If you spend a ton of time pinning and taping and hanging and draping décor, make sure your furniture is ALL where you’ll want it for holiday entertainment…otherwise, when you move things later, you’ll probably have to move the décor and do all that pinning and taping and hanging and draping again!
Even if you LOVE holiday decorations, you REALLY just want to put décor up once!
Here’s a guide to staging for the holidays…start there, then décor comes next!
The holidays will continue to get closer…faster and faster every year! We’re already “in it” this year, so start this preparation NOW. From the fridge to the décor on your walls, getting your home ready in these six ways will make the rest of the season more of a joy!
Preparing your home prepares you mentally, too. A ready environment makes a ready mind!
What’s your favorite part of getting ready for the holidays?! Tell us on social!!