It is that time of the year again, when we start thinking of the colder temperatures, winter precipitation, and yes…the holiday season. I thoroughly enjoy the holiday season and look forward to every part of it including prepping the indoors and out, decorating for the festivities, and entertaining guests during the busiest time of the year.
All the more reason to be prepared for it all, starting now. If you feel as though the holidays often sneak up on you and that you are never fully ready for them, read on to learn how you can get started now, so you can relax a little more to enjoy the season with everyone else.
1. Get the Outdoors Ready for Frequent Traffic
I don’t know about you, but come holiday time, I have increased traffic coming to my door, such as delivery people, neighbors dropping off goodies, people attending our annual holiday party, and family members coming for our family party.
So, the outdoors needs a little TLC, in my opinion…for cosmetic appearance, as well as safety. And, I would rather be doing it before multiple layers of snow make it difficult to do.
For example, if you have shutters that could use a fresh coat of paint, now would be the time. Perhaps you might want to hang some new louvered shutters to add character. Or, maybe your front door could use a makeover. This all would be much easier if you didn’t have to work around snow.
Also, if you haven’t raked up all the leaves yet, you might want to do that…and maintain them, so they aren’t all tracked in when people walk through the house.
And finally, think safety. Are your walkways safe to walk on, especially if there is a coating of snow hiding loose bricks or slabs? Fix the hazards in the walkway and driveway before someone takes a tumble. This includes any steps or handrails as well.
2. Prepping the Indoors
This will be where you spend most of your time throughout the holidays, since the winter months are often much colder, even if you live in the southern regions. So, the first thing I do is a thorough cleaning, just as I do in the spring. I have the carpets, upholstery, and window treatments all cleaned and laundered.
I certainly don’t want add decorations…more items to clean, without the areas being clean to begin with, make sense? Make it easier for yourself during the busiest times, by doing the heavy cleaning before the hectic and busy schedules actually begin.
Clean out the cupboards ahead of time! This will give you an opportunity to do the following:
- You will now have cupboards that you won’t be embarrassed to open in front of guests
- It gives you the chance to see what you have as far as holiday serving dishes
- Get rid of things you don’t use anymore, to make room…which will come in handy to clear the counters when entertaining
Once all the items are laundered and cupboards are cleaned out, it will be easier to maintain in the next couple months.
Also, by doing this, you will have an idea of any quick fixes and touch ups that you will want to do, such as leaking faucets, chipped paint on the wall, or loose handrails. If you do all this ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about the day before the big party.
3. Decorating the Indoors and Outdoors
How you decorate your home for the holidays is a personal choice, depending on your style, as well as your budget. So, I don’t want to focus a lot right now on how to decorate your home. But, I did want to touch on decorating in general for a minute, because I have a few tips on that as well.
First, pull out your decorations out early to test if they are in need of repair or replacement. Nothing is more frustrating than taking a day to hang lights, only to find that half of them aren’t working. You then have to take time out of your day to go purchase more, and you risk not being able to get it all done.
Next, take advantage of any decent weather you might have before the actual holiday is upon us. In other words, if you have a sunny day, somewhat ‘warm’, but yet it’s a month away from wanting to turn the lights on…hang them anyway. Nobody is saying they have to be turned on before you are ready to do so.
Finally, if you prepare ahead of time, you will probably be able to save a little money. The reason is simple. If you have the time to shop around for a fair price you should be able to save more. At least more than you probably would if you have to run out at the last minute to replace items.
One of the easiest ways to enjoy the holiday season is to prepare ahead of time. It will help relieve a lot of the stress that is often associated with that hectic and festive season, allowing you to relax more and enjoy your own party that you host, relax with your family more, and not worry so much about finances.
Kathy Barber is a freelance writer who writes on various topics such as health matters, home improvement, and entertaining. She drew inspiration for her latest series when visiting http://www.sunbeltshutters.com/, and combined her passion for home improvement and entertaining. When Kathy is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and young son, volunteering at school events, sporting events, camping, and entertaining.