10 Quick Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Holiday Season’s Hustle and Bustle

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated January 7, 2022
A happy kid receiving a christmas present
Photo: Rawpixel.com / Adobe Stock

Follow these tips to prepare your home for the most wonderful time of the year

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Even if you’re not Mariah Carey, you can still look like you’re ready for the holidays 365 days a year. Adding the right details to your home’s celebration will make your guests wonder how you do it all while still managing to make a mean figgy pudding. Follow these tips to have a happy (and well-prepared) holiday season.

1. Clean Your Home

Before you deck the halls, follow our holiday cleaning checklist to clean and prepare your home. If you’re short on time, focus on the main spaces such as your entryway, living room, kitchen, and bathroom.

Too busy running around? A house cleaner near you can get your home spotless and ready for the season.

2. Plan Out How to Get Organized for the Holidays

That mail piling up on your kitchen counter will take up valuable real estate when it’s time for snacks and holiday cookies. Now is a great time to figure out a better way to get organized—whether that means rearranging your drawer space, adding a file cabinet, or bringing in new storage containers. If you don’t have time to do this yet, simply clear away the clutter, toss it in a basket, and tuck it away for next year. Done and done!

3. Pare Down Your Decorations

A spacious bedroom with minimal christmas decoration
Photo: farmuty / Adobe Stock

When it comes to holiday decor, less can be more (especially if you have a lot of guests running around). Before you decorate, take stock of what you have. If it doesn’t bring joy to your world, pass it on or donate it. As a bonus, this will help cut your decorating time while allowing you to focus on the pieces that you truly love.

4. Wash the Good Dinnerware

If you plan on getting the nice dishes out of storage, chances are they’ve probably gathered a good amount of dust. Get these washed before the day of your get-together so you can focus on the important stuff (aka the food).

5. Dedicate a Place for Snowy Shoes and Coats

Your guests’ shoes can scratch up or otherwise damage your floor, especially hardwood floors. At the very least, you may have muddy puddles of Frosty the Snowman to clean up. Side note: not a fun thing to accidentally run into while wearing your socks. To avoid all of this mess, keep a drip tray handy near the door and maintain a “no shoes” policy. Consider offering up holiday-themed slipper socks if you want your guests to stay extra cozy.

6. Test Your Lighting Fixtures

The last thing you need is a burnt-out bulb on your dining room chandelier right before you set out your baked ham. Do a walk-through of your home and test out all of your lighting fixtures to ensure your party won’t get left in the dark. Keep a stash of extra bulbs just in case.

7. Prepare Your Fireplace

 A man cleaning the fireplace from its ashes
Photo: glebchik / Adobe Stock

Don’t forget about chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Get your fireplace ready for nights of cozy crackling with a good sweep to remove any soot and debris. Practice the best fireplace maintenance tips year-round to keep this from becoming a huge job and hire a local chimney sweep company to make sure everything is up to snuff before lighting your first fire of the season. Be sure to stock up with plenty of safe wood to burn, too.

8. Get Your Guest Room Ready

Whether or not you’re expecting any, you should prepare your home for overnight guests. After all, you could get hit with a snowstorm, delayed flight, or a surprise visit from your in-laws. Dust and vacuum your guest room and get a fresh set of sheets on the bed. Make sure the bathroom is stocked with soaps, toiletries, and clean towels, too.

9. Stock Up on the Essentials

No one will want to run to the drug store during holiday celebrations. Avoid extra trips by making sure you have plenty of these essentials on hand:

  • Ice

  • Toilet paper

  • Facial tissue

  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen

  • Allergy pills

  • Nausea medicine

  • Hand soap

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Paper towels

  • Napkins

  • Paper plates/disposable cutlery

  • Trash bags

  • Sponges

  • Dish soap

  • Plastic wrap

  • Aluminum foil

  • Freezer bags

  • Laundry detergent

10. Fill Your Home with Festive Scents

No holiday prep is complete without the nostalgic fragrances that make the season magical. Accompany your decor with plenty of scented candles, fresh pine greenery, cinnamon-scented pinecones, and whatever else captures your fancy. The festive aroma is sure to make a warm greeting for all your houseguests.

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