Holidays Planning Tips
The holidays are here and it’s a wonderful time of the year for catching up with friends and family. And just between you and me, it’s a perfect opportunity to get your house in order as well. Setting a date and inviting guests into your home creates a happy deadline to work towards. After all, where would we be without deadlines and commitments?
Remember what it’s all about. What do we value this time of year? Time spent with friends and family? Or the quality of the decorations, food or gifts received? Don’t get caught up in the season so much that you miss celebrating it with the people most important to you.
Here are five things you can do to make entertaining at home easier this holiday season.
1 – Start Early
Make an early start to prepare your public spaces for entertaining. Do a little each day so you’re not overwhelmed as the date draws near. Grab a basket and collect up anything that belongs elsewhere. Fill a trash bag with garbage and another with donations. Make it fun by putting on some music, or racing to get it done during TV ads, or chatting to a friend on the phone to make the time pass. Try to see the rooms with fresh eyes. What do you see now that had become invisible? Do not be tempted to stash things temporarily in another room. That’s a sure fire way to create work for yourself in the New Year. And who needs that?
2 – Create Easy Menus
Your friends and family will remember the fun they had with you long after the meal is over, so take it easy in the kitchen. Go for maximum effect with minimum effort. Simple, tasty, colorful dishes will set the right tone. Include things you can store easily and use later if there is surplus – a bowl of nuts to crack, freezer cookies, and store bought sweets. Now is not the time to try something new and complicated. Remember to keep it simple and save your energy for long nights and laughter.
3 – De-clutter the Fridge
What’s lurking on the bottom shelf? You’ll need every available inch of space in your fridge and freezer, for fresh supplies and leftovers, as well as anything your guests bring. Use this time to do a cold storage makeover, with a good scrub thrown in.
4 – Say Yes When Someone Offers to Help
When you are asked, “Can I give you a hand?” always say Yes! Yes, please bring some of your delicious cookies. Yes, please can I borrow that gorgeous platter of yours? Yes, please come an hour early and help me set the table. Yes, please keep me company while I declutter/tidy/clean the house.
5 – Stop Clutter at the Door!
Let your friends know you are trying to cut back on the stuff you own. Enlist their help in your struggle. If they’d like to give you a gift, ask for the gift of their time instead of more stuff. Maybe they could help you on a project, or plan to spend special time together after the holiday season. Or help someone else who needs it. Suggest a donation to your favourite charity.
Angela Esnouf loves to celebrate with family and friends at her home in Australia, where the holiday season is warm and sunny. Her business, Creating Order from Chaos, helps families make the most of their space and time, and helps those struggling with hoarding to break free from clutter.