Stress develops when the realities of day-to-day life conflict with our efforts to make the holiday season perfect. Between the large formal meals and extra guests to prepare for, we lose sight of why we celebrate these events in the first place. Taking steps to get things in order ahead of time can help reduce seasonal stress.
Here are a few ways to prepare your home for the holidays:
REFRESH YOUR BEDDING: The transitional period between fall and winter gives us the opportunity to refresh our bedding. Start by stripping the mattress of all its bedding and wash everything from your pillowcases and sheets to your mattress cover and bed skirt. To guarantee a good wash, ball up these items and submerge them in hot soapy water. Next, vacuum the mattress, paying close attention to the seam line. Once that’s complete, rotate and flip the mattress and consider switching out your light sheets for warmer blankets. It’s also a good idea to have fresh towels readily available for overnight guests.
BUNDLE UP: Take some time to do a thorough analysis of your closet. This includes organizing and cleaning the entire space. Donate neglected clothing and shoes in order to make room for the holidays. This is also a good time to replace warm weather clothing with winter wear. For every seasonal switch out, try the hanger trick. Insert all of your hanging clothes on the rack with hangers backwards on the rod. When you pick out one of these items to wear, hang it up facing forward. At the end of the season, you can easily tell which items you haven’t worn at all - these are the ones to consider letting go.
DECLUTTER & DEEP CLEAN: Dedicate some time to declutter and deep clean your eating area. Start by tidying up and organizing the pantry. Then, dust the kitchen cabinet shelves and clean out your fridge. Throw away expired items, vacuum under the fridge and sweep under large appliances. Once everything is nice and clean, be sure to stock up on soups and hearty winter meals.
INVEST IN A BUTLER'S PANTRY: You’ll appreciate the extra counter space near the dining area and the added storage for fine silver, serving trays and a dry bar. Take inventory of dishes, glasses and silverware so you’re not caught off guard the day of a big family affair. This is also a great staging area for preparing dishes because it can be conveniently located between the kitchen and pantry. With an organized system, you’ll spend less time rummaging through the kitchen and more time socializing with guests.
CREATE A CRAFT ROOM: Create a crafting workstation for storing and wrapping gifts. Include organizing poles for ribbons and tissue paper and a bright, spacious desktop. Adding plenty of adjustable shelves will make sure you have the right size space for whatever needs to be kept close by. For added ease, stock up on themed and generic wrapping paper as well as bows and holiday cards.