When it comes to Christmastime, most of us have a vision for how our homes should look and feel. We associate the season with abundant warmth, seasonal décor, and amicable conversation—not to mention, eating lots of delicious foods and desserts with family and friends. To make your house the perfect place for these anticipated activities, it’s important to have all your supplies and decorations in order. Here’s how to prepare your home for Christmas this year.
Clean Up and Clear Out
The first thing you should do is clean out your home of items that are just cluttering the rooms and which will clash with a Christmas theme. It’s possible that you might still have autumnal decorations out that you need to put away. You might also just have lots of things that you don’t really want or need anymore. Take the time to go through and identify these so that you can get rid of them and make space for the Christmas décor.
Apart from clutter, you should also clean your house itself by vacuuming, mopping, and dusting, especially in more visible rooms and areas. It will be easier to do all these things in this in-between stage where your decorations won’t get in the way.
Check Your Decorations
Before you go straight into putting everything up, examine your decorations and see if there are any damages that call for fixing or replacement far in advance. A few ornaments might be broken, or your artificial tree might have branches that are falling off. Additionally, your lights may have broken or shot bulbs. Any of these damages would be hard to deal with if you discovered them right before Christmas. But by thinking ahead, you can sidestep unexpected frustration and shop well before the holiday frenzy.
Equip the Kitchen
If you’re thinking about how to prepare your home for Christmas, it probably means that you will have one or more dinners with family members and friends over. Arming your kitchen for the cooking can make your life a lot easier as those big meals approach. Inspect all your appliances, including the oven, stove, microwave, and dishwasher, and make sure they all function without a hitch and can take on some heavy usage.
Make sure you have all the utensils and dishes that you will need to serve a bigger group than normal. Your dinners will probably call for multiple serving spoons, platters, and bowls, as well as a lot of silverware and cups. The last thing you want is for someone to be without a fork and knife when it’s time to eat.
Take a look at your refrigerator and throw out old food that is expired or stale. With the precious space freed up, you’ll have enough room for the ingredients and foods that come with Christmas cooking. You might even prepare some things early and freeze them so that they can be taken out and served quickly later. For example, banana bread, rolls, and meat are just as good when they are saved in the freezer as they are when eaten right away.
Arrange the Entertaining Areas
As for the living and dining rooms where your guests will be, you should pay special attention to the arrangements and design, since these areas are what they’ll see while they are in your home.
Find the perfect place for the Christmas tree so that it becomes a central design component. Don’t be afraid to move around some tables and furniture to achieve the best positioning. The mantel above the fireplace is another important element that can bolster the atmosphere if it is decorated charmingly. Hang some stockings and other festive embellishments to achieve that look. Consider strategically setting candles on the mantel and the coffee table for some visual warmth. Complete the comfy feeling by putting out soft, warm blankets that can be used by guests if they feel chilly.
In the dining room, choose a tablecloth appropriate for the occasion, such as a white one accented with deep reds. If needed, pull out extra chairs to accommodate everyone. Some people like to decorate the tabletop, but others prefer to have as much space for food as possible. Your setup will vary depending on your personal preference and how much you are going to prepare.
Keep the Restrooms Nice
Just as important as the living room, dining room, and kitchen, your restrooms should be presentable and clean. This is another aspect of your home you can clean up well before Christmastime. Get the mirrors shining, scrub the sink, and sweep the floor. Because there is always water running in the restrooms, make sure to take a few minutes to keep them spotless as the days go by. By doing the bulk of the cleaning early and only doing small touch-ups afterwards, you won’t end up doing a rushed job a few days before Christmas.
Brighten up the Outside
You might have a flawless set up inside your home, but the first impression your guests will have is the house’s exterior. Create a pleasant entrance by first cleaning up the front yard. If there are dead leaves or other debris, rake them, and if there is snow, make sure that the entrance path is clear. Setting down a nice non-slip mat in front of the door and another one directly inside will provide a place for people to clean their shoes and shake off any lingering snow.
Decorate to Your Heart’s Content
With the practical side done, you can focus on decorating. Garlands can be a nice touch for the door and any rails you might have, since they can be wrapped around different objects easily. A wreath and some small ornaments are also viable options for the door. Perhaps most important of all, you should use Christmas lights to add some holiday twinkle and brighten your home. A well thought out display will be eye-catching and inviting for anyone who passes by. Plus, it will create a warmth that contrasts well with the cold weather. Commercial LED Christmas lights are a great choice for this because they last longer than incandescent lights and save energy—which is especially useful if you are turning them on every night.