The holiday season is here, which means lots of get-togethers with friends and family…and maybe a teeny bit of stress, amirite?
If you’re hosting a holiday gathering this year, you probably want your home to look fab without having to spend a lot of time or energy (because really, who has those things right now??).
As professional home organizers, we like to focus on making the most impact in an efficient way. When prepping for the holidays, we might ask ourselves:
Which spaces will be used the most, and which tidying tasks will make hosting easier?
If you don’t have time to tidy up your whole house before your holiday gathering, concentrate on these three tasks for maximum impact (and if you need extra motivation, take a tip from our 10-minute tidy guide: set a timer)!
Tidying Task #1: Kitchen/Pantry/Fridge Clear-Out
We all know that the kitchen is where it’s AT during the holidays. Not only are we cooking and baking up a storm, but somehow everyone ends up hanging out in the kitchen!
Start by doing a quick inventory of your pantry and refrigerator. Toss anything that’s expired or unused and make room for the fresher food. Give shelves and drawers a quick wipedown while you’re at it!
If you tend to decant snacks or baking items, be sure to note the expiration dates somewhere on the canisters (we like to stick a piece of scotch tape on the bottom and write the date on it with a Sharpie).
Now is the time to clear your countertops. Even if you have to store certain items temporarily in a spare room or closet (wherever guests WON’T be), having clear countertops is not only more functional for major meal prep, but reducing visual clutter will make your kitchen look so much neater.
Tidying Task #2: Entryway/Coat Closet
Walking straight into a messy, overcrowded space isn’t the most welcoming feeling.
Do a quick clean-up of your entryway and coat closet to make space for guests’ belongings. Move your family’s coats, shoes, and bags to another room for the time being. Give the area a sweep and a quick dusting if needed, and you’re done!
Tidying Task #3: Outdoor Area OR Living Space
Living in Texas means it might be 70 degrees in December, so spending time outside during the holidays is always a possibility. But a dirty patio isn’t inviting for anyone!
Will your guests venture outside during your gathering? Spruce up your patio or deck with a sweep or powerwash. Wipe down any outdoor furniture and clean off or flip cushions.
If outdoor time isn’t happening at your house, focus your efforts on tidying your living room. Are there magazines or papers lying around that you could toss? Kids’ toys you could move elsewhere? The more clutter you can remove from the space the more comfortable your guests will be!
We recommend keeping a bin or basket at the ready as you tidy to hold all of the items that belong elsewhere in your home. Collect them as you go, and you can worry about putting them away after your guests leave (or hey, schedule that task for January…).
You can also make it easy for guests to put things away while they’re visiting. For example, you might keep TV remotes and coasters on a small tray, or use a basket to hold blankets or extra pillows.
Don’t stress about the mess this holiday season. Focus on these tasks and your home will be ready to greet your guests!