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Preparing Your Home For the Holidays

Tips to get your home holiday ready

It's the most wonderful time of the year! The lights, the warm fuzzy feelings, the stress of getting your home holiday ready...it happens every year, doesn't it? There seems to be a never ending list of things that need to be dealt with, places to go and people to see, lists to check twice.

In my home there are four boys...three under the age of 12 (I'm including daddo in those four because, let's be honest, he's a dude). Our place always has that "lived in look". If you can relate then these tips for getting your home ready for the holidays are just what you need. These tips don't just make the house somewhat organized and semi-presentable but helps maintain your sanity during one of the busiest times of the year.

1. Declutter

This is always the hardest yet the most satisfying. There's something about getting rid of a bunch of stuff to clear your head and give a fresh start...and also to make room for all the new toys and gifts your kids are inevitably going to get this year. Ask yourself (and your kids): "Do I need it? Do I love it? Does it make me feel good? Do I even USE it?" If the answer to any of these questions is no get rid of it! And stay strong...don't fall into the "but I MIGHT use it" trap!

2. Stock the freezer and pantry There's always going to be people that drop by unexpectedly. Make your life easier by making sure you have some easy-bake treats in the freezer to pop into the over last minute, or have crackers, nuts and cheeses ready to go when you least expect it.

3. Keep on top of the bathrooms Nobody REALLY cares if you have piles of laundry that need to be done or a few dishes in the sink. But if your bathroom isn't up to snuff...well, think of the previously mentioned boys in my home. Yeah, you get the picture. If you do a two-minute speed clean every night including wiping up toothpaste from the sink, a quick sweep up the floor etc it'll make a HUGE difference down the line if unexpected visitors arrive.

4. Schedule the big jobs Try to knock off some things from your list early in the month when it's less likely people will drop in. Things like getting your carpets cleaned or ducts cleaned or hire a snow removal company to keep your driveways and walkways clear on a regular basis.

5. Prepare supplies My mom has fancy tablecloths. We use them once a year, at Christmas. Which means for the other 363 days a year they're in her linen closet, getting dusty and creased. Take them out with the napkins ahead of time, get them thrown in the wash and give them a good ironing. Make sure you have enough glasses and tablewear, and make sure that it's all clean and ready to go. And don't forget about seating!

6. Get household members to help Delegation is important. If you do everything yourself while your family is on their phones or playing a video game you're going to get tired and harried really quick. Now is the perfect time to make a list then delegate. The threat of Santa watching over your kids is a fantastic incentive to get them up off the couch and cleaning their rooms.

Remember, 'tis the season for friends, family, rest and relaxation. Don't let the little things get to you and enjoy the season with those you love. They're coming to see YOU and not evaluate your housekeeping skills.

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