Prep Yourself and Your Home for a Stress Free Holiday
This holiday season you can be the host or hostess “with the mostest” and still enjoy the party yourself.
We have some tips to help you prep your home for a stress free holiday gathering.
1) You Don’t Have To Do It All
It is never too late to delegate, according to MD Gail Saltz, from her article Lessen Your Stress and Enjoy the Holidays. That is never more true that around the holidays. Whether it is your spouse or partner, or kids big and small you can find a task so everyone can contribute and no one person feels overwhelmed. Distribute to-do lists to make it easy to organize who is doing what.
As they say “divide and conquer”.
2) Determine what you Really “need”
According to Huffington Post writer, Janet Neal, you may not “need” everything you think you need for the holiday.
If you are stressed out because of a certain element that is missing from your holiday planning ask yourself this question – "will my holiday still go on without it". Likewise, ask yourself if you feel you need that item for function (a bit more important) or tradition (not as much).
Holidays will go on even if you don’t send out holiday cards, hang up your holiday lights, and bake 10 dozens batches of cookies.
3) Let Someone Else Clean
Almost anyone can operate a vacuum and mop the hardwood flooring. Doing dishes isn’t fun, but that is pretty easy too. Recruit some helpers from inside your home to take care of the cleaning tasks. Children love to help mom and dad with chores, they feel a sense of accomplishment, and you have one more thing to check off your to-do list. And then you can reward them with a hot mug of cocoa and a good holiday movie!
If your budget allows, go all out and hire a professional cleaning service. They clean up while you finish your last minute shopping.
4) Plan Your Feast Accordingly
Organizing, shopping for and preparing the holiday feast is a chore in itself – all the more reason to take our advice on tip #1 and #2 – but a necessary one. But not every holiday meal has to be sit down 10-course meal.
If you have holiday guests close by, and want to lessen the chore of cooking, consider hosting a holiday pot luck. You’d be surprised how many guests want to participate. This is especially helpful for guests with dietary preference and restrictions who may want to prepare their own food anyway. When it comes to serving food, remember it doesn’t have to be a sit down dinner. In fact, you may save a lot stress by letting people eat where it’s convenient for them.
Keep plenty of glasses, cutlery, plates and napkins close at hand. And if you do open up multiple rooms for feasting make sure there are plenty in every room. Invest in a cutlery storage unit so guests aren’t wandering around the kitchen looking for a utensil. The only thing you have to do is keep it stocked.
It is a little bit more difficult to keep beverages in every room, unless you have a lot of red wine fans. So organize your beverages ahead of time – a temporary beverage station is a handy addition to a holiday party – and make sure everyone knows where to go.
Keep a waste basket close at hand to keep the area clean and organized. Hopefully you have hardwood flooring throughout the common areas of your home, as this will be a lot easier to clean than carpet if you have food or drink spills.
5) Freshen Up the Big Items
For your holiday gathering this year you don’t have to dust every radiator or wash every window. Focus on the big items like your kitchen appliances, guest bath, or the furniture in your front entry and common areas. Whether you have tile, stone or engineered wood flooring, give it a good cleaning.
Then you can fluff your pillows, light some candles or bring out the incense, to make the spaces look and smell inviting.
6) Keep Things Organized
From coats to cutlery, you have to keep your holiday party organized so you aren’t scrambling to find something, or finding a PLACE for something. Plan ahead for outer wear for your guests. If you have an entry or mudroom you are well positioned to keep this organized. If not, pick a guest room or clean out a closet.
There are some fun ways to organize your home when you have dozens of people swarming:
• Chalk boards and signs can display your menu or tell people where to hang their coats
• Extra baskets in your entry or mudroom will give you plenty of storage. Give them a festive look by wrapping them in ribbons, bows or wrapping paper.
• Consider a temporary shoe rack to keep shoes organized