In Good Company: Prep Your Home for Holiday Visitors (without going crazy)!
A KlopasStratton blog by: Bridget Chambers, Life Coach, Writer
Knock Knock! Who’s there?
Well… your parents, in-laws, neighbors, and their pets, too!
That time is upon us. You might feel the crispiness of the leaves beneath your feet. You may smell a familiar chill in the air. And you’re bound to be preparing for holiday hubbub.
Whether you dread the holidays or revel in them, they are coming fast – and they’re bringing with them the first full-throttle season since 2019. Need proof? Just look to the digital experts at ROI Revolution. “Overall US holiday season retail sales are expected to approach $1.30 trillion this year, compared to last year at $1.21 trillion,” they say. “Ecommerce sales will reach $239.3 billion, up from $213.6 billion in 2021. US holiday ecommerce sales have surged since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, this year, online sales will be nearly $100 billion higher than they were in 2019 before the pandemic started!”
With all that shopping and spending comes festive parties, wrapped gifts aplenty, and, you guessed it: COMPANY. So, that begs the question – how do we host friends and family without making ourselves crazy? Can our homes accommodate the traffic, the wear and tear, the mess? And how do we make the visits enjoyable instead of stressful?
If you’re not sure, you’re in luck. Here are our “three Cs” for prepping your home for holiday company.
- Keep it clean (but keep it realistic)
With the deluge of food, people, and footprints forthcoming, your home will get messy, period. However, you will feel better about the incoming mess if you get your home a bit cleaned up ahead of time. You know that pantry that is piled a mile high with snacks? That guest bathroom with the seldom-used shower? The extra bedding you haven’t replaced in a few years? Take advantage of the pre-holiday store discounts - or online discount codes - to purchase some simple organization systems (Amazon’s baskets and racks are inexpensive and useful), perform a thorough clean of guest areas like the bathroom and bedrooms, and purchase some fresh bedding for your guests to enjoy.
The reason that prepping a home for company feels so wholly overwhelming is because we tend to overcomplicate what must be done. In other words, your house doesn’t require an overall overhaul! (For anyone who needs to hear this: you don’t need to deep clean your kitchen cabinets or your garage. :) ) What feels best is a tidy home where the main gathering areas feel organized and orderly. A great way to prioritize this is to tackle big spaces first, and then give attention to smaller areas that are frequently visited. Stop short of stressing yourself out by remembering that your visitors care most about you – not about the dust.
- Keep it cozy
The best way to prepare for your company is to imagine what you would want as a visitor is someone’s home. Then, do that! Add their favorite drinks and snacks to your grocery list, stock your linen closet with quality towels, and give them a designated space to relax. (This could be a bedroom of their own, or a place in the home where they feel at home – like a loft, basement lounge area, or den.)
If your holiday visitors are staying for more than a day or two, you can go the extra mile by leaving a note and welcome basket on their bed, wrapping a few toys for any kids or pets, and stocking their preferred brand and flavor of coffee.
Keep in mind coziness isn’t just a product of what you buy or do. It is also a feeling that comes from togetherness and fun with your guests, where making memories is the comfiest part of the holidays.
- Keep it cheerful
It may be the most challenging charge of the season, but the most important part of prep is the mood you set for your guests. No doubt, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah can stir up emotions and stressors. In spite of our best efforts, holidays can feel sad, overwhelming, or just plain difficult to enjoy. But for each of us, there is joy to be found. There are traditions that feel like home, events that make us feel merry, and people who remind us why the holidays matter. Find that piece of joy for you, and make it the foundation of your November and December. Whether you’re welcoming guests you adore or hosting visitors out of obligation, it is your mindset that will set the tone for your home.
As the festive season rolls in, keep your home a haven where you - and your guests - can feel light and merry. And this year, when the doorbell rings, ring in the holidays with the happy home you’ve worked hard to create. Your guests will be back year after year…and they might even repay the favor.
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