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Ready or not the holiday season is upon us. Even the holiday hold-outs will soon be ready to dive into their attics and start untangling strands of tiny twinkling lights.
You may be dreaming of a winter wonderland, but first you need to dust off the cobwebs and clear out to make room for all the holiday hoopla. Make your plan now with these seven steps.
1. Cut The Clutter
Before you bring in more stuff, it’s time to declutter. Go category by category, room by room, dividing every item into a pile: Keep, Trash, Donate, Sell. Consider donating unwanted items to a local organization or shelter that could really use it this time of year.
2. Tackle Big Projects First
Have you been putting off carpet cleaning? Window washing? HVAC maintenance? Maybe the guest room needs a fresh coat of paint. Now is the time to call the experts and prep your home for winter. Make the appointments or head to your nearest Lowe’s and get started.
3. Clear The Dust
This isn’t Easter. Dust bunnies have no place under the tree. A thorough dust and vacuum session is a must before you break out those boxes of ornaments and tiny Santa statues in the attic. Consider a DustBuster to help stay on top of dust, Christmas cookie crumbs and stray pine needles. Get vacuum reviews here.
4. Make A List
It’s hard to know what needs to be done, if you don’t start with a to-do list. Get into the nitty gritty details. Silver need polishing? Table Cloths need ironing? Put it on the list.
5. Prepare the Guest Rooms
If you are hosting guests for a few hours or a few weeks, there are certain rooms that require extra attention. Make sure you stock your guest bedrooms and bathrooms with all the comforts a guest may require. Think spare toothbrushes and deodorant, in addition to clean towels and a few spare rolls of toilet paper.
6. Create A Chore Chart
Use the chore chart to delegate routine chores to family members. Remember that dust buster idea? Even a five year old can suck up pine needles, so get the kiddos involved too. Hang the list in a prominent place to shame, er, remind each person to do their share.
7. Decorate For Your Life
Your guests come to see you, not your house. Your decorations can be beautiful but make them comfortable too. If you have a new toddler or puppy in your house, you may want to save those heirloom glass ornaments for another year, and decorate with mason jars and strands of popcorn instead. Do yourself a favor and decorate all at one time. A never-ending stack of boxes to be unpacked is daunting. Do what you can in one day and be done.
Remember, you can clean and straighten and decorate until you are blue in the face, but at the end of the day your friends come to see you and spend time with you and your family. A house full of good friends and laughter is all the decoration you really need.