Now is the ideal time for a big Christmas declutter. Have a read of our quick and easy fixes to get your home holiday ready!
Most of us aren’t quite lining up the pumpkins for Halloween yet, but following the kids return to school now is the time of year to line up your guest list, plan out your day and sort any last minute niggles with your home before the arrival of the festive season. After Christmas 2020 was scuppered by the now infamous ‘Tier 4’ for so many in the UK, Christmas 2021 needs to be a year to remember. But how is best to tackle the decluttering, make some more space around the house and ensure that the whole place is looking tip top ready for the arrival of Santa, the reindeer and your loved ones?
We always advise taking on jobs little and often in the run-up to December – otherwise you can lose yourself in the life admin of the month and not spend the time you deserve enjoying and embracing the season. Should your home need it, there’s just enough time to complete larger home renovations, dreamy improvements to kitchens, bathrooms or the creation of guest bedrooms are still achievable before the festive frenzy. But there’s lots of smaller projects you can manage from now through to the end of the year; and you know the saying ‘every little helps’ makes sense so have a read of our quick and easy fixes to get your home holiday ready!
When was the last time you did a good cupboard sort out? Pull everything out, wipe down the surfaces and then bin anything you don’t need, won’t use or is out of date (or, if you don’t like throwing things away, list on a community reuse app or seek out a community food bank). Add in internal ‘step up’ shelves to use the full height of your cupboards to their maximum potential, and re-pack dry items such as pastas and cereals into reusable containers to save on space.
There is somehow never enough room for all of the ingredients of a Christmas dinner, so providing as much as possible by clearing work surfaces from clutter is always a good thing. You can add extra work spaces with a butcher’s trolley or small kitchen island, or stick to basics by just finding cabinet space for everything that’s ‘out’ on the top.
If you know that your guests are likely to flock to the kitchen (yes, even if you ask them not to), set up a small drinks table at the edge in advance. This allows for Christmassy celebrations and chat without them getting too much in your way – and you may even be able to strategically block their entrance with it!
If you have guests staying for more than a day, making a small tea and coffee station can save you the trouble of constantly having to ask who wants a drink and ease your burden a little. Who knows, they may even make you a cuppa or two.
Often forgotten, an entrance way or hall can quickly become congested and cluttered when you have guests over to stay. It’s winter, of course, so everyone will have a coat, but don’t allow big chunky adult overcoats to burden your space. Add an extra layer of hooks under any existing for adult sized coats, with children’s ones hung over the top.
If there’s space, position a freestanding cupboard in the hallway (or elsewhere in the house) to store any jackets or shoes that are out of season; you won’t need them for another few months anyway! Consider adding an umbrella stand by the door so wet brollies don’t get dragged and dumped through the house, and if reams and reams of shoes start to take over, pop a big basket by the door for them all to be thrown into.
Christmas decorations are a must-have, but they do take up room – and Christmas trees even more so. You need to be ruthless in de-cluttering your living room to make more space, so set up with a bin bag and a good playlist and get to work! Storage boxes and solutions can hide any items you don’t need out and about, and charity shop bags can give a good home to old and unloved DVDs or ornaments. When moving furniture around to fit your tree in, consider making the tree the focal point of the room rather than the TV – after all, you want to encourage festive family conversation rather than just zoning out over movies where you can.
Too many colours can crowd a room; particularly if there’s already lots of things in there, lots of people in there and then lots of decorations on top. Picking a colour scheme for your decorations that’s calm and well matching brings a sense of harmony to the room and makes it appear tidy.
Even if you’re temporarily converting a home office, playroom or kid’s room into a guest bedroom, there’s plenty you can do to make the space inviting and homely.
Any off-season clothes being stored in the room can be vacuum bagged and packed away and any loose paperwork or other items you don’t need to be on show can be boxed and sorted. Wardrobe space can be used to store boxes, baskets and tidies, and if there isn’t spare space in the wardrobe for guests to use, a hanging rail that folds out can create a small storage space for their clothes. Pack up a little basket of goodies for the guests and leave on the side – some toiletries, a candle, towels, etc.
Ideally, the more bathrooms you have, the better – but we all know that’s not often the case, particularly when you have lots of people staying. Turning a hectic wash space into more of a sanctuary will benefit you and your guests, and provide a nice area for some time out when needed.
Clear the basin and bath edges of all toiletries and throw out anything that won’t be used. Duplicate products can be boxed and stored for when you need them, and leaving out a small basket of bathroom cleaning products will encourage everyone to give things a quick wipe down once they’ve used them. Matching towel sets give a sense of cohesion to a bathroom and popping all bath toys or kids items into a single basket or box helps keep things tidy. Roll towels and arrange them in a basket to save space, or gift out dressing gowns ahead of the big day.
No matter what you choose to take on first, splitting your Christmas tidy up into smaller jobs will make the whole journey easier; leaving you to focus on the more important stuff. For last minute larger home improvements speak to our renovation specialists to find out what can be achieved for Christmas home perfection.
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