Start Now to Stay Ahead for Holiday Hosting

By Brenna Kehew Sculley

by Celia Cooksey

I love hosting, but sometimes the prep can feel frantic – especially when all those little tasks you’ve been meaning to get to suddenly converge into an explosion of chaos as you scramble to get everything set for the big event.

That said, those of us who enjoy opening our homes and creating cozy and delicious moments know it is not just the weekend of cooking and the decorations you display. Getting your house in shape for the holidays to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests and family is easy if you keep long-term home maintenance in mind.

Before the next season truly descends, start by decluttering your home. Go through each room and remove items that you no longer need or use, and try to give yourself a fresh canvas. Simplifying can make your space feel more open and create space for the people you love to fill as they congregate in your home. Be sure to focus on organizing your kitchen, as it’s often the heart of holiday gatherings. Make sure your appliances are working correctly, and make sure the items in all your cabinets are easy to access, not stuffed to the brim.

Pay attention to the lighting of your spaces to achieve the right ambiance. Take time to consider string lights, candles, cozy lamps and whatever you need to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Finding the right lighting can take time, so test it out in the coming weeks if you can. Don’t let your first impression be dark, so ensure that all your indoor and outdoor lights are working properly.

Take safety seriously. Now is the time to ensure the safety of your home. Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s clean and safe to use. As the date gets closer, plan for a deep clean of your home, paying special attention to high-traffic areas and frequently overlooked spots like baseboards and light fixtures.

And take time to do all those lingering things that you keep meaning to do. Frame the picture you printed a month ago. Paint your stair rails, buy the new rug you’ve been considering, and refresh your space as needed. Now is the time to make your space one that you truly enjoy, making it easy to welcome your friends and family inside with ease.

Then, of course, you get to enjoy the fun stuff. Deck the halls with holiday decorations. Create the best playlist to set the mood. If you have children coming over, set up a designated area with games and activities to keep them entertained. Plan your menu and games for everyone to enjoy, and get ready to make memories.

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