Keeping Merry and Bright this holiday season with Clean 13 Tips!
I admit, I get caught up with the hustle and bustle of December. Wanting the Holidays to be beautiful and perfect in every way. If you’re anything like me, each year you vow to make this holiday season more simple, more organized and less stressful. If you’re hosting out of town guests or a holiday party, I have few Holiday tips so you can enjoy friends, family and your home with way less stress.
START BY GIVING YOURSELF A GIFT
Schedule your cleaning early and let Clean 13 get the usual cleaning done for you! It’s such a time-saver and so affordable! Now you can focus on the important things that only you can do…planning your menu, sending out invitations or making calls, texts or emails and don’t forget the fun part…decorating!
TIDY UP AND PRIORITIZE!
Once your house is clean, you can begin to get things organized because your holiday to-do list is probably endless…..am I right? So getting organized will save you so much time! Begin with the simple things, grab a laundry basket and pick up all that stuff that belongs elsewhere. The kitchen is usually the hub of all the holiday activities so I usually start with the kitchen and spend the most time in that room and in those cabinets.
- Start by creating space in the kitchen by getting rid of kitchen items you won’t be using and moving it elsewhere. Now you have room for the large holiday serving dishes, big punch bowl, grandma’s silver and other items you’ll be using during the holidays.
- Clean out the refrigerator, making room for party foods and leftovers.
- Buy extra “to-go” containers to send those leftovers home with the kids or guests.
- Check your spice rack and make sure you have those once-a-year seasonings you’ll need.
FOR GUESTS STAYING IN YOUR HOME
- Place a basket in the bathroom with little amenities they may have forgotten, cotton swabs, toothpaste, a toothbrush, travel sized hairspray and ibuprofen. Even the most organized travelers will forget something. Stock shower with shampoo, conditioner, soap and a razor.
- Brighten up the bath with fresh flowers, scented soaps and holiday decor.
- Stock bath towels, washcloths and hand towels. I like to splurge on a few thick, 100% cotton towels in a color different from our regular towels, so we always have the “good” towels ready for guests.
FRESHEN UP NATURALLY
I like using herbs like lavender and chamomile to freshen my house. I fill a spray bottle with 20 drops of lavender essential oil, 1 teaspoon vodka and water to create a linen spray. Lavender is known to reduce stress, promote calm and aide in relaxation. Lightly spray mist all over the house. If you’re really energetic you can grind up lavender and chamomile with baking soda in a food processor to sprinkle on rugs and carpets to remove any lingering odors. Just leave overnight and vacuum up the next day. Holiday Cleaning Tip: choose essential oils in holiday scents, like peppermint or pine, to spray living spaces.
Send your invites early: This will help you budget for food, time, chairs, dinnerware etc. Choose your menu well in advance: Go through traditional family recipes, cookbooks or visit your favorite food blog, or websites for ideas. If choosing a potluck, make a list of what type of food you’d like guests to bring and let them know once they accept the invitation.
PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY TABLE
- Plan and wash dinnerware, glassware, serving ware, table linens (table runner or table cloth, napkins). If you need to shine silver flatware, do it now too.
- Lay it all out to get an idea of what everything looks like together. Grab a couple chargers and place them in front of each chair. Go with plain chargers and then get decorative with the plates, glasses and napkins.
ADD FINISHING TOUCHES
Now that you have the basics covered, its time to add all the details! Grab some holiday touches; holiday candles, ornaments, fresh pine and other seasonal decorations. Spread them out across your table however you like. Add more, move things around, make your holiday “table-scape” perfectly you!
COOK IN ADVANCE
You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to do all of the cooking and baking on the day of the event. Many vegetable side dishes, casseroles and desserts can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator or freezer.
If you are a type A (like me) you might enjoy the honor of making and planning the entire holiday gathering. Things will run much smoother and be less stressful if you have some help. People often WANT to help! Just ask. Remember, you want to enjoy the day as well.
MAKING HOLIDAY MEMORIES
The holidays only come around once a year, cherish those around you, and give thanks for having loved ones near. Remember to be flexible in your plans, life happens and unforeseen holiday challenges may arise. With a little planning though, your guests will enjoy your company, holiday home and a delicious meal. Keep the memories not the mess. When I follow these tips, my home looks festive and inviting, my guests feel comfortable and all of that makes me feel good and relaxed. When I’m less stressed, I’m much more enjoyable to be around. Enjoy your holidays and thank you for allowing Clean 13 to serve you.