Back-to-school season is in full, hectic swing, and you know what that means: the holidays are just around the corner. It is time to start planning for those busy months ahead as summer wanes into autumn with its breezy weather, colorful leaves, cable-knit sweaters, and festive seasonal lattes. Soon friends or family members will be flocking to your door for holiday parties, reunions, feasts, and more. So whether you host a crowd for a few hours or welcome guests to stay overnight, here’s how to spruce your home up for holiday entertaining.
The wear and tear of daily life will often result in a messy home environment. Spills can stain your carpet and furniture. Clutter can overtake your countertops. Moisture can discolor your walls. Cooking residue can accumulate in your oven. Dust or grime can coat your baseboards. This might not be a major issue of concern on hectic school nights, but a dirty house is far from ideal when the holiday season comes. Get a head-start on seasonal deep cleaning now with a certified professional service to ensure all your floors, surfaces, curtains, upholstery, and other home features are spotless—just in time for guests to arrive.
One of the most enjoyable parts of this season is filling your home to the brim with holiday décor. But waiting until November or December to stock up on ornaments, lights, tinsel, wreaths, garland, or other festive decorations can take a toll on your budget. So beat the hordes of Black Friday shoppers, do your wallet a favor, and scout out the pre-season sales on holiday décor. Retailers like Macy’s, Amazon, and Target have already begun to roll out clearance decorations on their websites, so be on the lookout for online and in-store discounts. Your house will feel merry and bright, as will your bank account.
While this time of year is about fun and festivities, prioritizing safety is crucial. According to the American Red Cross, nearly 47,000 fires occur in the winter holiday season, causing over 2,200 injuries, 500 fatalities, and $554 million in total damages. This makes sense when you factor in all the holiday trees, jack-o-lanterns, and menorah candles being lit—not to mention all the ovens and stovetop burners being used. So protect yourself and all your guests by double-checking for potential fire hazards, moving flames away from combustible surfaces, cooking responsibly, and establishing an evacuation plan just in case.
Do you know those small, meaningful conveniences that make a hotel room feel special? Re-create this atmosphere for visitors to your home with a few personal touches that send the message: “You’re welcome here.” Fill the guest bathroom with fluffy towels, fragrant soap, and extra toiletries. Light a seasonal candle or turn on an aromatherapy diffuser in the bedroom. Make sure all the linens and sheets are freshly cleaned, then place some reading materials, a sleep mask, and noise-canceling headphones on their nightstand. When the guests arrive, you can offer them a warm beverage and a homemade cookie.
It might seem excessive to start thinking about the holiday season a few months in advance, but the more you accomplish on the front end, the more you can relax and enjoy the festivities. A recent poll found that three in five Americans feel a dip in their mental health this time of year, with 60 percent suffering from increased anxiety or stress. So avoid the pressure of a last-minute rush and plan right now. Once your home is in top-notch holiday shape, you can look forward to entertaining fun—without the stress.