If this is your first holiday season that you will be hosting family and friends as a young father, you may be totally in the dark as to how your parents always made your family home so festive during the season. With Christmas just around the corner and a myriad of guests about to arrive for the holidays, it’s time to start thinking about ways to get your home ready for the invasion. Not only do you need to do some heavy duty cleaning but there are cookies to bake, guest rooms to prepare and rules to impose on the kids so that you can make it through the season with nerves intact. Here are 10 great ways to get your home ready for Christmas that just might help you cope!
1. Insist that All Smokers Cease Smoking Indoors NOW
Although there has been a huge push to help people kick the habit, there is still a great percentage of families that still have one or more smokers living in the household. If you have family or friends coming for the holidays who are avid non-smokers, it’s time to insist that anyone living under your roof take their habit outdoors. This gives you time to clear away the nasty odor and yellow stains left by smoking in the home.
2. Time to Clear the Clutter
There is no way you will be able to clean your home and rid it of unwanted smells and odors unless you rid yourself of ‘stuff’ that has been collecting on shelves, desks, and tables. Anything exposed to the air in the room is going to pick up and carry the smell of cigarettes. Once everything is disposed of or tucked neatly away, you can focus on deep cleaning to rid your home of unwanted odors.
3. Washing or Dry Cleaning Draperies
Speaking of odors, nothing holds lingering odors like curtains and draperies. Dust is also a problem and so it is suggested that you either launder your own drapes or have them professionally dry cleaned. In either case, this will eliminate at least 50% of the unwanted smells.
4. Seasonal Deep Cleaning, Dusting & Mopping
While the drapes are down, get out all your fragranced cleaners along with brooms, dust cloths, mops, and vacuums. When it is suggested that you deep clean your home this means every nook and cranny. Ceiling fans, shelves, doors, walls, floors, the whole nine yards. At this time, you will probably want to buy Christmas scents and it would be a good idea to buy a few e-cigs in case your smokers decide to use these rather than go outdoors. These come in seasonal flavors such as cinnamon that will blend well with your candles and potpourri.
5. Prepare Guest Rooms
It’s time to check out the guest rooms and bathrooms. Make sure there are clean linens on the beds and that the quilts and curtains have been freshly laundered. There is nothing more embarrassing than asking guests to sleep in a guest room that is dusty and hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned for years. Avoid this by taking the time to do a bang-up job in any guest bedroom or bathroom they may be using.
6. Interior Decorating
What about a tree, wall hangings, stockings on the mantel and Christmas candy dishes and other knickknacks that fill your nice clean home with festive cheer? Angels, snowmen, Santas, reindeer and any type of seasonal decorations should be placed strategically through the home to carry the theme through each and every room. Looking to keep Christ in Christmas? Don’t forget the manger set up on the dining room sideboard!
7. Cleaning the Grounds Outdoors
Now you’ve worked your way from inside out. Take time to rake up any lingering leaves that dropped in the fall and clean any porches and/or porch furniture your guests may want to enjoy while outdoors. If you’ve had a heavy snow, don’t forget to keep all walkways and driveways shoveled so there won’t be any problem getting to and from your home.
8. Exterior Decorations
Lights can line your house and grounds and if you have those lighted statues, now is the time to get them set up and ready to spread their cheer. Many young fathers place Santa and his sled up on the rooftop and if this is your plan, just be careful to have a sturdy ladder, shoes with a good grip, and a buddy to spot in case of ‘accidents’ may also be a good plan. Safety always needs to be your top priority.
9. Shop for Snacks and Beverages to Keep on Hand
This is one your wife will surely appreciate the help with! Taking care of kids and the home and perhaps even working a full-time job leaves little time for those holiday extras that are so important. Depending on how long your guests will be staying, you may want to get some extra snacks on hand for the New Year’s Day football game that is a must-see in every household around the country!
10. Take a Break before Company Arrives
The point is to get everything in order at least a day or two before your guests are set to arrive. In this way, you’ll have time to take a much-needed breather and then perhaps spot something you’ve missed along the way. If you schedule a few days ‘break’ you’ll always have time to add anything you’ve forgotten and time to enjoy the kids before the ‘fun’ begins.
Young fathers usually stress more than they need to because they are trying to emulate what their parents did. However, remember, this was after years and years of practice so with time you’ll get it right too!
What tips would you add to get your home ready for Christmas?