Have you ever found yourself rushing to the grocery store on Christmas Day to grab an ingredient you overlooked? Or scurrying around the house tucking away clutter because your relatives decided to make the trip a day early? Maybe you’ve forgotten to put fresh sheets on the guest room bed?
If so, you aren’t alone. Studies show nearly 80 per cent of people find it difficult to relax during the holiday season, and their anxiety is often caused by trying to create the “perfect” holiday for guests and loved ones. This pressure, whether self-inflicted or projected by others, eventually leads to overwhelm and a heightened state of stress.
This is why knowing how to organize your home for the holidays is so important.
Remember, it’s a proven fact that people who live in messy homes have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bloodstream. High cortisol levels are linked to a number of unwanted physical symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, high blood pressure, poor sleep quality, and depressed moods.
But here’s the good news— organizing for the holidays (and protecting your mental health) doesn’t have to be such hard work. There are tips and tricks you can use to take the strain out of preparing for Christmas, and I’ll be sharing them with you today.
Let’s get started!
How to Organize Your Home For The Holidays
1. Clear Out Your Main Closet
Having your family visit in December means needing to store winter coats, boots, hats, etc. Typically, entryway closets become cluttered throughout the year, so you’ll want to keep this area top of mind as you get ready for Christmas.
Start by relocating any out-of-season items to another area of your home, like the basement or the garage, where they’re less likely to be seen by visitors. Then look for small clothing items (hats, scarves, gloves, etc) and sort them into foldable storage containers. This makes them much easier to store on the top shelf of your closet.
Lastly, consider storing any shoes you won’t be wearing in an under the bed shoe organizer. They free up closet space and their see-through tops make it easy to view which shoes you have. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about trying to find a matching shoe again, since each pair is stored together.
2. Free Up Space in the Refrigerator
Preparing and cooking enough food is another taxing aspect of having family and friends visit during the festive season. But don’t worry, I’ve got holiday organization tips to simplify this process too!
Firstly, you’ll want to completely empty your fridge (yes, completely) and give it a thorough cleaning. Then, sort through your refrigerated items and discard anything that’s expired or no longer usable.
Once you’ve eliminated all of the excess items, it’s time to organize! I highly recommend buying a set of soda can organizers and filling them with a selection of different beverages. Not only does this ensure your guests will have a varied selection to choose from, but it prevents them from having to move items around when searching for something to drink (which is how leftovers end up on your kitchen floor).
You can also grab a set of these meal prep containers for packing away the remains of Christmas dinner. They’re stackable, so they’re more efficient to store in your fridge, and they’re ideal for giving doggy bags to family members— win/win!
3. Stock Up on TP and Toiletries
Few supplies are more essential to Christmas organization than toilet paper and toiletries. It’s incredible how fast these items disappear! Make sure you don’t run out by replenishing your stash early (before stores close).
I always encourage clients to invest in a free standing toilet paper holder for their guest bathroom(s), as they keep extra toilet paper rolls out in the open where visitors can easily spot them.
I also recommend filling a tiered vanity organizer with essential items guests might need, including:
- Miniature bottles of shampoo and conditioner
- Face wipes
A tiered organizer visibly displays each item while also freeing up below-the-sink storage for larger items like towels, blow dryers, and other hair tools.
4. Establish Entertainment Options in Advance
The more entertained your guests are, the less they’ll interrupt as you’re cooking or putting the finishing touches on your holiday decor. For this reason, it’s always best to have a few games or activities prepared to keep your loved ones occupied.
You can print out holiday coloring sheets for the kids, for example, and set out a clear plastic pencil case full of crayons for each child. Your living room coffee table, a kids table and chair set, or a portable lap desk all make fantastic craft areas for little ones.
You can also get creative when it comes to entertaining your more mature friends and family members. Try setting up a Christmas cocktail station and having guests mix their own drinks. Or fill a bowl with holiday-themed phrases and encourage guests to play charades.
5. Prepare Extra Linens and Other Essentials
This last point on our Christmas cleaning and organizing list is one you won’t want to forget. When a family member comes to you in need of extra towels, blankets, or pillows, it can throw your entire schedule off (especially if you have to wash them on the fly). It’s always wise to have these items on standby, fresh and ready to be used.
A wall-mounted towel rack is perfect for keeping towels in a conspicuous place where guests can easily find them (and they look great too). Simply hang from the back of your bathroom door or mount it with a drywall anchor to ensure it’s sturdy.
And that’s it— you’re now armed with all my best advice on how to organize your home for the holidays! I hope it helps you reclaim a tidy home and alleviates some holiday stress for you and your loved ones.
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