As winter approaches, the colder weather is now a set back to the options you have when fixing up your home. More than likely, you have a very limited time before the family starts to arrive and with all the work that needs to be done around the house, stick with the minor tasks before the holiday festivities begin.
If you're new to the party hosting role, or if this isn't your first rodeo, these tips will ensure that your family gathering will go as smoothly as you hope it will.
Lighting the way
Now that the time has fallen back an hour, it's important that the pathway to your door is clean and illuminated.
If you have a larger front yard, focus more on the front of the entryway and the path that leads up to it. Porch lights and any near lighting should be checked as well as any shrubbery that is blocking the walkway.
Whenever you host your party, the blinds should be open on the front windows so guests can see and feel the warmth of your home. It's a great way to create a sense of welcoming.
TIP: a cheap and easy way for lighting your walkways and paths are solar lights. The sun does the work for you!
Take care of the basics
Cleaning. Even if you're unable to do a head to toe cleaning before your party, you will definitely need to have all the floors cleaned before the first guest steps into your home.
TIP: If you have carpeting, it takes a minimum three days before your carpets are fully dried from a carpet cleaning.
Brighten up the bathroom
If you just can't seem to get that grime out of your grout, there IS an inexpensive and non-toxic way to get rid of it: Spray some full-strength hydrogen peroxide, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe clean. DONE!
next, adding a few flowers, holiday decorations, or pictures on the wall will add a little bit extra pizzazz to your bathroom.
TIP: Quickly de-clog your slow-moving sink drain with a Zip-It. This tool looks just like a giant zip-tie. You work it into your drain and it then pulls up your hair clogs - all the other debris stuck in your sink will come up with it.
Double check those kitchen appliances
Obviously, your kitchen appliances are the backbone to your holiday party, whether its a family dinner or cocktail party. You want them to be ready and fully functional.
Check that all the stove burners work. Clean the oven if you haven't in a while.
Clean out the refrigerator, make sure that both the fridge and freezer are running at ideal temperatures.
See that the dishwasher is also in working order. You can easily clean it with a cleaner that you run through a cycle.
TIP: Sharp knives make food prepping a big meal a whole lot easier. Make sure all the kitchen knives are newly sharpened.
If your home is welcoming to children, you will guarantee that the parents will have a good time as well.
If you happen to have kids that are around the same age as your young guests, all the better. If not, consider adding little touches that will make the parent more comfortable and relieve the kid of his/her boredom.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Make a spare room into a nursing/changing area.
- Toddlers or younger children will want to be near their parents, so it's a good idea for them to be set up near a corner of your living or dining room with toys, books, or tablet for watching cartoons, maybe even a few pillows and throws.
- One really good strategy for older kids are to turn the dessert course into an activity. For example, you can bake a huge batch of sugar cookies in holiday shapes, and then put different colors of icing or sprinkles on them. It lets the kids (and adults) go crazy with decorating their own cookies.
TIP: If you don't have any children, or if they are older, don't forget to kid-proof your space. Put anything expensive, breakable, or unstable away. Do baby-proofing, if necessary. That way you and the parents can relax and not have to worry about safety hazards.
Hopefully these ideas and tips will give you some relief for holiday entertaining, and ensure that you and your guests will relax and enjoy each other's company this season.