Holiday Prep: Home Updates to Get Out of the Way Now
Christmas and New Year’s Eve will be here in no time. Get your home ready for the festivities now with these easy projects.
After a year or two of virtual holidays, many are looking forward to finally having guests over to celebrate again. If months of living and working out of your home have it needing a bit of a refresh, there is still time for some easy updates. To start, focus on the areas where guests are likely to gather or spend the most time: kitchen, dining room, living room, powder rooms, guest rooms. Once you’ve pinpointed your key entertaining areas, use these quick ideas to prep your home for holiday festivities.
1. Wrap up any unfinished business.
If you have any half-finished home projects or leftover to-dos, make sure to take care of them. For instance, if you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a living room remodel, do all you can to hurry the process so that your guests will be comfortable and see the final results. Putting off projects? Consider using the holidays as motivation to get them off your list. If you’ve been wanting to wallpaper the bathroom, for example, now is the time to make it happen. Peel-and-stick wallpaper can get your project done in a day.
2. Give your entryway a makeover.
The key to a positive impression? Making the first thing visitors see — the entryway — comfortable and inviting. Be sure your guests have somewhere to hang their coats, take off their shoes, and put down their bags and packages. Boost the coziness with a rug, and incorporate a boot tray and nice storage baskets to accommodate winter accessories. As for coats, mount sturdy hooks or clear out your hall closet so there’s plenty of room. Your guests will need somewhere to sit to take off and put on their boots, so consider including a bench or chair. A console table is a good choice for holding other belongings. After you’ve made sure the basics are taken care of, then you can move on to decorating with seasonal items like artwork, flowers and other festive decor.
3. Clean out excess clutter.
Since we’ve been spending more time at home, it’s only natural for extra stuff to start stacking up. Getting rid of clutter will not only give your home an instant polish, but also provide a blank canvas to show off your seasonal decor. It cannot be understated: Cleaning and organizing alone will change the look and feel of your space dramatically. Don’t know where to start? Simply throw away, recycle or donate anything unnecessary or unwanted, then find a home for everything else. If you find that you are having a hard time accommodating all your stuff, it might be time to seek out new organizing solutions.
4. Freshen up tired walls with paint.
One of the fastest and simplest ways to refresh your home is to revive the paint. A fresh coat of paint, even if it’s the same color, will restore drab walls. Or if you’re feeling ready for a change, pick out a new color to give the room an entirely different look. No time to get out the rollers and paint brushes? At minimum, wash down your walls and remove the dust, dirt and stains.
5. Fix any problem spots.
Perfection isn’t something that most homes achieve, but there are certain spots with glaring issues that cannot be ignored or camouflaged. It might be something as basic as a raggedy sofa, a beat up table, or inadequate area rug. Whatever the most glaring problems are in your home — the ones that upset you most — now is the time to prioritize their replacement or repair. Handling these issues will always be a sound investment, in addition to making a significant impact on your space.
6. Replace outdated or underperforming lights.
Another simple way to make a big impact on your home’s aesthetic and ambiance is lighting, which often gets overlooked. In most cases, upgrading your lighting is an easy project you can do yourself. Dimmer switches are a nice touch to have installed in the key areas of your home before hosting holiday get-togethers. They are great for setting the mood when entertaining. Exterior lighting is another one to consider. Adding some lanterns or upgrading with outdoor sconces is a fast way to make your home more welcoming. Bare minimum? Swap out any too-dim or burned-out bulbs to brighten things up, inside and out.
7. Prepare your guest room.
When hosting overnight visitors, you want your guest room to look finished, be inviting and have everything your guests need to be comfortable. Consider putting up new drapes, incorporating a warm area rug, and adding plush seating to make a cozy impact. Other thoughtful details include putting in a reading light, like a wall sconce or table lamp, that they can reach from the bed. If your sheets and towels are a bit worn or discolored, consider splurging for a new set. While upgrading the pillows and mattress is quite an investment, it’s worth it if you have wiggle room in your budget. There will be no doubt that your guests are comfortable.