The holiday season revolves around our homes. It is where we congregate to eat, play, and celebrate. But let’s face it, decorating for the holidays can often feel overwhelming, especially if we’re trying to stay within a certain spending limit.
Here are 5 easy ways to get your house ready for the holidays without breaking the bank, or your holiday spirit!
Note: Instead of completing them all in one week, it is best to spread them out over the few weeks prior to the holiday.
Getting rid of clutter now will save you a ton of time down the road, and best of all, it’s free! Additionally, it will lessen some of the stress that comes with having too much stuff after Christmas.
Clear the clutter first in the home’s main living and high-traffic areas:
- ◆ Remove any unnecessary items from the countertops, refrigerator, and pantry in the kitchen, and throw out any food that has gone bad.
- ◆ Give every dish, cup, pot, and pan a designated spot by organizing the cabinets; this will make cleanup following those late-night holiday parties a breeze.
- ◆ Donate old shoes and coats to the coat closet, and leave plenty of empty hangers for visitors to use.
- ◆ Think about going through your children’s toys together. At this time of year, when they anticipate receiving more, they are frequently more willing to part with things.
2. Decorate the main areas
Even though a little holiday decor can turn any room into a cozy winter wonderland, decorating the entire house can be expensive and extremely stressful. Instead, concentrate on accentuating your home’s main areas with a few pieces you’ve gathered over time.
- ◆ Simple decorations like a lit garland, candles, perhaps a few throw pillows with holiday designs, and, of course, your Christmas tree will dress up your living room.
- ◆ Holiday placemats, possibly some holiday-themed dish towels, and a holiday centerpiece on the table are simple ways to add festive touches to the kitchen and dining area..
- ◆ Add a low-cost touch of the holiday season to other rooms in your house, such as the bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms, with a winter-scented candle.
- ◆ Playing holiday music is another simple way to create a festive atmosphere and appeal to one of the five senses without breaking the bank or overcrowding our spaces.
Pro-Tip: Start stocking up on garlands, throw pillows, and dish towels little by little if you haven’t already. This is especially cost-effective if you buy a few things each year after the holidays when they’re on sale!
3. Fill the pantry
Preparing the pantry ahead of time and buying in bulk will keep you from last-minute, expensive shopping. It will also help you avoid problems with the store running out of your desired items.
- ◆ Pay attention to the sales flyers from your neighborhood supermarket and wholesalers in the weeks before Christmas and stock up on what you need.
- ◆ When they’re on sale, purchase non-perishable items in bulk and keep them in your pantry (which has just been cleared out).
- ◆ Some fruits, vegetables, and meat are examples of perishable foods that can be frozen if necessary.
- ◆ Establish a weekly grocery delivery schedule and schedule each week’s groceries based on what has been consumed and what needs to be restocked if you are fortunate enough to have a grocery store that delivers for a low fee.
4. Make meals for the freezer
Making several freezer meals will help keep the dinner budget in check while reducing the stress of having to prepare dinner on hectic holiday weeknights.
Additionally, they are incredibly simple to reheat to prepare for visitors after a long day of shopping, decorating, or cleaning.
Soups and casseroles can be prepared quickly and are freezer-friendly for at least six weeks. To avoid freezer burn, make sure to foil or plastic bag each meal. Defrost your meal in the refrigerator to shorten the cooking time.
Another benefit of using freezer meals is that you won’t have to spend as much time cleaning up after dinner, which will make it easier for you to maintain a clean home.
5. Set up a station for wrapping
In addition to making the process of wrapping gifts simpler, having a designated area to store gift-wrapping supplies also makes it easier to keep track of what you already have and helps you avoid wasting money on gift wrap, tape, and gift tags.
An excellent wrapping station is a desk in the home office or a dresser in the basement. But another choice is to store all of your wrapping supplies in a box that slides under your bed. You can then pull the box out when you’re ready to wrap.
Finally, while the holidays are a wonderful time of year, we often have to juggle a lot of obligations and activities, which can make them hectic. Make it easier on yourself and take advantage of the time before Christmas to create your plans so that you can enjoy it to the fullest.