25 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The cold weather is settling in and holiday gatherings are on the horizon. Filled with family time and long-standing traditions, the season is bursting with joy. It’s the perfect time to create memories with family and friends but, if you don’t plan ahead, you could find yourself quite overwhelmed with all the details. Check out our 25 tips to help you get prepared for any size gathering.

  1. Start decorating early, get your outside lights and decorations up before the weather gets cold – or it snows. This doesn’t mean you have to turn them on until you’re ready.
  2. Be considerate of your guests’ safety, make sure outdoor lights are working properly and the walkway is free of snow and ice.
  3. When adding a fresh pine wreath to your front door, spritz it with water then with hairspray. This preserves your wreath and it will last longer.
  4. Declutter the main living areas of your home; foyer, kitchen, living room, dining room, etc.
  5. Deep clean your home from top to bottom, you want it to look spick and span but also smell fresh and clean.
  6. Create a warm and welcome first impression by organizing your foyer; clean up the space by removing extra shoes and coats. Add a bench where guests can sit to remove their boots and decorate the area with tasteful lights and greenery.
  7. If you like the opportunity to visit with guests while you’re cooking, add extra chairs and stools to let guests know they are welcome in your kitchen.
  8. Take advantage of the foods you can prepare the day or two before your guest arrive. You can spend more time with your guest this way 
  9. Equip your bathroom with extra toilet paper, towels and a plunger!
  10. Add merriment to a powder room with scented candles and mini-poinsettias
  11. Include Evergreen sprigs in your     décor for the scent of the season
  12. Add a festive look to your existing home accessories; include a lighted mini-tree on a coffee or end table or put holiday decorations on your plants.


  1. Add sparkling garland, lights or pinecones on the base of your plants.
  2. Set a holiday dining table with mini-poinsettias,  floating candles or clusters of pine cones.
  3. Create place cards using cut-outs of angels,tree or snowmen.
  4. Deck your halls with a small decorated tree.
  5. Create a clever Christmas card display on a bare wall in the shape of a wreath; complete it with  a pre-made bow.
  6. Enjoy the ambiance of a fire buy playing a Fireplace DVD.
  7. Be prepared for unexpected guests bearing gifts. Wrap a few small boxes of chocolates and gift cards and use them in your holiday décor.
  8. If you are entertaining a large group, turn your thermostat down a few degrees, the additional warmth from your guests will keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
  9. Music can set the tone of any gathering; plan ahead and create a playlist appropriate for your guests. Keep the volume where it can be heard but not too loud for guest’s conversations.
  10. Dual purpose the use of candles, fragrant and pretty. Popular holiday scents are cranberry, pumpkin spice and pine.
  11. For overnight guests, create extra sleeping space privacy using folding screens or other divider and add motion activated night lights so your guests can find their way during a late night trip to the bathroom.
  12. Provide a bedside light, clock and a basket of bottled water and snacks in your guest room.
  13. Most of all have fun. If you’re stressed the guests will sense this tension and probably cut their visit short. Remember, time together is time well spent.