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6 Practical Tips for Organizing Your Home for The Holidays

6 Practical Tips for Organizing Your Home for The Holidays

No matter how you choose to spend your holidays—traveling or hosting get-togethers, proper home organization is the best way to get the season off on the right snow boot and set you up for success. But where do you start?

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start before Thanksgiving: It’s never too early to start your holiday organizing. 
  • Prioritize locations: The kitchen, living room, and closets should be first on your hit list.
  • Get the decorations up now: Don’t piecemeal decking the halls. Get it all finished at once!
  • Designate areas of the fridge: Split the area between everyday items and your holiday meals. 
  • Make a gift wrapping station: Choose one area that can handle all of your wrapping and storage needs.
  • Replace the batteries on literally everything: You don’t want to find yourself without a remote control on Christmas.   

Start checking tasks off of your to-do list before the madness of the holidays commences! Continue reading to learn more.  


Start Before Thanksgiving

However busy you think you’re going to be for the yuletide season, double it. It’s always best to think you’re going to have less time than you do. That way, you’re already ahead from the get-go. Start your holiday planning before December 1. Waiting for the ever-elusive “after Thanksgiving sometime” will leave you making the mad holiday dash for some semblance of sanity when it’s already too late. 


Prioritize Locations

If you’re thinking about organizing the attic or garage, stop and reorient. Where are the holidays likely to wreak the most havoc? Where is it essential that you make more room? If you’re in charge of hosting the family dinner, the kitchen, dining room, and anywhere else people will gather are your top priorities. Are your guests staying the night?

Then add the guest bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets to your list. Make sure that any superfluous items are removed and there’s a clear place for things like guest coats, luggage, even leftovers in the fridge. Have extra toiletries, towels, linens, and things your overnight guests might need readily available. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Do you collect hotel shampoos and soaps? Make a holiday bathroom basket in your guest room or bathroom. Everything your guests need will be right there. 
  • Not sure what to clear out of the kitchen? Everything but the appliances you plan to use for the holiday meals. You’ll want as much counter space as possible.
  • Empty the hallway closet. Avoid coat piles by clearing a designated space for your guests. Can’t clear an entire closet? Learn how to make your closets work for you.
  • Hang extra hangers in all the closets.

Get The Decorations Up Now

Don’t spend one moment more than you have to living among decoration boxes. It might seem more productive to spend an hour or two after work hanging lights and pinning stockings in this room or that one, but it’s not. Really, you’re only making it harder to get yourself organized. Get all your decorating done in one hit so you can check that off your list and get onto more important tasks. 


Designate Areas of The Fridge

No matter what, everyone ends up with the post-holiday meal blues for two reasons: Either you still have enough food for a small army, or the family vultures took everything but the table salt and left no yummy leftovers for you! Your fridge is the culprit behind it all!

Square off a specific section for holiday meals and the leftover food alike. This way, you won’t run the risk of accidentally using something you’ll need for dinner before the big day, and you’ll have an up-for-grabs space where your relatives can freely graze (because you’ll have already boxed up the leftovers you want for yourself and put them in the “host’s food” section.

Additional holiday kitchen organization ideas include:

  • Use wire rack dividers to separate areas in your fridge. 
  • Don’t neglect your pantry.
  • Consider potlucks for holiday dinners. Ask each guest to make one item of the meal and bring it with them. 
  • Mark specific areas of the kitchen for popular items. For example, a coffee and tea station, a bar with all your alcohol, & a dessert table.    

Seasonal Health Reminder: Flu and food poisoning run rampant during the holidays. Do yourself and your guests a favor by stopping the spread of infectious germs. Our Happy Hive recommends physically cleaning and sanitizing your fridge with a cleaning solution of dish soap, baking soda, and hot water. 


Make a Gift Wrapping Station

No more hunting for the scissors only to have to buy another pair. Put all of your wrapping supplies into a box or bag next to your wrapping area. Try to also find a place in this area to store wrapped presents before placing them under the tree or giving them to your recipient. 

With these steps, you’ll be able to solve three separate holiday problem areas at once:

1. Place your bag of wrapping supplies under or near your wrapping surface. Whatever is in the bag—be it tape or the ever-elusive scissors—stays in the bag unless you’re wrapping.

2. Wrap presents as you buy them, labels and all. This will help you to avoid the big slapdash wrapping race the night before Christmas.

3. Organize wrapped presents by the recipient and who will receive theirs first.


Replace The Batteries

The last thing you want is an annoying smoke detector beeping during dinner—or worse—for the unit to not catch the signs of a house fire until it’s too late. Kitchen fires during the holidays are one of the most common accident insurance claims each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Ensure all the safety measures in your home, from smoke detectors to fire extinguishers, are up to par. It’s also not a bad idea to check the TV remote control batteries, flashlights, and emergency gear and to have a few extras on hand, just in case. 


Conclusion

The point of the holidays is to see what’s really important. That applies to your holiday home organization as well. Using these tips, you can hone in on the chronic problem areas, common disorganization pitfalls, and holiday headaches before they start.

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