7 Ways to Prep Your Home for the HolidaysNovember 25, 2013
Yep, it’s that time already! Don’t panic – Urban Resource is here with seven cost-effective tips on how to prep your home for the holidays!
7. Make a great first impression
When your guests arrive, the first thing they will see is your entryway. Give this area a facelift by removing shoes, umbrellas, keys, and other clutter. A festive doormat always makes guests smile and can prevent dirt and scratches from appearing on your floor.
You can also brighten up your front door with a fresh coat of paint or by simply polishing the hardware to make it look brand new. If you’ve got a squeaky door, don’t forget to oil those hinges!
6. Lighten up
Make sure your entrance is bright and easy to navigate. You may know your home like the back of your hand, but your guests don’t. Replace any dead bulbs or add festive lamps or light fixtures. Prevent trips and slips by adding motion-sensor lights to hallways, bathrooms, and exterior walkways.
To conserve energy, install dimmers on dining room light fixtures. Dimming a bulb by 10% can actually double it’s lifespan. Also, installing LED lights can save energy while giving off more light.
5. Be wise. Organize!
The best way to prepare for any gathering in your home is to clean and organize first. To make room for groceries, remove or consolidate existing items in your fridge. Square and rectangular containers work best to save space, while circular containers hog space.
Did you know that ketchup, lemon juice, jam, and even mayo do not require refrigeration? Store these items in a pantry or cabinet along with produce like potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. They will get mushy if kept in the refrigerator – and, they can also add a nice, festive touch to your counters.
4. Increase your storage
While organizing, think about what will be needed most. Install a hanging spice rack to keep cabinets free or a pot rack to avoid having to clammer through your collection. Small hooks on the side of your cabinet can serve as a place to hang cooking utensils.
For guests, keep toiletries visible in your bathrooms by storing them in open-faced shelving. Leave extra hand towels and soap nearby, as well as a plunger to avoid any emergencies.
3. Impress your guests
Small details will leave your guests largely impressed. Scented candles flickering throughout your home featuring holiday-inspired scents add a cozy feel. Mantels and side tables decorated with bowls of holiday-inspired things like pine-cones, chestnuts, and chocolate candies also help to set the stage.
Don’t forget to pump those classic holiday tunes. Whether it’s during dinner or while you’re cleaning, soft and festive music will definitely put you and your guests in the holiday spirit.
2. Conserve energy
We all know the holidays can be a little overbearing on the pockets. (Unfortunately, you can’t pay bills with holiday cheer). Instead, try your best to conserve energy this holiday season.
When meal planning, consider side dishes that can cook simultaneously with your main dish at the same temperature. Using glass and ceramic pans will help retain more heat and will require less work from your oven – about 25 degrees less! Using lids on your pots also helps retain heat and will cook your food faster. Cooking with a pressure cooker? No peeking! Every time you remove the lid, you are releasing heat and adding about 20 minutes on to your cooking time.
As for cleanup, using your dishwasher can save water and energy. Scrape your dishes clean rather than rinsing them and pause your dishwasher before the dry-cycle begins. Letting your dishes air dry can save you tons! For those pots and pans with baked on food, place them in a bin filled with warm, soapy water. This will keep them out of your way and make your job easier later in the evening.
1. Don’t panic!
Not all of the burden has to be on the host. Invite your guests to bring a dish of their own. It gives them the opportunity to share their favorite holiday recipes and also serves as a great conversation topic during dinner.
We hope this was helpful. We’d love to hear your ideas on how you prep your home for the holidays!