Organize This: A Holiday Ready Home

Even though it is chilly outside, I am giving the month of December a nice, warm welcome.
This month can quickly become overwhelming and busy with all of the holiday hustle and bustle, however, a little organization and forward thinking will ensure you have time to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.  Here are five super simple tips, to prepare you for the magical season ahead.
1.  Make a Plan

It seems as though there is always something going on during the month of December; holiday parties, volunteer time, shopping trips and school musicals just to name a few.  The beginning of the month is the perfect time to take a few extra minutes and make a plan.  Pin up a calendar in a central location and jot down every obligation for the entire month.  Once you can see everything at a glance, really determine the importance of each commitment.  People tend to over-schedule themselves during the holiday season, which takes away from the overall enjoyment factor.  Try to prioritize the events (and maybe even axe a few from the lineup), while also blocking out days for rest and relaxation.   A calendar is also a great place to keep track of your holiday to-do lists as well as your cleaning plan for the month.
2.  Speaking of Cleaning Plan…

My next tip is to put together cleaning caddies to store withing commonly used areas of the home.  Because December is already so busy, there is no sense in adding the stress of constant cleaning.  However, with the amount of parties and people stopping by to mingle, you will most likely want your home to remain visitor ready.  By keeping cleaning supplies easy to access in the bathroom and kitchen, a quick cleanup each day will prevent things from getting out of control over the course of the month.  Bonus points for adding peppermint essential oil to your homemade cleaners, or picking up a pine scented all purpose cleaner at the store.  Another tip is to set aside a total of 5-10 minutes each day for a quick de-cluttering.  Simple steps such as putting away shoes, tossing mail into a basket, cleaning the kitchen counters and straitening seating areas, will make a dramatic impact to the main areas of the home.
3.  Drink Up!

I personally love to create a small holiday-ready beverage station each year.  I fill a tray with necessities to whip up seasonal drinks, everything from marshmallows to candy canes to cocoa powder and even a little Irish Cream.  It is great to have a “go-to” spot when a neighbor stops by to chat or mom pops in with a bag of goodies for the kids.
4.  That’s a Wrap!

With the number of holiday parties, gift exchanges and school events that pop up throughout the month, it is extremely handy to have a full stocked gift wrap station.  I also prefer to leave small treats and gifts to individuals in the service industry, so a gift wrap station saves the day at a moment’s notice.  Whether you add an organizer to the back of the door, fill a drawer in your office or store everything in a storage container under your bed, corralling rolls of gift wrap, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and some blank cards, will be a December smile saver more than once.
5.  Be the Hostess with the Mostess

My final tip for making your home holiday ready, is to make your home guest ready.  Spend a few minutes to make up the bed with fresh linens, set out a stack of laundered towels and fill a basket with toiletries, bottled water and snacks.  This will ensure that should a guest decide to stay in town at the last minute, you can welcome them with open arms.

{ calendar / gift wrap cart / cleaning caddy / pine scented cleaning products / hot cocoa bundle / serving tray / water carafe / bar cart / woven basket }