Genius Ways To Prep Your Home For Any Kind Of Holiday Get-Together
I know I’m not the only person who gets both excited and stressed out about the holidays. While this has always been my favorite time of year, the work it takes to make magic of the season a reality can actually be pretty overwhelming. You have to clean, decorate, host events, and more all while handling your day-to-day responsibilities. Talk about exhausting.
Each year it seems the holiday season begins earlier, and along with this increasingly extended season come even more reasons to celebrate. From hosting a whole slew of people for Friendsgiving in early November to inviting over a couple of besties for a Christmas cookie baking sesh, it's almost a given that you'll be bringing friends and family into your home at some point between Halloween and New Year’s.
As fun as these events are, getting your home ready for an influx of visitors can also add to your seasonal stress. That’s why Bustle partnered with Clorox to round up some truly genius tips for cleaning and decorating your home to holiday perfection. No matter the occasion, you can use Clorox products to make sure your home is clean, safe, and ready for whatever (and whoever!) the holiday season brings into your home.
Make Friendsgiving All About Crowdsourcing
No matter if you're planning on traveling home for the Thanksgiving holiday or if you're staying local, more and more people are turning to Friendsgiving as a way to get more enjoyment out of the season. Entertaining expert and author Mark Addison shares this great tip for creating a tablescape of your social media dreams: “Just think like a bride… Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!”
Here’s what he means by that: To keep your decorating efforts low-stress and under budget, be sure to utilize items you already own. “Use existing table setting pieces you have in your entertaining arsenal. Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles to reinterpret them to give a fresh look,” he says.
You can always borrow decorations from friends, but you should also look to other rooms in your home for ideas. That bouquet of dried flowers on your nightstand could make a cute cameo as a dining room accent, for instance.
When it comes to something new, Addison recommends sticking to just a few pieces for the centerpiece of your room. To make it cohesive, pick a color — like blue, perhaps — to build your decor around. This method breaks down Friendsgiving decorating into manageable tasks that will save you time and money, allowing you to focus on the reason for the season: really good food.
Host A Cookie Baking Bash With Confidence
Decorating holiday cookies can be one of your family’s most treasured traditions, but getting the kitchen ready for such an undertaking can be overwhelming.
With cold and flu season among us, the most important part of kitchen-focused activities — especially ones where you'll be cooking or baking for loved ones — is making sure your workspace is clean and sanitary. The most reliable way of cleaning your kitchen before and after cooking is with the most trusted name in cleaning: Clorox.
I love the Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach. It’s powerful — as in it kills over 99 percent of germs — but unlike some icky cleaners of the past, Clorox makes their cleaners safe enough to use regularly in your home. Clorox helps you protect your family from winter germs so you can enjoy your baking without worry.
For A Swanky Holiday House Party, It's All About Lighting
If you’re beginning your transition from exclusively hosting ugly sweater parties to now sending out formal e-vites and setting a dress code, you may be looking for a simple way to set a mood. If so, rest assured that decorating your home for this kind of event is actually incredibly easy.
Interior designer Lisa Melone Cloughen recommends creating ambience through the use of lighting — or the lack of it. She recommends using overhead lighting sparingly, opting for table and floor lamps that offer softer, diffused light. “Add candles pretty much everywhere!” she says. “Pillars and tapers should be of varying heights and widths for maximum impact.”
As for turning the rest of your lounging space into an upscale venue, it only needs to look like you tried, so keep details like bar placement simple. Re-arrange or move out some furniture so people have room to walk back to the bar, which Cloughen recommends setting up in the back of the living room. This way, there's even a little bit of forced mingling as guests cut through the crowd to refill their drinks. See? I told you these tips would be genius.
A Kid-Friendly Gathering Requires Some Smart Strategy
Having a group of kids over is a whole different ball game than an adults-only gathering. I get stressed when my daughter invites just one friend over, so the idea of having all of the cousins over for holiday movies or opening presents strikes fear into my heart.
One way to get that stress under control is to make sure your home is set up perfectly for little ones. Aside from moving anything expensive to higher ground and making sure holiday candles stay out of reach, work on making the space cozy for them to lounge and play.
“Think of buying a flokati rug to layer on top of your existing rug," says interior designer Amy Feldman. "Add a blanket, decorative velvet pillows...and a stack of kids books to create a cozy reading corner.”
Whether or not you need to stock that cozy reading corner with the aforementioned cookies is probably up to mom and dad, but pro tip: It’s one way to make sure your nieces and nephews are your biggest fans.
This post is sponsored by Clorox.