christmas, holidays

A Real Mom’s Guide to Getting Your House Ready for the Holidays

Y’all know the holidays are coming. What’s more, you know your house isn’t even close to ready for the chaos that is the Christmas. Because while the season my bring joy, it also brings in lots of shopping bags and extra clutter.

Like my house isn’t cluttered enough… let’s decorate it!

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Fill your house with the heartwarming smells of the season… even if you don’t bake

Love the smell of holiday cookies, but you don’t cook? Do you love the smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree, but you’ve had the same artificial tree for years?

No worries!

Candles, electric plug ins and tart warmers to the rescue. You can fill your home with the smells of the holidays without having to cook a thing or getting a tree that require watering.

Dust under the furniture where the Christmas tree will go

If you are lucky, you have a corner or nook where your tree goes every year. I never had that special spot until we remodeled the lower level of our home. For years the tree kinda went wherever it would fit that year, but now my tree has a home.

And for the rest of the year, there are chairs and a small table in that corner. That furniture isn’t moved the rest of the year. I might occasionally run a broom under there, but, y’all, it’s scary back there.

So, before I carve this year’s Jack-o-lantern, I need to move those chairs and that little table, and dust the floorboards, remove the cobwebs, and make sure the whole area is tree-ready.

Collect the random holiday items from around the house

Admit it, you have a Little People Snowman in the junk drawer, red tissue paper at the top of the coat closet and the dog’s holiday collar is in the laundry room. Wait, that’s just me?

We have lots of little pieces of the holidays that for some reason don’t get put away with everything else. It may be because the dog wears the Christmas collar until Valentine’s day – oh, just me again – but there are several pieces of holiday joy scattered about my house.

And in June I just know that I will remember where the Snowman is when I set up the Little People Holiday Village. Y’all that snowman has been in the junk drawer since 2015. He needs to see Christmas lights again. This will be that year!

Grab a shoe box, or if you’re more like me, grab a big ol’ tote, and go around your house collecting those random items now. You will not remember later. I promise.

Find all of the ornaments you bought as souvenirs this year.

My favorite souvenirs are usually Christmas ornaments. I am a messy cook, so my shirts tend to get messy, and we’ve already discussed that my house tends to be on the cluttery side of life.

Both of which make ornaments the perfect items to remember our travels throughout the year, but I never actually put them away with the Christmas decor when we get home.

Why? Well, my home has precious little storage, and the Christmas boxes aren’t exactly accessible during the year. They are tucked away at the very back of the one storage space I have.

So, when I get home, my new ornaments are stuck on a closet shelf, or a book shelf or on top of a random dresser. Who knows why I do what I do, but while you are going around collecting random holiday items, grab those ornaments too.

This is the ornament we had personalizes in Magic Kingdom so that we never forget our Big Disney Year. Check our the Our Big Disney Year series to follow our adventures throughout the year. It’s been on the top shelf of the closet since August. I just got it down for this photo. It’s now in the big Christmas Stuff box, so it will actually make it onto the tree… unlike the ornaments from my husband’s visit to Sweden. Pretty sure those are in the closet too.

Arrange holiday pet sitting!

Ok, so this doesn’t technically fall under the “get your house ready” theme, but if you are traveling anytime between mid-Novemeber and New Year’s Day, and you can’t take your pets with you, call you pet sitter or your kennel no later than early September.

Kennels fill up. Your preferred pet sitter may be traveling, and you’ll have to find a replacement. This is far easier to do in September or October, when the holiday stress hasn’t descended upon you like a lump of dusty coal.

Your pets are part of your home. Prepare them too!

Clean your carpets

Just do it. Summer has come and gone. Cross country season is over. Finally. Now is a good time to get the carpets clean before baseball and softball season start. Clean the carpets in early November and you’ll have 4-5 months to enjoy clean carpet before your kids start dragging red clay into the house from the ball fields.

Gather your baking supplies

Much like the Christmas items being randomly distributed through the house, I find my baking supplies scatter throughout the year. It’s partially due to the layout of my kitchen. It’s also due to the fact that I am not known for my world-class organizational skills.

So, I like to go through the coffee & tea cabinet to get the honey and molasses. I then go to the pantry to get my baking chocolates, flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Finally I get whatever is baker-ish from the spice racks: cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, etc.

Then I put them in one kitchen-sized tote for the holiday. So, when I come across my next Pinterest Fail – I already know what I have in my pantry.

Speaking of Pinterest Fails, y’all should see my Halloween cake pops, delicious, but not cute. I think I’ll stick to cookies and breads. Those are definitely in my wheelhouse.

Get the holiday hand soaps

It’s hard enough to get your kids to wash their hands. Get the happy holiday foamy soaps they like. They’ll actually use them. They smell good, and the dispensers make it appear as if you decorated your bathroom, when all you did was toss out a new hand soap.

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