Hosting a holiday get-together for your family, friends or even co-workers can be a lot of fun. If done right, a holiday party can also be relatively stress-free and one that will be remembered for quite some time. You can choose to have the party catered, stock up on wine and keep it simple. However, it’s still up to you to prepare your home.
Whatever joyous occasion you are celebrating this holiday season, make sure your home is ready for guests. Here are several ways to get your home ready for your first holiday party, from igniting seasonal scented candles to tidying up the entertainment areas.
Add Some Festive Decorations and Touches
One of the easiest ways to prepare your home for your next holiday party is by adding festive decor and touches. For a Christmas party, pick up a spicy clove and vanilla-scented Nutcracker candle and ignite it before company arrives, placing it on the coffee table. Have pets or kids at the party? Keep a flameless Holiday diffuser that lends notes of red currants and mulled wine.
Besides that, throw a few seasonal throw pillows on the seating arrangement, light the fireplace and even put up the Christmas tree if you like. Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or ringing in the New Year, adding small touches here and there will make your party wonderfully festive.
Create a Flow to Your Floor Plan
As you decorate and prepare the home, consider how you want your guests to move about. When they first arrive, you want to offer a closet or rack where they can hang their coat and place their things. After they make themselves comfortable, they will most likely make a bee-line for the food and cocktails.
If you plan ahead, you can make sure there is plenty of room for people to mingle around the kitchen, dining room or seating area — wherever the food is served — to accommodate everyone. Offer plenty of seating around the main entertaining space too. Borrow chairs and ottomans from other rooms if you must, but don’t overcrowd the floor or make the foot traffic too congested. Determine your headcount and, if you can, offer a seat for each guest.
Give Your Home a Deep Cleaning
Spring cleanings are great for purging and letting in some fresh air after a long winter season. But what about autumn cleanings? With the holiday season approaching, give your home a deep cleaning before the festivities begin. This way, you can prepare for even those last-minute holiday parties, such as when your friends invite themselves back to your place to exchange gifts or enjoy a warm fire before a long drive home.
To deep clean the home, be sure to vacuum, mop and sanitize counters and sinks. You don’t have to do a thorough decluttering, but you should at least make your home presentable and tidy. While you’re at it, be sure to clean and tidy up the walkway or any outdoor space where guests might visit. Don’t forget to clean the powder room or bathroom they’ll be using too. Stock it with extra hand towels and toilet paper, along with holiday-scented hand soap and lotion for winter-dry hands.
Place Fragile Items in Another Room
If you have anything fragile or breakable, do yourself a favor and remove it from entertainment areas. Of course, this goes for any extra-special holiday decorations that may be important to you, such as hand-me-down mercury glass ornaments and such. You may even want to consider removing heirloom wood tables, preventing rings from left-behind wine glasses and drinks.
As careful and respectful as your guests will be in your home, accidents can and will happen. So secure these types of items if you want to ensure they are safe. This is especially true if you have children present, as it keeps them safe as well.
Secure the Pets Away
This preparation step is not only for your home and guests but for your pets too. For pets that get anxious around new visitors or loud commotions, place them in your main bedroom or in a quiet space where they feel most comfortable. Even if your guests don’t have allergies, it will put your pup or cat at ease during your holiday party. Of course, if your pet is more of a social butterfly who loves boops and attention, just be mindful of pet hair and dander, which can cling to your guests’ attire and even cause an allergic reaction. Give your upholstery a good vacuuming too.
Declutter the Gathering Areas
Spring is a great time to declutter the entire home and make a larger haul of donation items to a local secondhand store. However, you should still tidy up and declutter the main areas where you plan to entertain. For example, organize your mail and bills, placing them in the home office. Place the kids’ toys back in their rooms and stash away the items that are unnecessary for the party, at least for the time being. So be sure to clear any tables for snacks and remove hazards from the floor before your first holiday party.
Make Repairs Around the House
Another way to get your home ready for your first holiday party? Making repairs around the house. This goes double for areas where guests and visitors will be passing through. If your guests will notice a burned-out light bulb or a shingle missing from the front roof, fix it before the party so your home looks in tip-top shape. Even if it’s not something that seems urgent for the party itself, some home repairs will give you a head start and, like repairing leaky windows, may even save money on your electric bill.
Ready to host? Take these seven steps to get your home ready for your first holiday party. Make it look presentable and inviting so that your guests and family members feel at home and comfortable. And so that you don’t greet them at the door frazzled and stressed, give yourself plenty of time to prepare too.