How To Prepare Your Home For The Christmas Crowd
The tree is up, presents are wrapped, Christmas ham pre-ordered, and Love Actually has been on at least three times. Yep - the final countdown to Christmas is well and truly on.
Of course, Christmas isn’t just about shopping, feasting, and Hugh Grant: it’s about spending quality time with the people you love. As wonderful as this is, when it’s your turn to host the family Christmas, things can start to feel a little overwhelming. Your home - which was just perfect for you and your 2.5 children back in the day - is suddenly inundated with kids, partners, siblings, and long-lost rellies, leaving you wondering exactly where to put everyone at mealtimes and hoping you have enough respectable bedding to go around.
Sound familiar? Make things stress-free this year with these foolproof tips for hosting the Christmas crowd.
Clean the day before your first arrival
We know - it’s very unexciting of us to mention cleaning straight off the bat, but this wouldn’t be a thorough ‘how to’ without it. Chances are, Christmas is one of the few times of year where all the bedrooms in your house are in use, meaning you probably have your work cut out for you when it comes to the pre-guest clean. But that’s ok: the best way to tackle the big jobs is by getting a system in place.
Start with your outdoor entertaining area, whether it’s a garden, deck, or balcony. By cleaning your home from the outside in, you’ll make sure you’re not walking any dirt back through the house. If you have a pool, make sure you give that a solid once over, checking the water quality’s up to scratch, the fence is cobweb free, and there are no big clumps of plant matter clogging up the space.
Next, move on to your wet areas (kitchen, bathrooms, laundry) and give everything a good scrub. Clean out the fridge, ready for the onslaught of salads, cold meats, and champagne; put any loads of washing through so your guests have easy access to your machine (it’s one of life’s strange little facts that adult children love bringing their washing home, even when they have perfectly good laundries of their own); and make some space in your bathroom so your guests don’t feel like they need to engage in an awkward game of space wars to find a spot for their toothbrush.
Now move on to the bedrooms and living areas, wiping down the surfaces, spraying some fabric freshener on the sofa, and removing any clutter.
Finally, tackle all the floors, either vacuuming, sweeping or mopping until everything feels nice and clean underfoot.
If you do all of this the day before your first guests arrive, everything will still be looking shiny and fresh when they walk through the door. You’ll also get a whole evening to enjoy your handiwork before little squares of wrapping paper, discarded Christmas cracker jokes, and plum pudding crumbs take up residence in every room.
Put fresh sheets on every bed and clean towels in the bathrooms
Sheets lose their just-washed freshness after a few days, even if no-one has slept on them, so don’t kid yourself that the sets you put on the spare bed this January are still good to go. If you pull a set out from the linen cupboard and discover their best days are behind them, replace them with some from our beautiful range . Because we usually swelter through Christmas here in Australia, it’s best to choose sheets made of breathable natural fibres like cotton, linen, or bamboo. A light cotton blanket is usually also a good idea, for the slightly chilly pre-dawn hours.
As well as fresh sheets, remember to lay out fresh towels for your guests. Depending on your set-up, you may prefer to hang them neatly in the bathroom or leave them folded at the end of each bed. As always, Pinterest has some excellent inspiration for presentation.
When choosing towels, it’s always a good idea to go for more absorbent fabrications, especially for hand towels and bath mats, which are bound to get a lot of use. Our Corduroy Rib range fits the bill nicely, thanks to its ability to absorb a lot of water and dry quickly. They’re also soft on skin; great for any summer sunburn.
Stock the kitchen
This probably goes without saying, given it’s Christmas time, but a full fridge and well-stocked pantry go a long way when it comes to helping your guests feel at home. While Christmas Day is the big event food-wise, remember to have enough on hand to get you through the days either side without having to make a trip to the supermarket (which, as you know, is never a relaxing place to be at this time of year).
Keep a good collection of breakfast basics like breads, spreads, cereals and milk; a full fruit bowl for healthy snacks; and all the extras you need to make that leftover ham or turkey into delicious sandwiches from Boxing Day onwards (think cranberry sauce, rocket, mustard, cheese, tomato and pickles). Finally, if your guests are contributing to the festive feasting, ask them what they’re bringing so you can keep enough space free in the fridge or freezer. If you think it’ll be tight, consider loading a few eskies with ice to keep the less-perishable items chilled (e.g. drinks and fruit).
Check your seating
While you won’t be able to add another sofa to your living room for the holidays, consider how you can reconfigure your existing seating and floorplans to make sure all your guests can feel included in the same space. This might mean re-positioning your dining table so you call pull out the extension pieces comfortably, repositioning your sofa and recliners around your bay window to win yourself a few extra seats, or bringing the garden bench up to your outdoor setting so your friends and family aren’t locked in an all-day game of musical chairs.
Sprinkle some Christmas cheer
Finally, because it’s Christmas, permit yourself to go a little overboard on the festive decorations. String up some lights, wrap tinsel around the stairwell, put a couple of miniature reindeer in the garden, or unfurl a festive table runner to ensure the Christmas spirit is alive and well in your home.
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