Preparing Your Home For The Festive Season
It is an exciting time of year, but we often experience a bubbling undercurrent of stress as the festivities creep up on us. A busy home can be enough of a handful to manage over the rest of year. How does one avoid a descent into chaos? A solid holiday strategy is what is called for! With a little preparation and planning you can manifest a buzzing holiday household that feels effortless, allowing yourself the energy to properly enjoy the celebrations with your nearest and dearest. So without further ado, let’s plan our attack!
Tend To Your Home To Free Up Mental Energy
A disorganised household can niggle away at us when we are busy juggling family and entertainment. Elevate yourself to Zen status by planning to get your house in order long before the decorations, extra bodies and all the bits and pieces that go with them arrive to take up space.
Recruit you family members too. A pre-holiday sort out can be a very healthy annual routine. Encourage your partner and children to share in this de-cluttering blitz. They may be reluctant but will benefit from the satisfaction of being more organised and the act of all chipping in together is a great sentiment to engage at this time of year. Plan a thorough sort out well in advance; de-clutter and organise. If you are pushed for time consider recruiting a cleaner to give your home a decent deep-clean so that you can present it beautifully as you prepare for the merriment.
There are few things more romantic than a winter garden scene. Often as bad weather descends, we are more likely to neglect the exterior spaces – so it might be worth calling on the services of a gardener for a quick holiday spruce up.
Dust Off The Decorations
Once the house is spic and span, it’s time to make sure everything you need is on hand. Going through holiday decorations can be a wonderful activity for kids, under strict supervision of course! If you are stuck for time due to a busy work schedule, why not get the Nanny to engage children in sorting through all of your festive stock? Now is the time to begin planning what themes you might choose around the house and what might need to be bought or replaced. Think of every detail to ensure there are no last minute panics. Small details such as candles, napkins and freshly ironed tablecloths will help you to enjoy a smooth-running and memorable celebration.
Prepare To Put Work Aside
Professional duties do not stop for the holidays but we might choose to lighten our load during this time as far as possible. Try to coordinate projects and meetings around your festivities. Take care of responsibilities before visitors arrive and if you employ a Personal Assistant, consider asking them to support you in keeping this window as clear as possible, allowing you to make to most of the holidays. It is perhaps time to suppress our inner workaholic and focus our energies on experiencing the treasured connections we share with our loved ones rather than allowing our thoughts to drift off to our next pressing deadline.
Plan Your Holiday Schedule
Organisation is the adversary of anxiety, so make a plan of the events you will be hosting, the meals that must be prepared, the arrival and departure schedule of guests and the household chores that must be kept on top of.
Consider needs such as bedding and extra towels and changes to your usual laundry schedule. Who in your household will be in charge of such tasks and do they have a clear plan of what is required? Who will be coming and going and when? Are there airport runs to consider and would it be worth utilising a professional driving service to ferry everyone about – so you can hold your energies within the home?
Take this a step further by planning for the unexpected. There is no harm in preparing a little extra. This will allow for easy spontaneity such as the flexibility to welcome extra guests.
A Fully Stocked Household
Rushing out at the last moment for supplies during the holiday season is nothing short of a nightmare. At the busiest point of the shopping year, trying to find what we need in a hurry can be incredibly stressful! Avoid this by anticipating your needs and stocking your pantry well in advance. Preparing as much as possible ahead of time and freezing pre-cooked delights will reduce the work load of everything from big events to minor mealtimes dramatically. Lovely spiced soups and fresh bread can be frozen for convenient family lunches. In fact, everything but fresh ingredients can be arranged in advanced and organised by meal schedule. Fresh goods can be picked up relatively painlessly with a well composed shopping list and a purposeful mind!
A boom in professional chef services offers a brilliant alternative to doing all the work yourself. Whatever your needs, be it catering for one large gathering, or preparing a selection of smaller meals for a hectic stint of family visitors, an amazing chef working in your own kitchen could be just what you need to provide those you love with the culinary feasts you imagine. You could even make it a fun experience by bringing in a chef to give a holiday themed cooking lesson. This works as a great gift for that relative who is near impossible to buy for!
Put It All Together
You have everything organised. You have recruited those within your household to be your festive A-team. You’ve made strategic and thorough plans, ensured you have everything you need and may choose to bring in a little extra help should you require it. You are now ready to sail through a holiday season that will not disappoint! Of course, don’t forget to plan for putting it all away again afterwards.
With the right approach, you should feel lifted by the holidays, leaving you and your loved ones set to launch into the New Year with a wealth of happy memories and your best foot forwards!