by Tiffany Jade Benn
Interior Stylist | Girl with a Hart Styling
We all know how crazy Christmas time can get especially if you are hosting all your family and friends at your place. I have hosted many Christmas Days and thought I would share all my very best tips for getting organised ahead of time. This way you can spend more time relaxing with your guests and truly being the host(ess) with the mostess!
Create a welcoming hallway
Kick clutter to the curb before it starts to spread through the house!
Having a console table in the hallway with drawers means each member of your household gets a drawer each for all their odds & ends that would usually end up scattered.
If you are using a coat rack in the hallway why not have some extra pegs lower down the wall at child height. Not only does this give them their own hanging space it will also thin out the bulk of items hung there.
Move all your out of season coats & jackets to the loft or a storage area to give a less cluttered feel and create space for anything your guests need to hang there.
Have a key rack by the front door with a spare key for guests to use so they can come and go with ease during their stay. Why not leave a little note pad there too for any important messages they may want to leave you.
Simplify the kitchen
Christmas is a great time to give your kitchen a spring clean to make space for all the amazing food. Furthermore, you can work out ahead of time if you have enough china, cutlery, glasses and serving ware for all your guests!
Throw away anything that is out of date or just too old to use anymore. Remember if you can’t smell your herbs and spices you won’t be able to taste them either.
Invest in some small step shelves to give you added space to store items inside cupboards.
Re-pack your pantry by decanting dry goods out of their bulky boxes and into stackable containers (preferably glass instead of plastic). Then you can also easily take the non-essential items to the garage for some short-term storage to give yourself more room for all the boxes of Quality Street – yum!
Remember to label anything that looks slightly ambiguous – you don’t want your guests putting salt in their morning coffee!
Clear the decks in the kitchen to give yourself as much preparation space as possible (is there ever enough?!) or why not add some extra work space with a butcher’s trolley.
We all know guests always gather in the kitchen when they arrive so having a station for making drinks on a table away from the kitchen will encourage your guests out of the kitchen!
If your guests are staying for a few nights have the tea, coffee & sugar nearby the kettle or coffee machine in glass jars. That way they can help themselves to a cuppa if they wake up early and don’t want to disturb you. My Mum & Dad always need cups of tea at random times of the day (and night!) when they come to stay so I always make sure they know where to go to get their fix!
Bring order to the living room
The living room will always get lots of use at Christmas time especially when it’s time to watch Love Actually with one of your boxes of Christmas chocolates! So this is the perfect time to be a little ruthless – if there are things in this room that you no longer love it might be time to donate to your local charity store.
Whilst you’re de-cluttering this area remember to find a clear spot for the Christmas tree. This will help you size wise when you’re at the garden centre picking out your pine tree.
Christmas can be a crazy time of year so keeping your palette quite neutral in this room will bring a sense of calm. Also, blending your tree decoration colours with the colours all ready in the room will keep the room from feeling too cluttered. For instance, if your metallic of choice in your living room is rose gold follow that tone onto your tree rather than going for decorations that are wildly contrasting.
Create a homely guest room
Many homes have a guest room that really doubles as an office or general storage area. Making this room as homely as possible will make your guests feel so welcome that you may have trouble getting them to leave!
One of the best ways to work out what the room needs is to sleep a night in there yourself. This way you will soon discover if it is habitable or not!
Make sure the wardrobe has some hanging space available for your guests to hang up their outfits. If there is no wardrobe in the room invest in a foldable hanging rack that can be used when guests are visiting.
Ensure that there are enough clean towels laid out on the bed when guests arrive. Include a hand towel and face washer too to make them really comfortable. Not only will this make them feel so welcome it will also ensure they don’t have to go searching through cupboards for towels.
Launder the bedding with a lightly fragranced detergent to have it smelling heavenly, but not overpowering.
Why not add a gorgeous scented candle to the bedside table (and remember matches!) so they can have a beautifully smelling room at all times. If you would rather not have naked flames, a long lasting reed diffuser is a fantastic alternative that will keep the whole room smelling fresh at all times.
Also, don’t forget a carafe of water by the bed for those late night thirsts after all the Christmas cheer!
Organise the linen cupboard
This is the perfect time to make sure you have enough linen for your guests’ rooms and to clear out and donate any you no longer use.
Work out who is going to sleep where and get together all the matching sets to make sure no one goes short. Make these matching sets easy to find by folding them all up and putting them inside one of the pillowcases. This way you can easily get your hands on what you need.
If you are feeling really organised why not label the shelves in the cupboard so you know what size bedding you are picking rather than having to unravel it all each time.
Tidy up & spring clean the bathroom
There is nothing worse than a cold cluttered bathroom. Definitely not a spa-like experience! Making this room inviting is easier than you think and it is all about the small touches.
Invest in matching bath towels sets. Good quality ones will last for years and they will instantly lift your bathroom closer to home spa level! Roll and stack them in a basket for easy access for all.
Making sure the cupboards and surfaces are cleared of clutter is key. Only have the bare essentials you need in there and ensure you clear out all those old bottles with just a few drops left.
If you have lots of guests invest in a stylish over the door hanger to help with the towel drying after everyone has showered.
One essential for me is to hide away all the cleaning products – no one needs to see the toilet cleaner on Christmas Day!
I do hope these tips give you a few ideas of how to get your home ready for Christmas. Furthermore, I do hope they help take away a little of the chaos and give you much more time to enjoy your Christmas and maybe even get a little time to relax!
I look forward to meeting you at our free* styling pop up sessions on 24th and 25th November in the centre where you can have 45 minutes to sit with me one on one to pick my brains about anything styling related!