Oh, December! It's a magical time of mulled wine and mince pies. From hosting festive drinks to cosying up to watch a Christmas film - and even the big day itself, our homes transform into a multifunctional space during this month. And that often means we have a list as long of our arm to get our home looking ship shape and working for us during this period.
With this in mind, here's our checklist of the 9 must dos to get our homes ready for all that the festive period brings our way.
Our first step before we take on any project is to declutter. This is often when our handy made to measure furniture pieces really come into their own as space is optimised for your unique storage needs. This is easily the least enjoyable task but it's a must do as with a clean surface we can then start building our festive home knowing everything is in order.
What's more, a tidier and more organised house now will mean less stress post-Christmas when there's lots of extra items to find homes for.
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Stock the Cupboards
With guests popping in and out a lot more frequently, now's the time to stock the pantry with nibbles and games. These will be ready to whip out when those late notice guests come knocking, saving you the stress of rushing to the shop.
Create a Present Stop
We don't know about you but it can feel like a constant stream of presents are coming through the door at this time of year. And they've got to go somewhere. Sometimes it also means hiding them away from prying eyes of partners or kids.
Our solution is to set up a present wrapping station so you can quickly and effectively wrap or store your presents ready to go straight under the tree. If your home office has waved goodbye to work for the rest of the year, why not clear it off and lay out your favourite wrap, tags and tape ready to wrap to your hearts content.
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Pick Your Decoration Theme(s)
Do you often find yourself buying new Christmas decorations with no real idea of where it will go - or even if it will suit the rest of your ornaments? We've all been there! What we recommend is getting everything out of the loft and on a table. From here you can create clear decor themes which can apply to different corners or rooms in your home. For example, jewel toned objects could head into the lounge to compliment your tree, whilst your white and wooden accessories might be better suited to your kitchen or bedroom. Have a play around and remember to really root into what you adore: you're the one who's going to be admiring these decorations day in, day out after all!
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Get Cooking (& Freezing)
With many more social events and shopping trips, we often find ourselves getting busier and busier as December rolls on. Before you know it, you're coming in late on a weekday evening or you've invited your neighbour round for a last minute dinner before you realise you've got nothing in the fridge. We love to bulk cook hearty winter meals before popping the leftovers in the freezer ready for such emergencies. It's a lifesaver!
Set the Table
Not only is your decorated table going to be a real focal point of your dining room decoration, but it also means you're ready to welcome guests at the drop of a hat. We love to start with a gorgeous centrepiece and work out from there. Add candles, foliage and beautiful glassware to create a stunning design that's going to make you smile every time you walk past.
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Make the Beds
This one is a simple tip but can make a world of difference when we're preparing to welcome guests. Making the beds up for overnight guests now means one less thing to do when they are about to arrive. Don't forget to add some soft textures like cushions and throws to help make them feel at home.
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Set Up the Bar
Home bars became all the rage during lockdown but now it seems no social space should be without one! They're a great tool when you're hosting family and friends and can be as paired back or extravagant as you need it to be. Stock up on your favourite tipples and lay out some beautiful glassware ready to share with guests over a mince pie or two.
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Add in Foliage
At Grandad's Shed, we love to add foliage and greenery to lift a space. And this is no different at Christmas. Whilst we might first think of the obvious Christmas tree, there's also a multitude of different places to adorn your home with festive foliage. In the past, we've decorated our mantlepiece, sideboards and stairwells in style using trimmings from our tree and fronds scavenged from our winter walks. Check out this blog for more.
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How are you preparing for the Christmas season? Any top tips that you follow to relax into the period? Let me know in the comments below!