I know we say this every year, but it always feels like the holiday season just sneaks up on us and there are so many things instantly on our to-do lists! We absolutely love decorating for the holidays and like to go all out, but sometimes it can get pretty overwhelming, and clutter definitely increases my anxiety.
This is is my step-by-step of how I like to prep my home for the holidays without getting overwhelmed by the number of tasks and clutter.
Step 1: Remove all other Seasonal Decor
I know this probably seems obvious, but it isn’t always! Yes, you’ll want to remove all of your fall decor to prepare for Christmas, but what about the stuff that you have all year round that just wouldn’t work?
For example, since I tend to decorate with coastal elements, a banana leaf tree a couple of feet away from my Christmas tree would definitely clash.
I have an extra bin where these items go. It isn’t a lot, but it’ll make it much easier after the season to pull these items back out.
This is also a great time to declutter and purge! When I decorated for fall this year, there were quite a few things in my bins that I just wasn’t into anymore. Instead of just storing them again for another year in my basement, I’ll go through these and start a donation box. There’s no reason for them to take up valuable real estate in my home when they aren’t going to be used!
Time: 1 day
Step 2: Deep Clean!
Now that you have everything taken down, it’s a great time to give your home a really great cleaning! Below are the steps that I generally take, but I do think this depends on your home and regular cleaning schedule!
- Dust all furniture and light fixtures
- Clean behind and under furniture
- Wipe down walls, baseboards, and crown molding
- Vacuum sofas and wash blankets/bedding
- Deep clean rug (have you ever used the Chom Chom Roller? It’s amazing.
- Clean windows and doors
- Deep clean appliances, sink, countertops
- Deep clean shower, toilet, vanity
- Go through bathroom/kitchen cabinets and drawers and purge
- Rake and pull any lingering weeds
- Take down back porch awning
- Put away back porch furniture
- Clean outdoor rug
- Give outdoor spaces a final clean with the hose (if it’s not too cold!)
Time: 1-2 days
Step 3: Let your home breathe!
After my house is sparkling clean and free of clutter, I like to let my home breathe for the next week.
This definitely helps create a sense of calm and clears my head. It also builds up the anticipation of decorating.
Time: 5-7 days
Step 4: Take Inventory
It can be extremely tempting to start shopping for holiday decorations, especially when you see all the new fantastic items that are hitting the shelves!
But, for the sake of your sanity, your wallet, and your storage space, take a step back.
Start pulling out your holiday bins and look through what you actually have. I often find that there are items I forgot I even had!
This is also a great time to start checking lights to see what needs replacing.
Once you’ve gone through everything, make a list and have a clear plan of what you’ll need to shop for. Maybe you won’t even need anything! How fantastic would that be?
If you do need to stock up on some items, I recommend online window shopping first. This not only helps find the best prices, but it helps find the best items! How many times have you bought something at one store, then found something even better at the next? I know we always say we’ll return the other item, but how often does that actually happen?
Time: 1-2 days
Step 5: Get Decorating!
I’m sure we all have our traditions. Mine is definitely making cocoa, changing into cozy clothes, and putting on a holiday movie.
I like to break up my decorating tasks into 2-3 days. If I try to cram it all into one day, I’ll wear myself out and it won’t be as enjoyable!
Usually, I decorate the tree first and then follow it up with my living room. The next day I’ll either do the outside if the weather cooperates, or move right to the kitchen.
Here’s a look into how I plan on tackling these steps this year:
- I’ll start by removing my seasonal decor on Thursday. Thursday is a work-from-home day for me, so I can spend the morning (when I usually commute) going through my fall decor and creating a donation box. At the end of the day, I’ll remove all my fall and other seasonal decor and store them in the basement.
- That weekend, I’ll clean. On Saturday, I’ll focus on cleaning the entire interior, then on Sunday I can do some yard work (weather permitting, of course).
- That will give me Sunday-Saturday for my home to ‘breathe’.
- In that time, I’ll do an inventory of my holiday decorations Thursday morning, then online window shop Thursday night. After that, I should be able to go Friday after work to do any shopping I need!
- By Saturday, I’ll be ready to decorate and I’ll start with the tree in the morning, then finish off with our Living room that night. On Sunday, I’ll start with the exterior in the morning, then finish with the kitchen that afternoon.
This method has really helped me to break up tasks and avoid the stress of all the things that need to be done. This also makes for a very calm, relaxing, and enjoyable process!
Is there anything that you do to help you manage the holiday stress? Let me know in the comments!