Getting your Home Ready for the Holiday Season

The holidays are a magical time, and we all know how much work goes into making your home a special place this time of year. For those of us who have a home in San Diego, it’s especially fun to decorate for the holidays because you make it feel a little more wintery even when it’s a sunny day. No matter if you’re hosting the holidays at home or if you’re traveling to friends and family, there are things to do to get your home arranged for the season.

From cleaning the house to decorating and preparing for guests, there is more to do than wrap presents and cook. Here are some practical tips and tricks for the holiday season to get your home ready so that you can celebrate this time of year with ease.

Declutter your space

Holidays often introduce new clutter in our lives, including gifts to be wrapped, boxes and bows, holiday lights, plates of seasonal foods, and more. Prior to pulling out the boxes of decorations, the first thing you’re going to want to do is clear out unwanted items and stuff that you no longer need. Since you’re going to be bringing in new things and might even need to make space for guests, it’s much easier to do that when you start with a clean slate by decluttering your home.

Decluttering is a great way to make your home appear more spacious than it actually is—think about the items that are taking up space without adding much value. Do you have a growing stack of papers on your desk or an old coffee maker on the counter that doesn’t get much use anymore? Those are perfect examples of things you could clean up and get rid of which will give your room the illusion of being clean.

Separate the items that you’re ready to part ways with into categories such as donation, sell, or throw away. Local organizations like Goodwill and The Salvation Army are always accepting donations especially around this time of year when people are in need of household items and clothing. It’s also nearing the end of the tax year, so be sure to keep your receipts for any charitable donations in case you want to itemize your tax return.

Consider which items are worth selling and post them on apps like OfferUp or on your neighborhood social network. People are in the market for gifts during the holidays, so it’s a great time to sell what you can. As you’re going through what you’re getting rid of, it’s also smart to think about how you can better organize what you’re keeping so that it’s easier for you next year.

Decorate your home with seasonal accents

Adding decorations to your home is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. You don’t have to go overboard and fill every room with seasonal elements, just focus on the shared spaces where you spend most of your time such as the living room, dining room, kitchen, and entryway. And it also doesn’t need to be a marathon decorating session—take a few hours out of one day to get it all done and then enjoy your updated space. If you have others who can help, you can have a decorating “party” where you could finish decorating in under an hour.

There is no better way to change the ambiance than with lights and scents. During the holidays, these scents can come from what you’re baking in the kitchen to candles or seasonal plug-ins. It’ll spread throughout your home so keep in mind that a little goes a long way. As far as the lighting goes, you can string lights up in front of your house or inside along stairs, railings, or shelving. If you have a fireplace and the temperature drops outside enough to light a fire then you can make your home feel even more seasonal with a fire going.

When you think about the decor to add in your home, something to consider is how much space you have to store the items in the off season. If you don’t have a ton of room, think about buying things that are easily folded and packed such as fabric wall hangings, table runners, and smaller accents rather than large standing items or delicate pieces that need excessive packing. If you want to optimize your storage space in the future, adding built-in shelving to the garage is a great way to add value to your property and helps keep holiday boxes easily accessible.

Adding decorations will give your home a warm, welcoming touch to you and guests who will be joining you for the holidays. If possible, try to get ahead of it and don’t wait until the last minute. You’ll have more time to enjoy your work and you’ll also be busy with menu planning and guests the closer it gets to the holiday so it’s better to take the time to decorate before other festivities get in the way.

Get ready for house guests

Whether you have guests who are stopping by for a short visit during the day or ones who are spending multiple nights, there are ways you can prepare ahead of time. First of all, make sure you’re stocked up on towels, blankets, and pillows. If these things haven’t been used in a while, put them through a wash to freshen them up so that guests will be able to use clean items.

Check that you have soap, extra rolls of toilet paper, and toiletries in the guest bathroom—even if people are only stopping by, it’s nice to have a well-prepared bathroom. Spend a few minutes tidying up the bathroom and wiping down counters and floors. It doesn’t need to be spotless, but it should have the appearance that it’s clean which will help your guests to feel at home.

If you have last minute guests who decide to stay over or surprise you at the door, it’s easy enough to use what you have to make them feel welcome at the table. For example, you can repurpose an office chair or outdoor furniture to use as seating options at the dinner table. You could even set up a blanket on the ground for the kids to have a “dinner picnic” which would free up a few spaces at the table for others. The important part is that you’re getting to spend time with family and friends and that you’re all together.

Prep the kitchen

If you’re hosting the holiday gathering, the kitchen will be a focal point. Start by cleaning out the fridge and pantry by purging anything that’s gone bad or seems like it’s nearing the end. You’ll need to make space for food that you’ll be cooking in addition to anything that guests might be bringing. Don’t forget to wipe down the oven and stove several days in advance so that any cleaners you use have time to dissipate.

There’s no better way to keep track of what needs to be done than by making a detailed list of what to do. Write down everything that needs to be cleaned as well as what you need to make. Once you have that outlined, you can begin to schedule which things can be cooked or prepped ahead of time (such as pies and appetizers) and what can only happen on the day of.

Pro-tip: during the holiday, pay attention to the kitchen appliances you have and if you’re feeling like they are not up to the task or if you’re needing more space such as with a kitchen island, consider upgrading your appliances in the off-season. This is a fantastic way to add sustaining value to your home which will make it desirable to potential buyers in the future should you wish to sell.

Remember to enjoy your time

The holidays can feel overwhelming because of everything that goes into the planning, organizing, decorating, and cooking. You can only do so much in one day so it’s best to get a head start and plan ahead to make your life easier once it gets closer to the holiday. Remember that your family and friends are there to see and spend time with you, so you should take the time to relax and enjoy their company. Most of all, take a minute to appreciate all of the amazing efforts you’ve put into making your home a festive, welcoming space for the holidays, and celebrate the season.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Get in touch with San Diego Realtor Nick Rogers for all your real estate needs — buying and selling homes in San Diego is what makes Nick a top real estate agent in San Diego.

Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker are independent contractor sales associates and are not employees of the company. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate. While some properties on this site may not be Coldwell Banker's exclusive listings, Coldwell Banker has ongoing relationships with agents in those markets. Please contact Coldwell Banker for assistance. All information on this site is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. All information should be independently verified.

Call Agent