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Tips to Prep Your Home for the Holidays

Planning a holiday party is hard work enough! Besides cooking the meals, baking the desserts, and mixing up the Christmas cocktails, you have to make sure your house is clean and presentable for your guests. We've made a list of some great tips and suggestions to keep in mind when preparing your home for holiday visitors, whether it be your in-laws, distant cousins, or if you're preparing for a visit from Ole' Saint Nick


Cleaning and Deodorizing Your Family Room

You dust surfaces and vacuum carpets as part of regular cleaning. Before the holidays arrive, it's a great time to deodorize as well so you'll have a fresh and a welcoming home for visitors.

Start at the top by cleaning dust and cobwebs from high corners and ceiling fans. Use a broom handle wrapped in an old cloth for hard-to-reach areas.

Freshen and deodorize the upholstery on your furniture with ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda. Sprinkle it on upholstery, wait 15 minutes, and vacuum up. Also, wash and iron any slipcovers.

Tackle pet and other tough odors that tend to linger on your carpets. Sprinkle with ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda. Let it sit on carpet for 15 minutes before vacuuming it up.

Tips for Storing Non-Seasonal Items

One of the best ways to bring the holiday spirit into your home is to replace everyday decor with similar items in holiday styles. The problem with doing this is finding a place to stash everything until after the New Year.

If you keep your holiday decor stored in plastic tubs or something similar, put the items you're taking out of the room in them for the season. When it's time to put away the holiday decor, your everyday items will be in one place.

Store like items together throughout the house. For example, blankets and throws go in the linen closet, candles in a cupboard and decorative bowls in a china cabinet.

Tips to Arrange Furniture

As you prepare your family room for holiday parties and guests, think about the arrangement of your furniture. Consider these three tips to make it more comfortable for your guests throughout the season.

Make sure each seat has a table or another flat surface within arm's reach so everyone has a place to rest their drink.

Rearrange any furniture blocking walkways or places where people might congregate.

Direct your main furniture grouping toward the focal point of the room if possible. During the holidays, this may be the fireplace or tree.

Make Your Home Guest-Friendly

The final step to getting your home ready for the holidays is making sure you have everything you'll need to keep your family and guests comfortable. These extra touches will make for an easy and happy holiday season.

Stash games and DVDs in a storage ottoman or drawer for impromptu family nights around the Christmas tree.

Show the love by decorating counter tops and bookshelves with a holiday card or two. 

Keep big clean-ups to a minimum by cleaning spills on upholstery or carpets immediately. Soak up as much of the spill as possible, clean the stain according to manufacturer's directions, and allow the area to dry.

Keep blankets out for quick naps, place plenty of pillows on the sofa for lounging and put coasters on each table for setting drinks.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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