hosting family during the holidays

Getting Ready for the Relatives: How to Prep Your Home for the Holiday Season

Getting ready for the holidays, especially if you are expecting company, can be serious business, but with a bit of cheerful organization it’ll be a snap.

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Hosting the Family This Year

The holidays are coming! They’re right around the corner, and if you’re planning to play host this year to some or all of your extended family, you’re going to have to get your house in order, cleaned, decorated, and stocked up. If you’ve been through this many times before, then you probably have a routine you follow to get your home ready for the holiday season.

But if you’re hosting for the first time, or if you’ve tried before and felt like you spent the holidays trying to catch your breath and catch up at the same time, we’ve got a few suggestions to help you stay organized, ahead of the game, and ready for the best holiday season ever.

hosting family during the holidays

Cleaning and Maintenance

No matter which holidays you’ll be celebrating, or if you’re going to celebrate them all, you’ll still need to start with a blank canvas – a clean home. No amount of decorating and stocking up will help you feel like you’re home is ready if it’s not clean.

Start with the big tasks that need to get handled in advance of crunch time, scheduling a flue inspection and cleaning, getting the gutters cleaned out and leaves dealt with, and doing the deep cleaning. This way, your home will be ready in advance of when your relatives will arrive.

In the days leading up to the big celebrations when time is at its most precious, you’ll only have light maintenance cleaning to handle. Remember, it’s always easier to maintain a clean home than to get your home clean in the first place.

hosting family during the holidays


Each set of holidays has its own set of decorations. No matter whether you’ll be breaking out the menorah or kinara, or getting the tinsel out, spending family time decorating is one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit.

Once the deep cleaning and maintenance work is done, why not get into the swing of the season with a decorating party? Whether it’s just you and your favorite holiday records, a group of close friends, or your extended family, a decorating party is a great way to kick off the holiday season.

Stocking Up

If you’ll be giving gifts this year, get your shopping out of the way as early as you can so you’ll have one less thing to worry about as the big day approaches. If your budget will allow it, consider picking up a couple of extra generic gifts, just in case unexpected guests arrive.

In the weeks leading up to the holiday, begin to lay in the food, beverages, and extra household supplies (things like bathroom essentials or tinfoil for leftovers) that you will need to accommodate the group that you’re expecting. A stress-free holiday is achievable if you plan ahead and get ready in advance.

hosting family during the holidays

Getting Everything in Order for a Great Time

Getting your home up to company-level, decorated, and well stocked is a key aspect of getting ready for the holidays. Playing host can be a tremendous honor and a great deal of fun, with careful preparation and some joyful organization. Happy holidays!

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Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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