Transform Your Home This Holiday Season

By on December 9, 2014

By Francesca Holmes−

With Christmas almost around the corner, it’ll soon be time for you to grab a checklist and make sure you’ve done all the things you intended to. Decorating the house and yard is on the top of the ‘things to do’ list for many people.

Decking up the house usually means bringing out the same Christmas ornaments, and bits and pieces that have been stashed away for most of the year. There’s nothing wrong with that, but most of the stuff has been seen by your guests. Wouldn’t it be great if you could surprise loved ones this year by doing things differently?

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Here are a few suggestions on tidying and cleaning up your place along with decorating the inside and outside of your house.

First Things First

A clean home is the key to making your guests feel welcome. If there’s clutter lying about the house, no amount of fancy decoration is going to make you and your house look ready to embrace Christmas. Moreover, if you’re going to have a lot of guests, the place may seem over-crowded even if you have a spacious house.

Go through each room one by one and consider if you really need all the furniture or ornaments that you’ve got on display. Perhaps you could do without displaying all your delicate ornaments on the coffee table in the living room or large Christmas tree by the window. By doing simple things like clearing the coffee table or purchasing a smaller tree, you’ll create more room and your guests won’t feel suffocated.

Get on with Cleaning the House

Once you figure out what items you don’t need, remove them temporarily and get started on cleaning up the place. Make a list of all tasks you need to undertake first. Tackle the chores one by one and avoid leaving things till the last moment.

  • Focus on kitchens, guest rooms, bathrooms and particularly, public areas such as the living room.
  • Dust all table tops and the mantel shelf. Iron table linens and polish any silverware that you might want to put on display.
  • All your glassware should be shiny and all window panes should be sparkling clean.
  • Don’t forget to vacuum your carpets and rugs meticulously; rugs can be washed if too dirty.
  • Vacuum and/or spot clean drapes. They can also be washed according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you have stubborn stains on your carpet and upholstery, get in touch with a professional cleaning service to handle them. Call them early to schedule a visit; you don’t want to be left with soiled carpets and couches just because you didn’t book in advance.
  • If you happen to spill drinks on carpets, rugs, or upholstered fabric during the holiday season, be sure to spot clean immediately.
  • Don’t forget to clear your garden or backyard. You’ll want to remove debris, garbage, dead leaves, fallen twigs, and anything else that adds to clutter from your lawn.

Spruce Up the Place

Sure, you may be tempted to bring out all your precious ornaments, but your guests have seen all of it year after year. This Christmas, perhaps you’d like to consider decorating the living room in one particular color say, red or green! Or if you think the neutral palette of your living room décor doesn’t go well with the Christmas colors, opt for decorations in silver and gold.

If the giant wreath above the mantel looks out of place, use sprigs of holly on the mantel shelf to create a balance. You can also arrange a few evergreen branches and leaves in a vase or on the top of picture frames. Display jars or glass bowls with colored pinecones, bright ribbons, peppermints, etc. will add charm. Use aromatic candles as accent lights instead of expensive light sources.

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Don’t Forget the Outdoors

Of course, you’ll be having your grand Christmas tree glowing brightly by the window for passers-by to see. You’ll also have adorned the exterior walls and window ledges with lights. But don’t leave it to just that.

If you have been putting up the same wreath outside your front door for years, perhaps you’ll want to make one by yourself. It really isn’t that difficult and by using some creativity, you can make an amazing and unique wreath that your guests will definitely appreciate. Choose from golden cedar sprigs, ferns, silver fir, or tapioca wood flowers to make the wreath and enhance the look by adding bits of mistletoe, pepper berries, bells, ribbons, etc.

Add a bit of green outside the house too. You don’t have to take the pains to grow real grass when you have artificial residential or commercial application grass readily available. Use synthetic turf to get natural looking green cover in your garden or backyard. Existing shrubs and trees in your garden will look better with a carpet of green grass. Don’t forget to add lights, baubles, and garlands to the shrubs.

Set up a nativity scene in your backyard, or make a snowman or use characters like the Grinch, Santa Claus, and reindeer. If arranging outdoor parties, you’ll have to keep your guests warm. A fire pit would be ideal; you can also consider getting an outdoor grilling station.


While there’s still time to get things done, Christmas will be here before you know it. Get started with all chores right away so you can finish them nicely with plenty of time to spare. You’d rather spend days with your loved ones in merriment and rejoicing than worrying about things.

Francesca Holmes is a writer and often writes about home improvement and gardening tips. When not on a mission to bring high-end architecture to the masses, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors.


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Transform Your Home This Holiday Season