While the holiday season is the “most wonderful time of the year,” it can also be the most stressful. Gift giving, family gatherings and travel coordination can all be stressors, but at the top of the list, playing holiday host just might be the biggest tension producer. When it comes minimizing stress as a hostess, it’s all about the things you can control – while you can’t control what your uncle Bill says at the dinner table, you can set yourself up for success when it comes to your home.
Clean feels good – keeping your home in order before, during and after entertaining is half the battle and means less stress for you. I’ve teamed up with Scotch-Brite Brand to share a few of my favorite tips and tricks to getting the home in shape for the holidays while reducing the pressures of entertaining:
Clean less-used rooms first as they will stay cleaner longer; tackle the bigger messes and clutter in the most-used rooms closer to the big event. You can then quickly go over those lesser-used rooms again right before guests arrive for last minute sprucing.
According to a survey by Scotch-Brite Brand, 80 percent of Americans have avoided cooking or baking a recipe because the cleanup might be too difficult. To get around this fear, use cleaning products that serve a dual-purpose and can do the work for you. The Scotch-Brite® Extreme Scrub Scour Pad has extra scrubbing power that removes tough, baked on residue, eliminating the need to presoak dishes. Even better, it is treated with an antimicrobial property that resists bacterial odors to keep it smelling fresh and clean.
With a full house and a full dinner table, someone will inevitably knock over a glass or drop a dish. Use a lint roller to pick up broken glass and shards that your broom might miss.
Between dirty dishes and food prep, the kitchen sink sees its fair share during the holiday season, and a good amount of food can get stuck in your disposal. To cut down on odors, run some lemon rinds, followed by cold water, through the garbage disposal to fend off the stink.
If you have overnight guests, give the bed in the guestroom a little bit of love. As you wash the sheets, clean your mattress with a vacuum and spritz it with a little lavender oil, which promotes relaxation. Make sure to fluff the pillows and open windows for at least an hour to bring some life back to the room.
Place doormats on the inside and outside of your front door to protect your floors from dirt. You might even consider putting a shoe rack at the front door to encourage guests to take their shoes off before entering the house. This will keep guests from bringing the outside in, which includes dust, dirt and allergens.
When family and friends ask if they can do anything to assist with your gathering, start taking them up on the offer. Whether it’s bringing a bottle of wine, whipping up an appetizer or arriving an hour early to assist in set up, tap your attendees for even the littlest things.