feat u re
Preparing to entertain guests during the holidays can leave us anything but jolly.
HOME (HELP!) FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Pro tips to take the stress out of entertaining. B Y E M ILY B IH L
AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, OUR CALENDARS ARE PACKED WITH TIME-HONORED TRADITIONS AND CHERISHED HOLIDAY TO-DO’S. But there’s one annual occurrence that inspires more dread than seasonal spirit: prepping our homes for guests. The mere thought of all that sprucing up is enough to make any holiday host turn into a Scrooge. In the spirit of achieving a more serene season, we’ve gathered some tips from pros with decades of experience in home organizing, cleaning and decorating. Holiday help is here.
> > > HOLIDAY.2 0 17
Create a plan of attack Experts say the trick is to treat your holiday prep like any other engagement. Block out time on your calendar and honor that commitment. Having trouble staying accountable? “Hosting a party is a great way to get motivated because it gives you a deadline,” says Stasia Cymes, author and owner of Clear the Clutter, a professional organization service. Once you set a date, work backwards from that date and prioritize the tasks that will make the biggest impact. “Instead of focusing on the whole house, determine high-priority spaces,” Cymes says. “Then schedule a date (or several) on your personal calendar to tackle those goals. Common areas such as the kitchen, living room and guest bathroom are usually the most important because this is where you’ll be entertaining.” This is also a great time to tackle any