With Thanksgiving week on its way out and December coming in, bloggers everywhere are gearing up for the holidays with seasonal themes to make your home merry and bright. This week, you’ll find home staging tips to give a house holiday warmth for buyers, decorating ideas to make a new house feel like home for the holidays, and suggestions for keeping everything organized during a busy season of parties and visitors.
The thought that goes into a Christmas present is always appreciated, but some gifts for the home could leave you wondering how you’re going to have room for everything. During gift-giving season, Jeri Dansky at Unclutterer suggests presents that will be appreciated while they last but won’t contribute to clutter in recipients’ homes. By giving consumable items, she says, you solve a clutter problem before it happens while sharing holiday cheer. Gifts of fine wines, delicious treats, rare ingredients, scented soaps or art supplies can be as thoughtful as a more permanent present. Before giving consumable gifts, do a little digging to find out about the recipient’s tastes; a baker might appreciate a selection of exotic vanillas while an oenophile will be delighted with a rare vintage.
For more gift-giving ideas that contribute to a more tranquil home, Helena Alkhas from A Personal Organizer has a great post about fun and functional presents to keep things neat. From personal timers to notebooks that keep everything running smoothly at home or in the office, organizational gifts are a thoughtful way to help someone special stay on track. Whether you give it to a spouse, a parent or a friend, they’ll think of you every day as they use their organizers. These presents also make excellent housewarming gifts for new arrivals to the neighborhood or presents for parents-to-be who may need all the time-management solutions they can find.
At Frugal Faye, discover how to set a delightfully different table for holiday dinner parties. Not everyone has a matched set of elegant china to pull out of the cabinet for extra guests, but Faye’s suggestions help you bring eclectic elements together for a finished look. Part of her series of Thanksgiving tables, this week’s entry focuses on mixing mid-century modern patterns and hues for a charmingly different holiday look. By choosing plates and glassware that shared the same color family and era, she created a unified look from mismatched sets. If you’re accommodating extra guests at the table this holiday season, try some of her tips to make any table look lovely even if you haven’t yet unpacked your good china after a recent move.
During the holiday season, many of your guests may be staying for more than a single dinner. If you have house guests for the holidays, now is the time to make guest bedrooms inviting. At Nell Hill’s Style at Home blog, you’ll find ways to make beds ready to welcome winter guests. In a post loaded with pictures that illustrate each suggestion, Nell details how to mix and match prints, add extra layers and make the most of richly textured throws. Guests will luxuriate in these dreamy beds. Her ideas make a guest bedroom feel like home, but they’re also excellent suggestions for staging a home for a sale or giving a main bedroom a fresh look for the winter.
When it comes to holiday decorations, Claudine Barnett of CBID Home Decor and Design has one message: Go big! Small decorations have their charm individually, she says, but by going bold with your decorating, you create a memorable image for guests. You won’t find flashing lights and spinning Santas here; each picture is as elegant as a magazine spread. Her post is filled with inspiration for great front door decor, mantelpieces that transform a room and fabulous wreaths to grace any room in the house. If you plan to sell soon, going big with your holiday decor helps potential buyers remember your home among the many they see. If you have already found your dream home and plan to stay, make this the year you outdo yourself with festive holiday decorations.
Author and blogger Cynthia Ewer also has some great ideas for preparing your home for the holidays at Organized Home. She’s just starting to decorate, but she already has her road map to carry her through the busy holiday season. Her printable room-by-room decor planner includes space for detailing the theme of the room, the decorations used and where they’re stored to make it easy to add holiday cheer to every room in your home. By keeping careful notes, you’ll also have an easier time packing everything away again once the New Year begins. If you’ve ever had to deal with searching through boxes in the attic to find which one holds the entryway decorations, you know how important an organized decorating list can be.
Although fanciful holiday decorations and cozy guest rooms are on most bloggers’ minds, others have more serious suggestions for the season. During the holidays, homes are more likely to become a target for burglars, especially when homeowners are away visiting family and friends. To keep your presents under the tree where they belong, Lori Matske with Home Staging Expert has some timely suggestions for making your home a less inviting target. Sturdy doors and strong locks are your first line of defense, she says, and new hardware can be as attractive as it is effective. An alarm system can also offer additional protection if you plan to be away for the holidays, and many built-in systems add to the value of your home when it’s time to sell.
For families that are looking ahead and planning a move after the holiday season, Janet Corniel at Movingal has some suggestions on what to do before meeting with your mover. Professional movers can give you better service when they know what’s expected of them well before your moving date. By going over specific needs, such as disconnecting your ice maker or preparing your big-screen television for transport, you give your moving team the information they need to pack your belongings securely.
Whether you plan to have a full house or a quiet holiday season, you might find inspiration from Leo Babauta at Zen Habits. His post on finding focus is especially timely with the many distractions almost everyone faces throughout the holiday season. He advocates taking a step back and giving yourself time to process what you’re doing now instead of scattering your focus among all the things you have yet to do. You might still have plenty to get done before it’s time to relax and open the presents under the tree, but trying to do them all at once can leave you with little to show for your efforts, he says. Follow his tips for taking a different approach to a busy time in your life, and you may find yourself accomplishing more while feeling less stress.
Throughout the holiday season, the focus is on the home. This year, make your holidays bright with creative decorating ideas, clever organizing tips and home staging inspirations that transform your house or apartment.
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