The holiday season is just a few weeks away, and for most households, that means a frenzy of shopping, housecleaning and preparing for guests. Clearing the way for extended visits or getting ready to host the first Thanksgiving dinner in a new home can be daunting. Even if you're trying something different this year and taking off for that ski vacation you've been meaning to take, you still have some preparations to make before you're ready. With this collection of the best of October's DIY staging and styling tips, moving how-tos and organization pointers, you can breeze through the holidays and leave yourself enough time to enjoy them.
Jen at IHeart Organizing is getting ready for the holidays by tackling a major storage room re-do, and she’s inviting readers to see every step of the process. Her realistic assessment of what she aims to accomplish and what she’s done already goes far beyond a few before-and-after shots; it’s an in-depth look at everything from the initial overhaul to the new lining on the shelves. Follow her progress through this big project, and let it inspire you to take on that organizing expedition you’ve been meaning to make into your most cluttered closets. Make more room for coats in the hall closet, prepare that spare bedroom for luggage now, and you’ll be relaxed and ready for guests.
The team at Lifehacker always has something to help around the house, but this feature on the top 10 simplest do-it-yourself home repairs is worth printing and saving. Learn how to stop a leaky pipe, repair a hole in drywall, loosen a window that sticks and more from author Eric Ravenscraft. If these hints don’t fix your problem, try browsing in the comments section and seeing what other readers advise for minor household concerns. Your guests never need to know about that malfunctioning toilet handle or that dripping faucet when you take a few minutes to repair these problems yourself.
Jeri Dansky with Unclutterer penned a piece on time management that anyone who finds the holidays a hassle will appreciate. In the rush to de-clutter, clean and organize, especially before the holidays, it’s easy to skimp on sleep. Time management is key to any organizational endeavor, but if you’re too tired to think straight, you’ll have trouble organizing anything. With facts and figures from NPR, The Guardian and The New York Times, she makes a persuasive case for cat-naps. Make time for yourself, and you’ll be rested enough to accomplish more during your waking hours. Getting a head start on your shopping and wrapping today can mean sleeping in on November weekends.
Speaking of wrapping, Diane of In My Own Style neatly wraps her post on the yin and yang of home decorating and organization with beautiful images of her kitchen and dining area. Contrasting textures, color schemes and subjects show the balance in all things in a post that touches on the author’s life as well as her home. You’ll find design inspiration in her pictures and personal inspiration in her story. Contrast heightens visual interest and makes a great starting point for any room’s design, so consider how your own home combines elements of old and new to create a style statement. Congratulations to Diane for being a finalist in the Scotch Most Gifted Wrapper contest!
The first thing your guests see when they enter your home is the door, yet few people think to give their doors the special attention that makes a home welcoming during the holidays. Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick has a great solution for door knobs and fittings that have become a little too weathered to look their best but are still too serviceable to change. She goes through the step-by-step process of painting knobs and trim to add new life to old hardware. When you open your doors to guests this holiday season, do it with hardware that looks stylish.
At Young House Love this month, bloggers Sherry and John give their readers the benefit of their home decorating experience in a post that creates a dialogue about real design questions. They tackle one of their readers’ biggest style concerns with an illustrated version of a couple of possible makeovers, but the real conversation happens in the comments section. Seeing other decorating dilemmas can give you inspiration for working around your own home’s architectural quirks and turning awkward spaces into assets. With an in-depth discussion of why they chose their design ideas, John and Sherry offer insight into how decorators and home stagers think.
With guests coming in for the holidays, it’s understandable to focus extra attention on guest bedrooms, the dining room and the den. Even if your holiday season is a social whirl, you and your family will still spend some alone time at home. Blogger Edie Wadsworth at Life in Grace suggests making the most of that time by cutting down on clutter and replacing it with art and images you find meaningful. Photo displays, paintings you create yourself, and unique art from friends or family can transform a plain room into one with personality. When everything on your walls is something you love, you can enjoy your down time more, she suggests. Making space for your own art installation in your home is a great way to center yourself during the holiday frenzy.
While you’re creating a space for yourself with art, it’s a good time to think about making more space for nature with tips from Sarah at Our Everyday Earth. These top tips for reducing plastic waste are timely suggestions for holiday dinners and parties. If you needed another reason to pull out the good china and serve your culinary masterpieces on something more attractive than plastic, Sarah’s tips could give you one. With these tips, your gifts, not the packaging they come in, will leave a lasting impression.
Make the most of the early holiday season, and give yourself time to enjoy it with friends and family. As the weather turns cooler, welcome friends and family into the warmth of a well-organized and beautifully decorated home.
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