I have another guest post for you and yes, it’s about Christmas again. I don’t particularly like Halloween but Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. This post has been written with storage solutions in mind and will be very handy in the next few months.
Are you excited about Christmas, yet? I know I am! Fiona has already published posts this year about decorating and the shops are unwrapping more and more beautiful collections of decor and gift ideas as the nights draw in.
However, Christmas does bring certain challenges. You look forward to welcoming friends or family to stay, only to realise that you have no idea where to put them! If you have kids (or an overly-curious housemate – ours is the dog), then rocking your inner Christmas elf and hiding those stocking-fillers somewhere secure before Christmas day can actually become mission impossible.
Not to mention: the logistics of stocking up on seasonal food months in advance and then realising you don’t have any space for the weekly shop!
We’ve put together four top tips to help you prepare for the space that Christmas somehow, inevitably, takes up. Then all that’s left to do is delegate tasks (what are all these guests for, otherwise?!) and sit back with a mince pie!
If you have ever hosted Christmas dinner, then you’ll know that you will never, ever, not have leftovers. That still doesn’t stop us from stocking up as though we’re expecting the shops to be shut for a month, not a day.
If you’ve started picking up bits and pieces with Christmas in mind, then set aside ten minutes to go through your cupboards as soon as possible, so you can figure out what you already have leftover from last year.
Obviously, we’re talking long-life foods such as Christmas puddings and alcoholic spirits! We’re not holding on to last year’s roasties, no matter how good they were. Anyway, check your sell-by dates and don’t accidentally double up on things you don’t need.
If you’re looking at frozen foods, think carefully about the space you have available before going to over the top. Find a good Christmas cooking guide which will tell you what you can make and freeze months, weeks or days in advance and use it to manage your kitchen space effectively.
Confession: I am the eldest of four kids and we STILL love hunting through the house for Christmas presents, not to mention shaking everything and guessing what it is when it’s sat beneath the tree!
If you are hiding presents, for little kids think high. Out of sight, out of mind. On top of wardrobes or even in the attic if you have one and it is well insulated.
If you are hiding from pets, the same rules apply. Although by the time the presents are actually wrapped, it is usually best to not let pets into the room with the tree and presents unless they are being watched over. We still don’t know how our dog reached chocolate at the top of the tree without knocking it over (she didn’t get much – and we learned our lesson!).
Finally, if in doubt, hide in plain sight! Put gifts in cosmetic boxes or in a suitcase under the bed. Our mum once hid ours in the box the hoover came in. Unsurprisingly, none of us looked in there, once!
Putting up the decorations is one of my favourite things to do, but taking them down is another story! Having some clever storage ideas lined up before you get started can make both a whole lot easier.
If you can save a few cardboard egg containers, they are great for keeping round baubles safe in storage. For everything else, try cleaned out takeaway containers or splash out on transparent boxes. Being able to see at a glance what is inside will make a big difference on decorating day!
If you have multiple sets of lights, try wrapping them round strips of cardboard. This way, you can keep them tidy but also write little reminders on the board. Things such as “use these for the small tree”, or “these go outside” make it a lot easier to remember what goes where.
It is wonderful to spend time with loved ones, but the prospect of houseguests can often cause nerves. You may never have fretted before about the number of hand towels you own but suddenly, it seems like a pressing concern!
Even if you are not in possession of a large house with spare rooms and lots of space, you can still do things to help your guests feel right at home.
If you are setting up a bedroom in a study or living room, make sure there is a discreet place for bags and belongings. Nobody wants to feel like they are getting in the way! It could even be a spot in a cupboard nearby, just somewhere designated where your guests can feel comfortable leaving things.
If possible, plan ahead for the storage of the bedding during the day when it isn’t in use. If you have people staying for a few days, then you will need to make up and put away the bedding several times as you alternate between sleeping and living space.
Finally, no matter whether you have a spare room or not, it makes a huge difference to have towels, toiletries and even robes and slippers, if you have spares, laid out and ready so they don’t have to ask.
When you have a hundred other things to think about, it is so easy to forget about the essentials, but your guests will really appreciate having everything to hand!
No matter how organised you are, it will always be a busy time. Look after your guests and look after yourself, too! Have a lovely festive season when it comes, and get in touch in the comments if you’ll be doing any of these things come December!
Bio: Sara works for Storage Vault, a self-storage company with facilities in Paisley, Cambsulang and soon-to-open in East Kilbride. Whether you’re looking for a place to leave some sports equipment or even a low-cost office space, get in touch today!