Last week in How to Prepare Your Space for the Holidays, NYC-based professional organizer Amelia Meena gave Re-Nest readers five tips on how to begin preparing for the holidays: clean the junk out of your home's common spaces; finish any partially-complete home projects; make sure guests have a place to hang their coats; assess what decor and dining ware you have and what you need; invite your guests. This week Amelia gives readers five more tips to get them five steps closer to the big day.
In preparation for hosting overnight guests, take into consideration their needs in regards to guest bedrooms and bathrooms. Stock the medicine cabinet with extra toothbrushes, toothpaste and lotions; place shampoo and conditioner in the shower along with a fresh bar of soap; wash all of your guest towels and give the bathroom a once over for any out-of-place items. If you aren't anticipating any guests until the holidays, you can also prepare all of your bed linens. You might want to throw a few magazines or books in the bedrooms, along with tissues, an alarm clock and a new lightbulb in the reading lamp. These small amenities will help you and your guests feel more at ease knowing they've got a comfortable place to stay.
It would be best to give your house a deep cleaning now with a light touch-up the week of Thanksgiving. Do you have all of the cleaning products you need? Should you clear time in your schedule or make an appointment with your housekeeper? Go ahead and do the dirty work now so you'll only need to a quick dusting and wipe-down a few days before guests arrive.
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Take a look around your home and make note of any check-ups that should be done: furnace, water heater, security system, exterminator, lawn work, etc. Give your home a tune-up in hopes of preventing any housing hiccups during the holiday event. The holidays will be here and over before you know it—don't procrastinate taking care of these important chores.
It's time to put away those Halloween decorations and settle into Thanksgiving. Try finding a compost pile to properly dispose of your Jack O'Lantern. You can hang onto any un-carved pumpkins to use as Autumnal decorations but pack up all of your ghosts and goblins to make way for your gourds and cornucopias. Using seasonal squash is a kitchen-friendly approach to decorating; you can keep them on the table until you're ready to cook them for dinner. And if you hang on to Halloween decorations year after year, consider purchasing a bin to keep them in (you can even find ones color coded in black and orange for easy identification).
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To-Do List & Priorities
At this point, you are committed to hosting Thanksgiving dinner. So let's start planning the schedule for the big week. Begin with a list of to-do's: order your turkey; create the menu; pick-up guests from the airport. Once you've got a working list, come-up with a logical order for pick-ups and drop-offs. By grouping your appointments and errands together, you can save gas and be on the road less (always a great way of reducing your carbon footprint!). If you are tapped into the world of technology, set alerts and reminders on your computer and smart phone. Doing this in advance will help keep you on track when the holiday week sneaks up on you.
If this is your first Thanksgiving, and you're attempting to do all the preparation while maintaining a full-time job, don't fret—there are many ways to delegate the work load. You can start by asking one of your in town guests to help. You can also check-out the prepared menu options at local groceries (Whole Foods has a few different pre-set menus, ranging in price according to headcount). Just as long as you pace yourself and stay organized, you will get everything done without all the mess.
About Amelia: AppleShine, Amelia's professional organizing service, has been in business since 2007. She specializes in office spaces, playrooms, kitchens, garages, bedrooms and closets, special events, and moving services. AppleShine will transform your space by assessing your needs, purging clutter, and creating a personal organization plan for moving forward. Amelia can be contacted at email@example.com.
(Image: House Beautiful)