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The final countdown: how to get ready for Christmas

When the festive adverts start appearing on our screens, you know it’s officially the countdown to Christmas. We’re told “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”, but what is it about this seasonal holiday that sometimes gives us a feeling of overwhelm? With just over a month to go, now is the time to get organised and ready for the celebrations to commence – you can never start too early.

Remember, preparation is the key to success. “Organising your home, shopping and menu as far in advance as possible will help alleviate this anxiety, and allow you to enjoy a relaxing and stress-free Christmas,” explains Jayne Dowle at House Beautiful. “Start by clearing out all your drawers and cupboards to make space for Christmas purchases – you might unearth new or unused items you’d forgotten about that may be suitable for gifts.”

And by doing so, it’ll leave you in good stead heading into 2023 when it comes to the big January sort-out. Not sure where to begin? Scroll on for our top five hacks to help you prepare for the big day.

1. Declutter the home
While spring is usually the time for decluttering, it can be useful to have a mini clear-out now to make way for new items, as well as room for visitors over the festive period.

Storage is essential, especially for small spaces; from baskets and cubes for toys and underbed cases for spare bedding, to hooks for coats and desktop organisers for miscellaneous items around the home.

Image credit: @sheffield_1920s_renovation

2. Open for business
Whether or not you have a spare room, it’s time to start preparing for guests embarking on your home – even if you’re not expecting them, plan for the unexpected.

Start with the bed – whether it be a flexible sofa bed or a portable bed that can be rolled up and stored away easily. Whichever you choose, make sure you think about how often you have guests staying over, where you’ll put them up, and how big (or small) the room is.

Go the extra mile by offering your guests comfy cushions and throws – and hot water bottles if you’re feeling generous – to keep them warm and toasty while watching Christmas movies in bed.

Need extra seating? Fear not – opt for easy-to-store options designed for small space living. For instance, our inflatable footstool is super versatile – have it all to yourself when you’re home alone, or offer it to your guests as a comfortable seat when they come over.

3. Zhuzh up the bathroom
A room that often goes overlooked in the general monotony of day-to-day life is the bathroom! Freshen it up with fluffy new towels, storage to hide away toiletries and spare loo rolls, and plants to liven up the space. Trust us, these are little touches that can make all the difference for your guests. And if you want to go all out, why not throw in a robe so they feel right at home in no time?

4. Smarten up the entrance
Piles of shoes, post and school bags aren’t exactly what we want to come home to, or welcome guests with. Spruce up your hallway by incorporating some clever storage solutions such as a shoe rack and wall hooks, adding a pop of colour with a statement rug, or installing good ambient lighting to brighten up the area. For more tips on creating a grand entrance, read our dedicated blog post here.

5. Fit for family feasting
This is the season all about getting together with loved ones and feasting. Ensure your table is on point with a gorgeous dining set, including linens. Rustic earthenware and rough glazed ceramics are popular choices that will set the scene and be the talk of the table.

And any kind of food prep that can be done in advance will help reduce cooking stress on the big day. Next weekend (20 November) brings Stir-up Sunday, a centuries-old annual tradition where home cooks spend the last Sunday before Advent “stirring up” their Christmas pudding, yum. Let’s get prepped!

Last but not least, don’t forget to give yourself a break and avoid getting caught up in festive stress. For more home solutions and inspiration – including our our curated gifting ideas – visit our website or your nearest store.