How To Prepare Your Home For The Holidays and Big Events

  • 7 min read

How To Prepare Your Home For The Holidays and Big Events

The holidays can be an incredibly stressful time of the year, and the last thing you want to worry about is preparing your home for all of the guests.
Fortunately, with Simplify Home in Toronto (and surrounding GTA area), you can take advantage of our services, so that you can get back to enjoying the holidays!
From organizing, decorating and decluttering to meal prep, deep cleaning and making the bed for the inbound family, we've got you this holiday season!
Below are 10 ways to get prepared for the parties, uninvited guests and long nights of socializing and family time ahead. 

10 Ways to Host a Stress Free Holiday Season 

1. Plan Ahead

Start by mapping out the entire season. This includes deciding the number of events, their nature (dinners, parties, casual get-togethers), and the dates. Create a master calendar to keep track of everything.
Effective planning is the key to a stress-free dinner party (or parties and the holiday season itself).
For individual parties, start by deciding the theme and atmosphere you want to create. Then, carefully select your menu, considering dishes that you're comfortable cooking and that cater to your guests' dietary preferences. It's also important to finalize your guest list, keeping in mind the space and resources you have. A detailed shopping list and cooking schedule can help streamline your preparations.

2. Budget Wisely

Hosting multiple events can be costly, so set a budget for the entire season. Allocate funds for decorations, food, gifts, and entertainment for each event, and stick to your budget to avoid financial stress. Consider pot luck style meals where everyone brings a dish - this helps take the stress of the cooking too!

3. Keep the Menus Simple

Choose dishes for parties that you are comfortable making. Consider one-pot meals or dishes that can be made ahead of time. This reduces the amount of work on the day of each party.

4. Prepare in Advance

For each event, prepare as much in advance as possible. This includes cooking, decorating, and setting up. Freezing meals or preparing dry mixes for baked goods can be a huge time-saver.
Do as much preparation as possible before the day of the party. This can include chopping vegetables, setting the table, or marinating meats. Whether you're cooking for just a few or for the whole family, our team can make sure you have everything you need by doing all of the prep work. We will chop your vegetables, grate the cheese, and even organize your fridge so you have enough room for any leftovers!
When preparing for overnight guests (announced or unannounced) during the Christmas season, it's important to consider their comfort and needs. Ensure you have adequate sleeping arrangements, like guest rooms or sofa beds, and provide essentials such as clean towels and toiletries. These can be prepared in advance and stored till they are needed. For meals, plan simple, self-serve options, especially for breakfast, to cater to different schedules and dietary needs. Also, communicate any house rules and the general schedule of events to set clear expectations.
If you don't have space or not sure how to make this an experience that gives you excitement and joy, we can help! Our services include decluttering and organizing any space in your home so you can easily find everything you need, even in the last minute. 

5. Delegate Tasks

Don’t take on everything yourself.
Delegate tasks to family members or friends. Don't hesitate to ask guests to contribute. This could mean bringing a dish, helping with decorations, or assisting in setting up. Most guests are happy to help and it can make them feel more involved in the party. This also lightens your workload, making the event more enjoyable for you.
For larger events, consider hiring help for catering, cleaning, or decorating. Yes, we can help you with all of these tasks!

6. Set the Mood

Setting the mood with music and lighting, along with thoughtful space organization and decorating, plays a crucial role in creating the right atmosphere for your Christmas events.

Music: The choice of music can significantly influence the ambiance of your gatherings, or even when you are cleaning, or simply hanging out with your family...

Consider the nature of each event when selecting music – a lively playlist for a party, or softer, instrumental music for a relaxed dinner. It's also a good idea to have a music system that allows you to control the volume and playlist from anywhere in your space, ensuring the music remains consistent and unobtrusive.

Lighting: The right lighting can transform a space and add warmth and cheer. For evening events, soft, warm lights create a cozy and intimate setting. You can use string lights, candles, or dimmable overhead lights to achieve this effect. For daytime events, make the most of natural light, complemented with strategically placed lamps or fairy lights to enhance the festive feel. Not only will these ambiance changes make you feel better, your guests will be happier too! 

Space Organization: How you arrange your space can impact how guests interact. Create distinct areas for different activities – a dining area, a spot for mingling, and maybe a quiet corner for more intimate conversations.

Ensure there's enough seating and that the space allows for easy movement. For larger gatherings, consider rearranging furniture to maximize open spaces.

Let us know if you need some advice or assistance. We can help. If you need to make space, we can help you declutter. If you need to move furniture around and make things work for any size party, we do that too! Contact us to see what we can do to make your space more welcoming and your holidays stress free. 

Decorating: Decorations set the visual tone for your events. Choose a cohesive theme or color scheme for your Christmas decorations to create a harmonious look. This might include a decorated tree, wreaths, table centerpieces, and other festive ornaments. Don't overcrowd the space; instead, aim for a balanced and tasteful decoration that complements the overall setting. Want to see what your space could look like with the help of AI? Click Here to go to our custom interior design platform and reimagine your space!


7. Use a Buffet Setup 

A buffet-style setup is ideal for parties and accommodating overnight guests, as it offers convenience and flexibility. It also encourages guest interaction, creates a sociable atmosphere, and simplifies hosting duties, allowing you more time to enjoy your event.

For Parties: Arrange a central buffet table with a variety of dishes, ensuring a mix of hot and cold items and options for different dietary needs. Organize the layout for easy access and flow, with plates at the start and utensils at the end. This allows guests to serve themselves, creating a relaxed atmosphere and reducing your workload as a host.

Tea and Coffee Stations: Include a self-serve station with a coffee maker, kettle, assorted teas, coffee, and accompaniments like sugar, milk, and biscuits. This encourages guests to help themselves and is perfect for winding down after a meal.

Breakfast Area for Overnight Guests: Set up a simple breakfast buffet with items like cereals, bread, pastries, yogurt, fruits, and beverages. This offers a convenient morning meal solution for your guests and eases your morning responsibilities.

8. Clean as You Go 

Cleaning as you go during holiday events is a practical approach that can significantly ease post-event cleanup. By tackling small tasks throughout the event, like clearing empty plates, wiping spills, or organizing used utensils, you prevent the buildup of a daunting cleaning task at the end. This method keeps your space tidy and inviting for the duration of the party, enhancing the overall experience for your guests. Additionally, it allows you to wind down more easily once the event is over, without facing an overwhelming clean-up job.
By incorporating this efficient strategy, you maintain a pleasant environment for your guests and reduce your workload, making the hosting experience more enjoyable for you as well.
Remember to accept the help when asked. Some people enjoy this task and perhaps need their own little time out while being helpful...

9. Embrace Imperfections 

Remember, it's the warmth and joy shared that makes your gatherings memorable, not the pursuit of perfection. Minor mishaps or deviations from the plan add character and uniqueness to your events. Guests are more likely to cherish the laughter and conversations rather than notice small imperfections.
By accepting that not everything will be flawless, you relieve yourself of unnecessary pressure, allowing you to fully enjoy the company of your guests. This approach creates a relaxed atmosphere, making everyone feel more at ease and connected.
The essence of the holiday season is in celebrating togetherness, not in achieving perfection.

10. Relax and Enjoy 

As the host, your demeanor sets the tone for the entire event. Taking the time to mingle, engage in conversations, and partake in the festivities shows your guests that they are in a welcoming and comfortable environment. It’s important to step back from the details and appreciate the moments as they unfold. This not only enhances your experience but also encourages your guests to relax and enjoy themselves. Remember, the holidays are a time for joy and celebration, and as a host, allowing yourself to be part of that joy is just as important as any other aspect of the event.

Don't spend your holidays stressed out about preparing your home.

Big events and parties can be made simple with Simplify Home. Let us help you get through the season with ease.
We provide end-to-end services when it comes to your home. We will
  • declutter any space you want or need
  • organize with practical systems, solutions and functional storage
  • provide all materials and procure all necessary items to complete the transformation
  • complete any handy work including patching that hole you made 2 years ago, installing shelving units, hanging painting etc...
  • provide optional design and decor suggestions and solutions
  • finish off with an optional deep clean to leave your home sparkling and new so you can enjoy the newly organized and relaxing space

Contact us today to get started!

Now is the time to get organized and start living in a home that you love!