It’s fair to say that for most of us, our homes get progressively messier as the year winds on until it’s in serious need of cleaning time in December. If that sounds like your home – which is especially true if you’ve got young playful children – then the holidays bring some fresh challenges.
Here are a few ideas for busy parents on how you can prepare for the Christmas holidays with the children while still keeping your sanity!
Scale Back the Toys & Make Extra Space
The one thing you’ll need more of during the month of December is space. Whether it’s decorations or extra visitors, you don’t want a traffic jam inside the home, so it’s time to look at what you can remove or put away to make the floor plan more spacious.
While obviously you’ll need as many chairs as possible for people visiting, in other areas, less is more. When the children tend to have a drawer open where their toys get stored and many toys strewn around, it’s time to make a rule of “only one toy or box out at any one time”. If you don’t already use that rule, it’s a great opportunity to start. While it’s helpful to avoid someone slipping or tripping up on their toy left on the ground, it will make your lives easier come the new year too. No more obstacle course!
Restock the Freezer Economically
Don’t leave it too late to restock the freezer because everyone else is doing the same thing. While getting the fresh food in comes much later in December, there’s nothing to stop you from stocking up on the frozen treats, baked items, convenient cut-up veggies (for when you don’t have time to run down to get some more fresh ones) and useful bite-size desserts too.
Use frozen food shops to search for bargains. Look for 2-for-1 special offers (BOGOFFs), deep short-term discounts and other chances to fill your freezer up cheaply.
Make a List of Children’s Activities
Children can get cabin fever quickly. Christmas can also be a bit of a sensory overload for some children. Despite their wild imaginations, they often need many different things to do in quick succession to occupy their active minds, as well as some fresh air and carved out chill time. It’s all about the balance.
Other than getting them used to sticking with a single activity – which can be an ongoing battle for some parents – have a plan for the longer Christmas holiday period. Make a list of the different things that can keep them busy. This way, you’re not having to come up with random ideas on the spot.
Separate the list into indoors, outdoors and on a trip. Break the activities down into things they can do indoors alone, with friends and siblings or with a parent joining in. With the list, you’re then ready to make new suggestions based on the situation and won’t get stuck for ideas.
Change the Layout or Replace Furniture
When making changes to suit Christmas preparations, it’s a suitable time to consider the décor and layout of each room. If you’ve been thinking about making some modifications, then the Fishpools’ website certainly has some excellent ideas on different designs to consider.
They have also put together some additional suggestions on how to get ready for Christmas, so look at this article get some ideas. Visit their site and get some inspiration for upgrades that won’t take longer to do in the run up to Christmas or something to plan for after the New Year.
Bathroom Spring Clean
The bathroom, while getting cleaned, probably hasn’t had an in-depth cleaning in a few months. Sure, it gets cleaned reasonably well week to week, but more time spent on getting the bathroom sparkling wouldn’t be a bad idea. After all, guests will be coming over increasingly, and your maybe even children’s friends too.
Look to fix up any broken tiles that you spot on the walls or floor tiles that aren’t sitting flush. Maybe you overlooked them before, but now is as good a time as any to deal with them. See if you kept a few spare tiles in a case of good advanced thinking – perhaps they’re in the garage? – and have them swapped out.
Surviving the madness of Christmas can be made much easier with decent preparation. Being prepared earlier than normal, having enough supplies, and knowing what shops are open late all helps.
Are you looking forward to Christmas? Do you have any top tips to share?