THAT time is fast approaching. You know the one I mean. Ssshhhhh…… Maybe if I don’t say it out loud it will take longer to arrive. Okay, okay…..the holidays are nearly here. We’ll all have lists of things to do that are a mile long. We’ll be busy with shopping, baking, partying….. On that list somewhere is making our home feel different, somehow better for the family and friends who will be visiting. As if we didn’t have enough stress at this time of year, the added desire to have our homes have that little “something special” adds another layer.
REJUVENATE YOUR ROOM IN A JIFFY
- Use what you already have. We all have things tucked away in closets and drawers that we’re saving to use another time or we’re tired of it but haven’t thrown it out or we just forgotten we own it. Rummage through your closets and see what you can bring out to see the light of day. A table runner you haven’t used in months? A picture frame that you can lay flat and use as a tray? A pretty platter to fill to the edges with candles?
- Trade throw blankets. Bring a quilt from the bedroom to the family room and put the chenille throw over a bedroom chair.
- Reduce accessories and clutter. Adding holiday decor to a room already full of collections and treasures is often too much of a good thing. Put some of your accessories and collectibles away so your holiday decor really has room to shine. When you bring those accessories back out in January, they’ll feel brand new.
- Hide kids’ toys and mess. Or your own mess – do magazines or remotes or random socks end up all over the room? Pick up a couple of oversize baskets (with lids if possible) and toss in the toys (or adult clutter). Because it’s the holidays, use the baskets as decorating opportunities, not just storage. Wrap the edge of the baskets with wide ribbon and tuck some greens or berries into the lid or around the handles. Stack a couple of baskets on the hearth and place a favorite holiday decor item on top. If the baskets are boring brown, pick up a can of spray paint and liven them up with a quick coat of red or metallic gold paint.
- Add an inviting fragrance. I don’t mean buy “scent in a spray can or jar”. This is the perfect time of year for real fragrance because options abound. Keep a pot of mulled cider simmering on the stove. Even if you use a fake tree, use some real boughs throughout the house - go to your yard or the local tree lot and get some of their trimmed branches. Tuck them into your fake green wreaths, lay them on your mantel or put them in a vase to enjoy the fresh evergreen smell for weeks. Bake a pumpkin pie or cookies every day so the house is flooded with the delicious smell of baked goods. Okay, that one may not be practical, but you get the idea.
- Finish one pending project. Pick the smallest, easiest thing on your house to-do list and “just do it”. You may not have time to repaint a room or refinish the china hutch, but you could probably find time to make a couple of pillow covers, rearrange the furniture, pick out new towels and matching candles for the powder room, change the chair pads in the breakfast nook or update the kids’ photos in the picture frames. Any change will give you a sense of accomplishment and moving projects forward and you’ll have a feeling of satisfaction every time you look at that small completed project.
- Take time for yourself. Every list in every magazine reminds you of this one. Yes, it’s a busy time and yes, you want your home to be beautiful and pulled together and welcoming. But the only way to accomplish even a portion of your long to-do list is by being healthy and full of energy and enthusiasm. That means you’re going to have to take an afternoon (or even an hour) here and there to rejuvenate yourself…..not just a room. Relax, put your feet up, enjoy a cup of that mulled cider (or a glass of wine if that’s your preference), read a book, chat with hubby (not about what needs to be done!), take a walk…..whatever satisfies you. Then you’ll be ready to jump in again and enjoy the rest of the season.
You see how easy it can be? Just a few simple changes in a room will make it feel new and different. You’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and pleasure which will carry you til the first of the year when you’ll have more time to think about all those never-ending house projects.