The holidays are fast approaching and my house is in chaos!  It has been such a busy year!  I’ve been babysitting my twin grandchildren (that’s why the house is such a mess) several times a week and the past summer’s activities and trips have given me very little time to get anything in order.

But I know before I can take out holiday decor and start holiday cooking, baking, and crafting I must set my house straight.  I simply can not work in such chaos.  Luckily it’s not dirty as well, I have a regular cleaning person.

I don’t even know where to begin, but I guess I’ll do what I usually do and start in one room and go from there.  While I’m at it I may as well take stock of everything and take note of what I need to buy for the holidays, I don’t mean gift, I mean baking and cooking supplies, toiletries, etc.

Here are the steps I follow when I prepare my home for the holidays.  I find it useful to have a plan so I don’t miss anything, this is specially important when I’m expecting friends and family to visit during the season.

Clean out and organize closets, drawers, and cabinets – Work one room at a time.

Store summer clothes away, toss, donate, or sell anything you won’t use again.  Hint:  if you didn’t wear it or use it this summer chances are you won’t next summer, so get rid of it!

Organize and check linen closet.  Make sure you have enough sheets and towels for guests, same goes for pillows and blankets.  Toss old nasty pillows out and replace later.  Start a shopping list and put pillows, linens, etc. on the list if you need them.

Organize and check bathroom cabinets.  Toss out expired medications, empty bottles, moldy brushes, etc.  Add any cleaning supplies, over the counter medications, and first aid supplies you need to your shopping list.

Clean out and organize family rooms.  Toss out or donate old magazines, newspapers, and any clutter that may have accumulated in the past few months.

Sort thru then shred or file old bills, documents, etc. in your home office.

Go thru all the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen.  Make sure you have enough silverware, plates, serving dishes, etc. for the holidays.  If you don’t add them to your shopping list.

Clean out and organize pantry.  Toss old and expired food.  Take stock of the basics you know you will need to cook and bake.  Flour, sugar (white, brown, and powder) , baking powder/soda, oil, cornstarch, chocolate chips, salt, pepper, spices, canned goods (cream of mushroom soup, corn, beans, etc.), and rice are my basics, as long as I have those things I can make just about anything.  Add any basic items to your shopping list.

The same goes for your fridge and freezer.  Clean them out and make space for all the goodies that will be coming from your kitchen in the next few weeks.

Sort thru and organize your craft room if you have one.  Make sure you have the basic things you need for your crafts: glue, card stock, paper, markers, scissors, yarn, etc.  Add what you don’t have to your shopping list.

Go shopping for all the basic necessities you have on your list and store them in their appropriate closets and cabinets.  Once you have the basics you can fill them in with other items you need when you decide what you’ll be cooking, baking, or crafting.  At least you know that when guests arrive you won’t be running to the store for extra pillows or toilet paper!