Christmas can be a stressful and expensive time, so any hacks for reducing stress and keeping down costs will surely be welcome – and help to keep your festive spirits high! This infographic provides a wealth of tips and tricks to organise your home. These helpful hacks encompass food, decorations, cleaning, decluttering, present-wrapping, and furniture-arranging, ensuring you’re prepared for a very merry Christmas!
In the kitchen
When it comes to festive food, there are tips for relieving the stress of preparing Christmas dinner, and also some cool ideas to satisfy your creative side. Fitting everything in your oven can be tricky, so rather than using several baking trays for your vegetables, why not roast them all together in one pot? Prepping the vegetables the night before, meanwhile, can be a great time-saver on Christmas Day.
Everyone has their own tips for cooking roast potatoes. Salting them when half-cooked is a smart move as it will prevent the moisture from being drawn out. Meanwhile, peeling them can be made far less laborious by boiling them for five minutes first, then submerging them in cold water. The skins should come off with ease, saving you a lot of trouble with the vegetable peeler.
Jazzing up other Christmas treats can be a great way to express some creativity and impress your guests. Why not put fresh cranberries in ice cube trays for some festive cocktails? A mug of cocoa can also be spruced up with delicious lashings of whipped cream.
Decorating your house can often be an expensive affair, but you can easily save money and be creative at the same time. Painting pine cones with seasonal red and green colours can make a simple but effective dinner table display, while twine and rosemary can be used to tie napkins together in a rustic but attractive style. Boiled cloves and cinnamon can create a lovely festive aroma, replacing pricey scented Christmas candles.
Money can be saved in other ways too. Rather than splashing out on a new wreath, you can rejuvenate your old one with cinnamon sticks, orange slices and spare ribbon. After Christmas, old egg cartons make excellent boxes to store away tree decorations, allowing you to separate them into different kinds and also protect them from damage. Newspaper is a cheap alternative to bubble-wrap for protecting fragile ornaments too.
As well as the tree decorations, why not make this Christmas the one where you finally sort out all your table decorations, tree lights and so on into clearly labelled boxes – it’ll save you a lot of hassle next year! Alternatively, you can wrap Christmas lights around a coat hanger for easy storage – it’ll stop them getting tangled too.
Wrapping paper can be expensive – especially if it’s thrown away as soon as the presents have been opened. Cheaper brown paper can give a vintage look to your presents, or you can reuse wrapping paper to make colourful snowflake decorations for around your home. Pillowcases tied with ribbon, meanwhile, can make great Christmas sacks for your kids’ presents. As well as wrapping paper, why not avoid spending extra money on gift tags by reusing Christmas cards? Or you can also use a photo of the person you’re giving the present to for a cute personal touch.
Space is often a problem at Christmas – your house is full of decorations, presents, and family! A pre-Christmas clear-out can be a great idea. Prevent your house from getting cluttered this year and sort out some unwanted books, CDs and DVDs for a thrift store donation or yard sale. This will free up some space for new presents too! Remember to utilise all your available storage spaces – under the stairs, under beds, and behind the couch are all good places to keep things if you have a lot of people coming to visit.
If you’re stuck for space when you’ve got guests, remember not to write off your garden just because we’re now into the winter months. Why not invest in some outdoor heating? You can then put your garden furniture to good use! Some outdoor chairs can also be handy for extra seating at Christmas dinner, while rearranging the room or putting out some additional folding tables can help you both make the most of the space in your home, and comfortably seat all the family together on Christmas Day.
Preparing for Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful, time consuming or expensive. Follow these handy tips and you’ll be able to make time for the important things this festive season. And of course, don’t be afraid to get crafty!
Featured photo credit: www.potterybarn.com via potterybarn.com