Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Holiday’s-Guest Post

Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays
When the air begins to get that holiday feel, but the house looks anything but festive, there is no need to throw up your hands and concede defeat. Even the most frugal moms can make a big difference in the appearance of their homes in a short time period. When guests are arriving in less than a week, rather than panicking, use some of these simple ideas to make your home more appealing and pleasant:
HIDE THE PROBLEMS
• Take boxes with lids from room to room, clearing surfaces and floors of unnecessary items. If you do not have time to put them away before holiday parties, stack the boxes in a closet, basement, attic or garage until you have time for decision making later. If you discover that you have not missed the items after the holidays, donate them to charity, so someone else can use them.
• Borrow card tables and chairs from friends or relatives and cover with a holiday table cloth or wrapping paper to make space for more guests or for children to eat.
• Cover old worn or torn upholstery on couches with inexpensive sofa covers These will make a world of difference in any room and will make it so easy to clean up any holiday spills or stains. They are easily fitted to the furniture, which leaves plenty of time for other decorative touches.
• Use holiday placemats and table runners to hide scratches or stains on wooden furniture. Top with candles or holiday floral arrangements.
ADD THE SPARKLE
• Although Christmas balls are not as fashionable on trees any longer, they can be obtained cheaply through yard sales, at after Christmas sales, and even on Freecycle. You might even have some stashed away in the basement, leftover from previous holidays. These are perfect to add a little pizzazz to areas that need to be brightened. Place them around green plants in the pot, in baskets on the vanities, in bowls with lights on an end table.
• Light up the world to draw the eyes away from less than perfect furnishings. Christmas lights make any room look better, but they are expensive during the pre-holiday season. During the week after, however, they can be purchased for almost nothing and saved for the following year. They are also listed quite often on Freecycle. Use them along windowsills, in living plants, or mixed with greenery along the tops of bookcases and cabinets.
• Bowls of cranberries, nuts, candy canes, or pinecones also reflect the season, especially when placed in a decorative container and topped with bows or ribbons. Sprinkle with a little glitter for added shine.
Most of these suggestions are simple enough to accomplish in just a few spare minutes and cost very little. By using only one idea a day, your home should be ready for visitors in less than a week, and you can enjoy the holiday knowing that you managed to reflect the spirit of the season without putting a strain on the family budget.

A guest post by Caroline Smith. Being thrifty is second nature to Caroline and she gets a lot of pleasure from decorating her house for Christmas while spending as little as she can. You can see a selection of reasonably priced slipcovers for furniture on her website.

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