It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Are you ready for it?

No? That’s okay! We’re here for you.

The holidays can be an overwhelming time for even the most festive spirits. There’s just so much to do!

As the season grows close, don’t let the pressure get to you. Instead, try out these seven tricks to prepare your apartment for the holidays.

They’re so simple that you’ll still have plenty of energy to take that ride in a one-horse open sleigh.

1. Organize Your Thoughts

Take some time to brainstorm before you start. Making lists is a great way to figure out what’s most important for you to do during the hectic holiday season.

Start by making a list of the things you absolutely must get done.

These things can’t be avoided. Only put a task on this list if it’s completely necessary. You can even put them in order from most to least important. These are your priorities.

Then make a list of the things you would like to get done.

These are the tasks that would be nice to accomplish but aren’t going to make or break anything. They’re the things you can do when you complete your other list.

Once you’ve made your lists (and checked ‘em twice!), get to work.

Focus your time and energy on your priorities before tackling anything else on your agenda. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once.

2. Get Your Kitchen Squeaky Clean

During the holidays, the kitchen is the most essential room. After all, that’s where you cook meals for the family and bake your seasonal treats!

Everyone knows it’s easier to work in the kitchen when it’s nice and clean. But it’s common to leave most of those deep cleaning tasks for another time.

We’re all busy people. Most days, scrubbing out the microwave just isn’t at the top of our to-do list.

But this is the perfect time of year to get around to that kitchen cleaning checklist. Break out your supplies, turn on some good music, and take on all those areas that you’ve neglected throughout the year.

Admit it — your appliances could use a good scouring. The refrigerator, the stove, and the back corners of your cabinets will thank you. And just think how much better you’ll feel cooking in a kitchen that sparkles!

3. Declutter The Nonessentials

If the corners of your apartment are filled with stuff you haven’t touched since last December, it’s time to do something about it.

Decluttering during the holidays is especially important if you plan to have visitors or overnight guests.

So gather those extra throw pillows and stow them in the top of a closet. Find a place for the shoes you don’t wear during the winter. Pack up your normal decorations to make room for seasonal ones.

Is someone bringing a child along? A pet?

Make sure anything breakable or dangerous is kept high enough to stay out of the way. You want to keep all of your guests and your stuff safe.

Clearing out the clutter will make your apartment feel merry and bright. It will also make room for all those gifts you’ll be receiving!

4. Restock The Absolute Essentials

At the opposite end of the spectrum, stock up on everything you consider essential to daily life.

It’s nice to have more of the things you use the most. And if you’ll be hosting friends or family, it’s an even better idea to stock up for holiday visitors. Leave them wanting for nothing.

Focus on toiletries more than anything else. Toothpaste, hand soap, and toilet paper make a huge difference when people are staying at your place.

Pro tip: Put the extra toilet paper out in the open where it’s easy to find. No one wants to go searching for it!

And, because it’s the holidays, station a plunger by every single toilet. You’ll be glad for the lack of embarrassing moments.

5. Deck The Halls

Ah, finally, the fun part!

You didn’t think we’d leave decorating off our list, did you?

It might be the obvious thing to do, but it’s one of the best ways to cover your apartment in the holiday spirit. So grab those boxes of tangled lights and dusty ornaments, because it’s time.

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. You don’t need to decorate every single inch of your apartment for it to be certified as festive enough. Sometimes less is more.

Focus your attention on key areas that people are going to see the most. Decorate the room where everyone hangs out. Add some touches to the kitchen. String some lights over doorways.

Holiday-scented candles and melting waxes are a great way to dress up your apartment without anything extra. That artificial gingerbread smells like the real thing!

Even decorating small spaces can be a lot of fun if you put your mind to it and get creative.

6. Research Fun Things To Do

The holiday excitement doesn’t have to be confined to your apartment!

During this time of year, events are happening everywhere. One of the most exciting parts of the season is indulging in merrymaking.

Whether you’re on your own or hosting a full apartment, take the time to do a little research on the events in your area. That way, if you get a wild hair and start itching for some holiday fun, you’ll already be prepared!

Look up light shows, parades, concerts, and other holiday celebrations going on in your neighborhood. Print yourself out a handy list and stick it on the fridge for future reference.

This little resource will save you the time of rifling through Google later on.

7. Safety First (Or 7th)

We would be remiss if our guide to holiday preparation didn’t include a section on keeping your apartment safe.

It’s an unfortunate truth, but the holidays are an opportunist’s dream.

Keep yourself, your apartment, and your gifts safe by taking a few precautionary measures. Don’t display any presents in the windows, keep your apartment locked at all times, and report any mysterious behavior you see this time of year.

Don’t let one Scrooge ruin the holidays for you or anyone else in your apartment complex.

It’s also crucial to have the upper hand on holiday hazards. Just because your lights look beautiful doesn’t mean they can’t cause you a lot of trouble.

Make sure to unplug your lights and blow out your candles to prevent disasters before they happen. And when it comes to decorations, don’t overload your outlets with too many.

Remember:

Sometimes less is more!

In Conclusion

Now that your apartment is holiday-worthy, you can focus on having a great time!

(And finishing your gift shopping if you put it off until the last minute.)

Just make sure to keep this list somewhere safe so you can use it again next year.

Consider it the gift that keeps on giving!

Author BioRyan Sundling

Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. With over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry, he works with West 38 to help them with their marketing efforts.