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We are not hosting for the holidays this year but I am planning to have a couple get togethers with friends at my house. As a stay at home mom, it’s practically impossible to keep my house in good shape all day long because there are kids underfoot. I like to at least keep the illusion to my friends that my house can be presentable but I know that for me it’s going to be a last minute job. I wanted to give you five tips I’ve learned over the years that end up working for me to get my house holiday party ready in under 20 minutes. I literally swear by these tips, and I hope they help you!
1) Plan your meal and snacks around items you can buy at Costco. We just had a second Costco built nearby us, and Mike has to drive past it on his way home from work. Any time I am feeding lots of people, I would so much rather just buy some food there than slave in the kitchen all day. It’s also the best place to stock up on cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, and all of those essentials you definitely want to have on hand during the holidays!
2) Use a crock pot. For the main course of the meal, I always try and have it be something I can have slow cooking all day. It makes the house smell great and once I am done chopping vegetables or putting spices onto meat, I can walk away and the food will slow simmer itself. I am a huge fan of slow cooking my dinners, especially when I’m expecting company. Costco has really good prices on their meat and since it’s a good place to shop in bulk, you’ll have plenty to feed people.
3) Get yourself ready first. I have this problem where I tend to slave away on house chores and then look at the clock and realize I never got myself ready for the party! It’s so important to take some time for yourself BEFORE working on your house. Especially when you know that your house chores will be a breeze (more on that in a second). I am rocking a long sleeved wrap dress because it takes the guess work out of having to find a matching sweater to throw over my dress, and I decided to curl my hair and leave it down because it’s a quick style for me!
4) Clear any dishes away by putting them in the dishwasher. I literally don’t know how I ever lived before having a dishwasher. Between getting ready for guests and keeping my kids happy, I am dirtying dishes all day. When my sink is full I clear it out by doing the dishes! I use Cascade Complete to wash my dishes. These combine Cascade powder and Dawn liquid dishwashing soaps into one pac. They work super well to scrub away at all the dirty dishes and cut away at the grease. I don’t notice a film on my dishes at all when I use these, which is great especially when serving guests! I don’t want to be inspecting my dishes before I hand someone a clean plate.
5) Clean surfaces in the main living area- floors and countertops. This is always my very last step. I always get my toilet paper and paper towels from Costco in bulk, so I never run out. Right before my guests come I will skim over the bathroom counter with a Bounty paper towel and use a Swiffer wet refill on the floors. I have been using Swiffers for as long as I can remember. It’s super quick and the laminate flooring in our kitchen gleams when we are finished. I can usually get one Swiffer pad to clean my whole kitchen, and both bathroom floors.
For your convenience, I made a little list for you that you can print out and hang on your fridge if you need a reminder of how to make your holiday prep work EASY and fast. If curling my hair takes 10 minutes, I can honestly be party ready between myself and my house in 20 minutes flat. Holiday cleaning prep can be SO easy. It’s seriously not worth the stress!
I hope whatever holiday prep you have going you are not stressing too much! My only plans for the rest of the week are to go to Costco tomorrow morning (not joking- my friend asked me to take her to buy candy bars in bulk for gifts for her work friends!), publish a few more holiday blog posts, and then disconnect for the rest of the week for some VERY much needed R&R. I hope whatever party prep you are doing this week you are able to relax and enjoy your holiday!
What are some of your holiday prep tips?