Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
Gosh, is this heat is stressing you out, too?? I’ve heard you can psych yourself cool by imagining cold weather. But thinking of cold weather can make you think of the upcoming holidays. And thinking of all that you need to do for the holidays can stress you out–yikes! OK, breathe–we’ve got some time here! Since we’re trapped inside in the air conditioning, let’s occupy ourselves constructively with prepping our homes ahead of time to make the holidays less hectic!
Nothing makes you feel ready for festivities at home like a good decluttering and a deep clean. Read on for valuable tips.
Save your sanity and don’t start in November! You don’t want to be organizing, cleaning AND hauling out decorations all at the same time.
Don’t go it alone: enlist your friend who’s an organizing whiz to help you. Make it a social event and bake brownies! And relax! If she’s a good friend, she won’t care what your closet looks like. If she’s a organizing maniac, she’ll jump at the chance to create a system for you!
Use this plan
Tackle each room with four bags: Keep, Sell, Donate, Trash. (And considering the heat, a garage sale is very low priority. Fill up the donate bags first!)
Have you used or worn the item in the last year? If not, donate. Duplicates? Ditto. Something given to you but you’ve always hated it? Out it goes. Can’t ever find the right place for it? Adios.
Kids’ stuff for the win
Remember the holidays are coming, and your kids will be getting stuff. Make room now. Hand the kids some boxes and promise a new video game (or an ice cream outing, or whatever it takes) if they fill the boxes with their own items to donate.
Imagine yourself as a guest in your home and take a good look around. Do you notice that loose towel bar or wonky faucet? Maybe a broken tile or missing baseboard, a wobbly doorknob or nonfunctional light switch? You’ve been intending to take care of those little things forever, but just have never gotten around to it. So–no time like the present!
Get yourself a roll of blue tape and stick a piece on each of those little projects. Then, either call the handyman or break out your tools and get those eyesores repaired. Your reward will be a great sense of accomplishment and a much more guest-ready home! You’re welcome.
Now that you’ve cleaned out the unused, unwanted items, show off what you do keep in a stylish way. The best time to buy organizational helps is off-season, when they’re on sale. Shop this summer for shelving, cubbies, tubs, cubes and wall systems to help organize your life.
When you’ve finished cleaning, decluttering and organizing, you could be inspired to bring in some fresh design before your holiday guests arrive. Think paint, fresh artwork, maybe a new furniture piece or two. I’d love to help you with that!