July 18, 2024


Body and Interior

Quick-Start Guide and Checklist to Make Your Home Holiday Ready

Quick-Start Guide and Checklist to Make Your Home Holiday Ready

By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

With the holidays just a few short weeks away, you might be wondering how to prepare your home quickly for holiday entertaining…

And, you might be wondering what you can do now to prepare ahead of time so you can truly enjoy your family, friends, and holiday season without undue stress.

This quick-start guide and checklist to make your home holiday-ready is actually intended to slow you down, not speed you up so that this holiday season will be one to remember… not one that is a big blur!

But before you start checking things off your list, remind yourself of these tips that will help you focus on the meaning of the holidays and what matters most to you.

1.    Holidays are about making memories

2.    People are giving fewer gifts

3.    The gift of your time and experiences is priceless

4.    People are decorating less

5.    People are spending less on gifts and holiday decor

When you keep these 5 things in focus, it will be easier to prioritize exactly what you want and don’t want to do to prepare for the holidays.

Years ago, when I decluttered my big house and downsized to a much smaller condo, I lowered my expectations that everything had to be perfect.

It helped me simplify and prioritize not just the amount of decorating, but also the amount of food and gifts.

I quickly learned… the true meaning of less is more!

Holiday decluttering bundle Rita Wilkins

When people ask if they can bring something, start to say yes rather than trying to do it all by yourself.


If holiday lights make you happy, decorate more simply with just lights, fresh greens, colorful bows, and maybe a few small decorative items.


Focus your decorating on the front door, foyer, family room, dining room, and powder room. A few well-selected decorations plus greens and lights will make your holiday festive but not complicated.


If you are planning on overnight guests, have fun indulging them in a beautifully 

decorated guestroom. Repurpose what you have with fresh pillows, sheets, bedding, and towels. Fill a basket with an extra blanket or two.

Provide a charging station for their convenience. Surprise them with a gift bag and a handwritten note. The gift bag can have a few snacks and a bottle of water. It doesn’t have to be complicated.


It’s always fun to include your family and simple holiday fun that not only helps take the burden off you, but it also helps to create new memories.

  • Prepare dinner together, delegate food prep, setting the table and clean up.
  • Have a baking party

Get your holiday cookies and pies made with very little effort on your part when you have several helping hands.

Have fun, compete for a little and just enjoy being together.

Rather than rushing to get it all done before the holidays this year,

  1. Slow down

  2. Pace yourself

  3. Prioritize time with your guests and make sure to take time with yourself

This holiday… Do less and enjoy it more!

Please feel free to share this blog with a friend or anyone who you think would find it useful and benefit from it.

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Rita Wilkins bio