Your Home and the Holidays

Real Estate

Your Home and the Holidays     

While selling or buying during the holidays does have its advantages - like buyers and sellers who tend to be focused on closing quickly - most homeowners are busy entertaining family and friends, getting festive and enjoying their homes.  (After all, isn't that what owning a home is all about?!)  With all of the holiday hoopla, there are a few things you can do to make you feel organized and on top of your hosting game:

Declutter & donate

Does your closet still have those sweaters you haven’t worn in years?  Are your bath towels looking a little tired?  How about those toys that aren’t getting any attention anymore?  This is an opportune time to get rid of what you don’t need, and there are many resources to give your things a new life elsewhere:

- ThredUp and Swap are two online consignment stores that will take your gently worn threads and resell them.  You can ship your stuff directly from home and  either make some money or use your credit to shop for some luxe resale.  Win-win!

- Check with animal shelters like PAWS or the Anti-Cruelty Society to see if they are taking used towels and blankets.  Some even accept pillows and furniture cushions to re-use the padding for bedding.

- H&M will accept clothing that is no longer wearable in their textile recycling program, and then you get a discount the next time you shop in their store.  Shoes can be taken to Fleet Feet for their Share Your Soles program, and Nike has both a Reuse-A-Shoe and a recycling Nike Grind programs.

- Organizations like Brown Elephant and Salvation Army will pick-up furniture donations.  They’ll also take toys as will Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul and some churches and schools.

Spruce up with simple décor

Once you’ve cleaned house, it’s time to get festive, and you can still transform your home without getting too complicated.

One of the easiest things you can do is stock up on candles.  Go for all white ones, or focus on the yummy pine and spruce scented ones.  You can clump them together on a coffee table for a dramatic look or place a single one in a nook for a pop of light.

Flowers and greenery are also a timeless winner.  For flowers, think poinsettias and red or white flowers clustered in low glass vases.   Pines and firs are also great for indoors because they dry out slowly and give off that cozy forest smell.

And let’s not forget about the food.  If you’re decorating cookies, baking breads and stocking up on fruits and veggies, why not make them part of the ambiance?  Display desserts on a cake platter or cookie tray where everyone can see them (and have a sweet snack when they walk by!).  Create table centerpieces out of tall glass vases or platters filled with things that don’t need to be refrigerated, like squash, apples, oranges, lemons and limes.  Your kitchen will feel inviting and your guests will be excited about your menu.

Take great photos

Even though the focus of your picture is your kids, your parents, your dog or your amazing dinner spread, your home is  going to be the backdrop.  Don't forget to show it off!

Scout a few spots in your home that you know would look great in a photo, and be creative.  Maybe it’s your staircase, with garland and lights on the railing.  Maybe it’s a certain side of the dining room table, where the background is the kitchen and its culinary liveliness.  Or maybe it’s a top-down perspective of your kids playing with new toys on the floor, which happens to be a beautiful, wide plank hardwood.  You’ll love the unique perspective and the fact that you’ve captured the essence of your home in your pictures.