Planning your Autumn… I hesitate to mention the C-word when it’s only September, but in my experience, the more I plan, the easier my life. Over the last week or so, I have been planning what I would like to achieve by the time the schools break up for Christmas – with my elder child starting school our lives are now shaped by school holidays for, ooh, just the next couple of decades – so I thought I would share some ideas with you about how you could start planning now, to have your home and lifestyle the way you want it before the holiday season.
Fix those niggling jobs that you never get round to
Spend some time this week walking around your home and listing out everything that doesn’t work properly, could do with a bit of attention or needs replacing (I’m talking about light bulbs here, rather than windows – although if you fancy taking on a job that big then go for it!).
Why not tackle a few of these as and when you have time over the next couple of months, rather than getting ready to host your mother-in-law in December, an hour before she arrives, and realising that the guest bedding has gone a funny colour, you don’t have the right light bulb for a bedside lamp that stopped working months ago and that the picture precariously propped up on the chest of drawers waiting to be hung is probably going to get knocked over and fall off onto the floor, taking your mother-in-law’s bottle of perfume with it.
Think about areas of your home that could be improved
When you’re wandering around noting down the niggling jobs, think about each room and how it’s working for you at the moment. And how it will work if you’re having people over later in the year.
Is there anything that could be tackled now, rather than frantically searching online on the 7th of December for a sofabed that a) you like, b) fits the space and c) can be delivered in time for the guests you’re expecting on December 23rd. Avoid the panic and give yourself the luxury of time to think about it properly, and choose carefully. But don’t take too long about it – many retailers stop guaranteeing delivery before Christmas earlier than you might expect.
If you don’t have the budget for a new piece of furniture, there are often things you can do to make everything work better for you that cost nothing or very little, such as moving items around your home into new locations, buying items second hand, or painting an old piece of furniture in a new colour. Tip – if you struggle to analyse your space while you’re standing there looking at it, try taking a photo and look at the photo. It can be easier to see potential improvements.
Are you hosting over Christmas this year, for the first time? Take time to think things through early and avoid last minute panics. Consider everything from where guests will sleep, to what they will eat – and what they will eat it off – and how you will cook it.
What’s on my list
My pre-Christmas goals on the home front include removing a load of junk – and outgrown baby stuff – from the spare room so that overnight guests no longer feel like they’re sleeping in a charity shop. In addition to that, the main goal involves the living room.
Apart from buying a sofa and hanging curtains and a blind, we have kind of ignored our living room since moving in nearly 3 years ago. It doesn’t get used much during the day, only in the evening if we have time to sit down and relax (rarely!). Or if we have friends over once the kids are in bed (rarely!). But it does get used when we have more than a couple of people over, like at Christmas. So it would be good to improve it in time for this Christmas (only our third here…).
On the list – fitting shelves and cupboards in the alcoves and getting a rug. It also needs 1-2 armchairs, an ottoman/coffee table and a couple of side tables, some art, a mirror and a few lamps, but I’d be quite happy if we just got the shelves / cupboards up and a rug down – at least we’d have somewhere to put the stacks of books currently residing on the floor under the piano. Anything else I get around to will be a bonus.
What’s on your list?