AD| Having been deprived of a proper family Christmas for too long, lots of us are looking forward to a traditional get-together this year.
If you’re the one hosting the gathering, you might be looking around your home and wondering how to make room for all the festivities.
Here are some ideas:
Presents, decorations, trees, extra seating, dining tables… they all take up space. Cutting down on stuff you don’t necessarily need is a good way of making some room for what you do need.
Candidates include anything that takes up floor space that you can do without, such as lamps, bookcases, footstools, chests, gym, or other sports equipment. Also, anything precious or fragile might get damaged in the excitement. If you’re concerned about removing floor lamps, add a few more fairy light garlands around the walls. No one will notice the difference and you’ll still have a cosy, twinkly atmosphere with a bit more floor space to rearrange the furnishings.
A secure option is a self storage room. Short term contracts make it easy to rent a room, and you are bound to find a self storage facility close by.
Also, consider clearing your surfaces of photos or ornaments to make room for cards and candles and other advent decorations. Use your holiday luggage to quickly pack everyday things away in preparation for Christmas decorating.
Make Your Space Work Better
Experiment with furniture placement in advance of guests arriving. Small changes can make a big difference.
Things to think about:
- Move sofas and chairs closer to the wall to create a bigger central floor area.
- Choose a slightly smaller tree that can stand on a sideboard or corner table so it doesn’t steal precious floor space.
- A narrow tree is easier to navigate than a bushy one, and you can include more lights and garlands elsewhere to make up for a less dramatic tree.
- Mount the TV on the wall to free up a corner of the room for another chair.
- Have nesting side tables that you can pack away when not in use.
- Have folding chairs if you need extras for dining.
Use Flexible Furnishings
Folding chairs, sofa beds, inflatable beds or an extending dining table are good stand by ideas when everyday furnishings don’t offer what you need.
You could also consider setting up a smaller dining table just for children if you’re entertaining several young people. They might find it fun to have their own Christmas setup, slightly away from boring adults. There are lots of lovely ideas for kid’s Christmas dining here. Just make sure they’re close enough to keep an eye on and decorate their table just as would the main one. This is important so the space feels like a privilege, not a banishment.
The traditional Christmas dinner is a glorious thing, but with all the extra food and drink, where do you keep it all?
Start early in clearing space in the freezer, fridge, and pantry. In the run up to Christmas, only buy the essentials for everyday meals, saving money as well as space in your cupboards. You could also start a Christmas box, squirrelling away all the extra edible treats and drinks completely away from the main kitchen storage areas.
On laden dining tables, consider investing in some display tiers so you can layer condiments and sauces, leaving more space on the table for side dishes and desserts or sweets.
After the Event
All the extra furnishings, place settings, decorations and cookware will probably be needed again next year. Or sooner if you enjoy home entertaining.
Your self storage room is the place to keep all your accumulated spare accessories and decorations until they’re needed again. Especially bulky items such as the tree or spare chairs and guest beds.
But also, bunting, garlands, fairy lights, card holders, nativity scenes and countless other types of festive decorations. The added benefit is having plenty of space, so you don’t need to overfill storage tubs and risk breakages or crushing. You can also get packaging materials, including bubble wrap and tissue for delicate items.
Lovely though it is to have family round for Christmas, it can be hectic and exhausting. The more you can do for preparation and organisation beforehand, the more you can relax and enjoy the special occasion.