Joyful, happy Christmases don’t happen by accident. Behind the scenes there’s a shedload of work to bring everything together. It can be stressful enough without worrying about space, and how you’ll make guests comfortable.
If it’s your turn to host your family Christmas this year we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you squeeze more space out of your home, so everyone has a wonderful time.
Get Creative with Space
While your home may be perfectly fine the way it is for the rest of the year, having lots of guests or visitors can put a strain on things.
You can clear some space by having a good look around and deciding which items you won’t miss for a few days. This is just so you can make more floor space or room on shelves. Place the items in a self storage unit for a while to keep them safe.
- Standard lamps, so you could use that corner of the room for an extra chair.
- Things in cupboards or closets, such as hobby items or sports kit and equipment.
- Items on shelves, maybe small appliances in the kitchen you won’t need, hobby stash you’re not using or anything fragile you’re concerned may get damaged.
- Bookcases so you can clear wall space for extra seating or somewhere to place a drinks, snacks, or gaming table.
Because we normally bring in so many extra decorative items, you needn’t worry that the room will look cold and empty. You’ll have fairy lights, Christmas trees, seasonal objects, candles, maybe bunting or tinsel and cards, all creating festive cheer without stealing floor space and while replacing lighting. Battery operated lights let you make cheerful displays anywhere so it’s easy to brighten darker corners.
Work on the Kitchen Logistics
Kitchens are the hub of the home, especially when it’s filled with delicious aromas and mountains of tasty food. People just can’t help congregating there. Unless you’ve got a massive kitchen, this can be a challenge while you’re trying to cook.
These tips might help you organise the kitchen for Christmas:
- Use up the everyday supplies in the pantry for a couple of weeks beforehand so there’s room for the extra goodies you’ll buy without having to pile them on work surfaces. Don’t leave yourself short, but also don’t buy duplicate items. It helps if you shop from lists and just buy what you need.
- Make sure the fridge and freezer are spotless and cleared of older food or jars. You’ll have more room for festive foods and save yourself from inward winces every time you tell someone, ‘It’s in the fridge’.
- If you can, add seating in the kitchen with an extra stool or two at the breakfast bar if you have one.
- Clear as many worksurfaces as you can by removing appliances you won’t need. Add them to the list of things in your self storage unit can help you get things out of the house rather than moving them from room to room. You’ll need all your rooms, especially if children are on your guest list.
Make Room in the Living/Dining Room
- Consider a smaller tree. Choose one that will stand on a table or sideboard to help keep the floor free for seating.
- Think about wall mounting your TV if it isn’t already. This can free up a whole corner of the room where a TV cabinet might normally stand.
- Have folding chairs so you can get them out of the way when they’re not needed. Nesting tables are useful space savers too.
- Push chairs and sofas back against the wall if you need a central floor space for traditional family games.
- If you have a separate dining room with a big table, think about swapping for a drop leaf table. You can pop your big table in a storage room, then fold the sides of the new table down to make a play area when festive meals are finished.
Alternative Dining Arrangements
While it’s lovely for everyone to sit round the same table during Christmas dinner, it’s sometimes just not possible.
Instead of trying yourself in knots trying to work out the seating logistics, why not have a Christmas buffet instead and let people sit where they like? You can still have all the normal Christmas fayre but set it out in festive serving dishes and let people help themselves. If some family members want to sit at the table, lay a few special places just for them.
You could also give children their own table, if that would suit your space better than having one big one. Set it with child-themed decorations and activities and keep it close by so they feel special rather than relegated.
Fitting everything on a buffet table can present its own challenges, so think vertically. Use tiered dishes as much as possible to save on space. They can be especially useful for sauces, condiments, side dishes or cakes and pies.
Being the host over Christmas is lovely, but it can be a bit of a headache trying to work it all out. It may take a bit of figuring and juggling but you’ve definitely got this, and you’ll have a wonderful Christmas.