Life & Style Weekend - - HOME - WORDS: DANNI MOR­RI­SON For more in­te­rior de­sign in­spi­ra­tion, visit www.de­sign­by­danni.com

Be­fore the ta­ble is dressed, the tree is as­sem­bled and the sweet sound of car­ols fill ev­ery room, there are things to be done around the home in prepa­ra­tion for the big­gest day of the year. I’m like the mother out of Bad Moms 2 where ev­ery­thing has to be per­fect. So here are some ways to help with the lead-up to the chaos we call Christ­mas. De-clut­ter­ing is the first step. If you’re any­thing like me, I leave the “spring clean” un­til Novem­ber to ab­so­lutely guar­an­tee a clean house for the fes­tive sea­son. Be­fore the on­slaught of new gifts jams the cup­boards, take time to clear out things you no longer need. If you don’t love it, use it or need it – throw it, re-pur­pose it or re-home it. Pre­pare your sup­plies. Per­haps your good china, glass­ware and table­cloths haven’t seen the light of day since last Christ­mas. Pull ev­ery­thing out, wash and iron your table­cloths and dust or clean your cut­lery and crock­ery. Have you got suf­fi­cient seat­ing for your guests, serv­ing dishes for Nana’s rum balls and napery for grubby lit­tle fin­gers? Sched­ule any big jobs in and around the home. This could be car­pet and mat­tress clean­ing, a small gar­den ren­o­va­tion or sim­ply clean­ing the ex­te­rior of your home. My fi­ance and I like to keep on top of the gar­dens and lawns lead­ing up to Christ­mas so it’s not a colos­sal job come De­cem­ber 24. Keep­ing on top of bath­rooms and wash­ing is a com­mon over­sight in the fes­tive pe­riod. An in­flux of vis­i­tors means bath­rooms need daily at­ten­tion, and pool and bath tow­els work over­time, so con­tin­ual wash­ing is es­sen­tial. And don’t for­get to buy toi­let pa­per in bulk. You’ll need am­ple room in the fridge for cham­pagne and food, so a de­cent clean-out of ex­pired condi­ments may be re­quired. Be pre­pared for the an­nual sur­prise visit from Aunty Meryl and Un­cle Les by stock­ing the freezer with pre­made meals such as quiche or lasagne. Don’t we all just love and cher­ish those sur­prise vis­its? Last, but most cer­tainly not least is to del­e­gate jobs to friends and fam­ily so you don’t end up a slave to your vis­i­tors and your home. When guests pitch in, the day (and night) seems much more ef­fort­less, cheer­ful and en­joy­able for ev­ery­one.

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