Right now you are probably busy reviewing the calendar and trying to fit in your visits to other people for Christmas. It’s highly likely that you are also preparing for your own Christmas visitors. They may be coming for a few hours, a few days or even weeks. There may be 1 or 2 at a time, a few more, or, if you’re planning a big get together, a house full!
Bags under the stairs, toys around the floors and easily breakable items all need to be moved, for safety reasons as well as to avoid damage. You don’t want grandma to trip over something, or the youngest member of the family to hurt themselves playing with something they shouldn’t; and you don’t want your favourite ornament or picture to get knocked off the shelf or wall.
If you want stress free visits where your time is spent enjoying the company of friends and family and not worrying about accidents or breakages it’s time to see your house through the eyes of those Christmas visitors and work out where you need to take action. Here are some things to think about.
Short stay visitors – not parties
If you’ve got elderly visitors or very young children coming to see you, walk around the house and look at it from their point of view. Are there any wires trailing that could cause a problem? Do you have china or glass items on shelves that will be easily reached by babies and toddlers? If you’ve got children (of whatever age) it’s likely they will have some of their belongings languishing in a pile somewhere around the house. If you’re lucky, you may have a spare room upstairs where everything can simply be picked up and put to one side for the day. For younger children, it’s likely to be toys. If they need to stay in the room(s) where your visitors will be, consider helping your children by having one tub or container for them to put their toys in, allowing the floor to be kept clear. For older children it’s highly likely that it’s clothes and sports bags that get discarded. There’s no other solution than to be firm with them and get them to put things in their rooms in the short term.
Long stay visitors
You still have to consider those things that you look at for visitors who aren’t staying, but you have to include upstairs too. This is normally where panic sets in. The spare room that now needs to be used has become the dumping ground for everything that will be ‘put away later’ or for things that you ‘need to find a home for’ – where is it all going to go? The loft? That’s full already, which is why it’s been left in the spare room! If it really all needs to be moved out you have 2 options
- Sort through everything in a matter of days and get rid of it (hand it on, sell it, bin it, store it elsewhere)
- Pack it all into boxes and store it somewhere else for a short period of time
In addition, downstairs, with the extra people in the house, rooms can become a little cramped with everyone in them together. You may need to consider removing a little furniture of decluttering a few things for a short period of time.
This is where self storage can come in useful. You can rent small units for short periods of time, allowing you to empty your space quickly and without having to rush into decisions about what to do with it. To save having the same problem next year, make yourself a promise to sort through it when you get it back.
Finally, it’s party time!
Most people consider whether they have enough glasses, chairs and crockery. They even move furniture around or out completely to make space. Often, they don’t think about what’s on the shelves, tops of cupboards or walls around the house. You may be thinking “ah, but we won’t have children at the party so we don’t need to worry” – but you do. Even if you haven’t got young children at your party it’s highly likely you’ll have lots of people passing each other on their way in and out of rooms, or even just crowded into a room, so there’s a good chance things will get knocked or scraped. And, accidents happen; drink spillages and trips while carrying plates of food are common. Soggy or wet party streamers can cause all sorts of damage as their colours run. If you’ve got pictures or photographs hanging on walls or on shelves that are precious to you – move them.
If you’ve got Christmas visitors heading your way you’ve got 2 weeks to make your home visitor and party safe. If you’re in our area and find you need some short term storage space to help you out over the festive period, get in touch.
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