Preparing Your Home for the Holidays

Man and woman preparing their home for the holidays.

Want to hear the full episode about preparing your home for the holidays? CLICK HERE to listen to this content in Episode 30 of the Create Some Breathing Room podcast!

The most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching… but for so many women, the Christmas season feels like a whirlwind of stress!  Endless to-do lists and overwhelming responsibilities can suck the joy right out of the holidays. From decorating dilemmas to gift-giving conundrums (don’t even get me started on the never-ending food choices!), preparing for Christmas can easily become a recipe for burnout. 

Woman opening a Christmas present.

But what if we could do things differently?

What if this year could be the year that we overcome holiday overwhelm?

What if we could create breathing room in your life by simplifying the season?

Let’s tackle simplification together and get ready for a more peaceful holiday season.

If ever there was a time to create some breathing room, this is it!

Decluttering before receiving gifts prepares your home for the holidays

We all have those well-meaning friends and family members who love showering us with gifts at Christmas. And while we appreciate these heartfelt presents, gift-giving can lead to an influx of new items in your home (especially if you have children!). A lot of new items brought into your home all at once can unintentionally lead to clutter and feelings of overwhelm. But not to worry, sis! There are ways to get ahead of the clutter game before it becomes too much.

Woman decluttering to prepare her home for the holidays.
  • Involve Your Kids: We have a rule in our house – clear out some of the old to make room for the new! Encourage your kids to fill a box or bag with toys they no longer play with to create space for any new gifts they might receive. If your kids are anything like mine, you might need to remind them that other children can enjoy the items they no longer play with or use. Understanding what they donate could make other children happy teaches your child about sharing and giving. And that’s always a lesson worth teaching – especially at Christmas!

  • Family Clean-Out: Spend time together as a family sorting through games, movies, clothing, shoes, and other household items. If you’re all struggling to get into the spirit of cleaning, turn your decluttering into a party! Play some Christmas music while working to add a bit of Christmas joy to the project. Once you’re finished, celebrate your accomplishment by sharing some hot chocolate and a movie!  When families work hard together, they should rest together, too.

Decorate your home for the holidays in a way that brings you joy

Rachel D. Baker's home for the holidays

The pressure to create a picture-perfect holiday scene can be overwhelming! I’ve seen all those gorgeous Pinterest images showcasing perfectly decorated holiday homes. The struggle to “measure up” is real, sis.

But your home is a reflection of you, your family, and the life you’ve created together. What’s more beautiful than that?

It’s time to reframe how you see decorating your home for the holidays by keeping these ideas in mind:

  • Choose Joy: When decorating, select items that genuinely make you smile or bring a sense of peace to your spirit. Involve family members so they can choose their favorite decorations, too.
  • Sentiment vs. Obligation: Not every decoration needs to be displayed just because it was a gift. Give yourself permission to keep those special items hidden if they don’t resonate with your holiday spirit.
  • Embrace Uniqueness: Don’t feel like you have to spend the time and money to copy that viral Pinterest image (but if you truly love doing it, that’s fine, too!). Don’t scroll Instagram and feel awful by comparing yourself to others who have “gone all out.” Your holiday decor should reflect your personality, interests, and traditions.

Keep holiday food options simple

One of the absolute best things about the holiday season is the special food that comes with it.  You’ve been waiting all year for Aunt Martha’s famous cheesy sausage balls that she only makes at Christmas! But when you’ve got a full plate (pun intended!), holiday food can become stressful instead of joyful. You might typically enjoy decorating cookies for the office party or baking cakes for the family dinner, but the joy of these activities can disappear if you’re overwhelmed by all the other things you have to do.  Keep the fun in holiday food with these tips:

Christmas baked goodies
  • Must-Have Traditions: Identify the traditional foods and drinks your family loves during the holidays, and make those the priority. For my family, seasonal treats usually include wassail, chex mix, and chocolate-covered peanut butter balls.
  • Get everything you need now: Make a list of all the ingredients you need to make all of those items, and stock your pantry and fridge in advance. This will save you from last-minute shopping trips and ensure you have everything on hand to create your delicious goodies.
  • Keep it simple: If you’re short on time or energy, make the cooking and baking easier by purchasing boxed cake mixes or premade cookie dough!  There is zero shame in buying premade baked goods, snacks, sides, or meals.

Keeping calm through the holidays

Christmas truly is a wonderful time of year, but adding a ton of holiday festivities, gifts, and tasks can make it a stressful time.  Since I know you didn’t add “more stress” to your Christmas wishlist, let’s make preparing your home for the holidays as easy as we can. This is your permission slip to bring back the joy of the season! I hope that by decluttering before gifting, designing your space in a way that brings you joy, and being intentional and prepared with your holiday goodies, you’ll feel that this holiday season was the best one yet!

Need help managing all the things this holiday season? 

Rachel D. Baker enjoying a cookie at Christmas.

I know time is a big pain point when the holiday chaos starts setting in, so don’t feel like you have to do All The Things for all the people in order to make this season feel magical.

If need help managing your time better so you can actually enjoy the holidays, let’s talk! My Time Management coaching clients are always thankful they had help coming up with a manageable, actionable plan.

Give yourself the gift of more time – I’m here to help!

Some of the links I share are affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you go through them to make a purchase. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because I think they are amazing and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases!


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Hi I’m Rachel!

I’m a lifelong teacher, writer, and speaker. I’m passionate about serving women who are overwhelmed with All The Things so they feel empowered to create some breathing room and live a more intentional life. 

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