15 Minute Makeover for Holiday Entertaining


The holidays are coming whether you like it or not. Although they may be different this year, it can still be stressful to think about everything you have to do to get ready.  A quick home makeover may be on your to-do list. To make the holidays a little more organized try one or two (or a few) of these organizing projects to be ready.

Revamp your coat closet – It may be the first space you see in your home. Make space by moving lighter coats to another closet. Sort items on the closet shelf into bins or boxes and label the boxes. Neatly arrange the items on the floor. If you need to move more things to another space, do so, so that the first impression you offer is a good one.

Clear off surfaces – This is most important in the rooms where you will be celebrating. You won’t need reading material while you are gathering with your immediate family, so gather up the books and magazines and re-shelf them or move them to another area of your home. Go a little bit further by donating or recycling what you no longer need.

Sweep the floors – Literally sweep, but first get everything up off of them. Toys are the clutter culprit in lots of homes. Clean up the toys. Get the kids to help. Of course your children will counteract your efforts very quickly, but it’s worth a try. Once items are off the floor, then literally sweep.

Attack your senses – Are you making something in the kitchen, so that great smells will greet your guests? If not that’s fine. Maybe you will have a live Christmas tree (love that pine smell!) and maybe a scented candle will do the trick. Need more? Turn on some music to add to the holiday cheer.

The holidays are coming whether you like it or not. Although they may be different this year, it can still be stressful to think about everything you have to do to get ready. Click To Tweet

Really, your family just wants to be with you to celebrate, so making them feel welcome is really the point. Let them know that you have thought about them beforehand and have a place for them in your heart and home.

Need more ideas? Check out Organized Christmas.

Also, here are a couple of our blog posts on the subject.

Holiday Planning in 3 Easy Steps

Organizing for the Holidays



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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Seana Turner on December 7, 2020 at 9:28 am

    I do like enhancing the scent of my home. We typically do both a live tree and an artificial tree (low ceilings!). I found these ornaments sticks you could hang on your fake tree that had a strong pine scent. What a great idea! They really only lasted that one year, but we enjoyed them nonetheless:) And yes, yes, yes on the surfaces. It takes some effort at this time of year, but it really is worth it!

    • Janet Schiesl on December 8, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      I haven’t seen the ornament sticks. I’ll have to look for them. We also have an artificial tree.

  2. Diane N Quintana on December 7, 2020 at 10:48 am

    I use a wonderful candle from a local company called Jack Be Nimble that has a fabulous holiday scent. I get a new one every year from them.

    • Janet Schiesl on December 8, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      I love candles as well and don’t mind buying one for myself on and then. A different scent changes my mood.

  3. Ronni Eisenberg on December 7, 2020 at 10:51 am

    I love the video with music; it’s perfect for the holidays. It instantly put me right in the mood.
    I can really relate to two of your tips. Clearing the surfaces ( an immediate clutter buster) and revamping the coat closet.I need to do ours every month because some people in my family, who will go unmentioned, like to toss. Oh well!😀

    • Janet Schiesl on December 8, 2020 at 12:25 pm

      Ha Ha! We all have challenges like this. Patience.

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on December 7, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Great ideas to do before people come over. It is not only nice for them to see a less cluttered home, but it also helps the doer feel more excited about the holidays.

    • Janet Schiesl on December 8, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      I agree. Just some quick clean up tasks can be enough sometimes. No need to make it difficult or get overwhelmed.

  5. Melanie on December 7, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Setting the tone for the holidays is really important in our house, especially this year. Even though we aren’t doing any entertaining, we want ALL the Christmas spirit, lights, and calm in the evenings. This 15 minute reset is the perfect way to maintain that peaceful, holiday mood. Thanks for sharing!

    • Janet Schiesl on December 8, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you Melanie. I’m working on making this holiday just as nice as usual, but it will be different.

  6. Linda Samuels on December 7, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    There are so many wonderful scents this time of year. I’m big on burning candles and recently discovered the Brooklyn Candle Company who makes some amazing scents. As a matter of fact, I was burning their “Cinder” candle earlier today. Of course, as you said, baking is another way to bring those good smells to your home. Steve and I made some buttery chocolate chip cookies last night, and wow, did the scent waft throughout our house. They were good (too good) to eat too.

    • Janet Schiesl on December 8, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      I’m glad you found a way to enjoy your environment through smells. I also enjoy burning candles. It just makes everything more cozy.

  7. Julie Bestry on December 7, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    I love these tips. I don’t entertain for the holidays (especially this year), but many of these tips work as self-care for entertaining ourselves in the space where we’re spending so much time. And because my coat closet is separate from the rest of my home (I walk in downstairs, where there’s nothing but the closet and the staircase going up), I absolutely neglect the closet. You’ve inspired me to use these dark, cold days to refresh that space and make coming home more inviting!

    • Janet Schiesl on December 8, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Great! I’m glad you were inspired. Happy Holidays Julie.

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