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Holiday packing and preparation

It’s that time of the year when we all start going off on our holidays.  Wether its camping or sunny ourselves on the beach there is always a lot of preparation that needs to be done. We simple can’t just get up and go.

I have a few more weeks before I am off but my preparation has already started and I wanted to share with you all my top holidays preparation tips.  I do have a few holidays printables that will also really help keep you super organised. Take a look here

Organise your Pets

Make sure you organise Pet Care with someone you trust.  Guinea pigs and rabbits will need feeding and their water changing. I am very lucky as my mother in law has Hetty whenever we go away but it is not that simple for everyone so when it comes it comes to cats and dogs research kennels well. When we go to our Norfolk home we take Hetty with us and she loves it but we always need to pack for her Antibacterial poo bagsportable dog feeding mat, plenty of food and treats and bedding.

If you have decided to take your pet away for the first time take along their usual bed and favourite toys.

Organise your Home

We always ask our neighbours to put out our dustbins and water our flowers for us and in return we do the same for them. We are not over freindly with our neighbours but its great to know that we can support each other when we go away.

Make sure you leave your home secure. Double and triple check doors and windows and make sure you have cancelled any food deliveries. It’s a good idea to also invest in some light timers

Organise your travel documents

Check passports weeks before you travel so you have time to renew if needs be.

Don’t leave any travel money to the last-minute, the cheapest rates are always found online. The past few years I have found Sainsburys to be the cheapest.

I also have a travel wallet in my hand luggage which has, driving licence, boarding passes, hotel and car hire information and all in the order in which I will need them. Along with the passports.It’s also a really good idea to write down emergency contact numbers in case you lose your phone as these days how many of us actually remember a phone number! Its also a good idea to write down your passport number and keep this safe maybe a copy in your suitcase and a copy in your hand luggage.

 Do not forget your EHIC card if you’re travelling in Europe.

Organise your Suitcases

Make sure you invest in good quality hard-wearing and lightweight suitcases. These Kono hardshell 3 piece sets are amazing value and come in a range of colours.  Off course I opted for the pink but these are such great value ,spacious and very practical.

Don’t leave the packing to the very last-minute

Never leave packing to the last-minute, it will only stress you out and get your holiday off on a very bad foot. Start t think about packing a good week in advance. Use a clothes rail and put this up in a spare room or one of your bedrooms and start to plan your outfits. This way you won’t wear them again before you leave. Try and pack minimalist and choose outfits that be can dressed up and dressed down and you know are easy to style.

Also start to pack your beauty products, sun creams, after sun, books and electronics.

The packing cubes do really help with keep you organised. They enable you to easily locate clothing without the need for rummaging through and mess up your suitcase.

My Top Tip Save bag space for all your holiday purchases

Create a master packing list.

Make sure you know what you luggage allowance is if you are flying. Over-packing and being stuck at the check-in desk with luggage that’s too heavy can really start your holiday off on the wrong foot. Weigh your cases using some Digital luggage scales and take them with you for the journey home as dirty washing does weigh more than clean.

I always use my packing checklist when I go away even if I am just away for a few nights with work as this way I know I will never forget anything. Once items have been packed its ticked off. I then also take this list with me and use for the return. It’s always important to make sure you have those core basics such as currency, adaptors and your first aid kit

Check the weather so you pack accordingly and always take a lightweight jacket as night-time temperatures can be cooler if your abroad.

I always take with me a plastic travel bottles and in this I always add my washing detergent so I can do some hand washing, washing up liquid and a multi purpose spray.  As you can imagine I do take a few more cleaning products but I tend to go straight to a supermarket upon arrival and go and grab my essentials plus I always love to see check out the cleaning products.  You can also use the travel bottles for beauty items too and it saves you having to take half the bathroom with you

Travel bottles

Roll clothes 

If you roll your clothes this gives you much more space and creates less creases. All though I would definitely recommend you take the Handheld Steamer with you. This is one of my favourite gadgets at the moment and I can’t wait ti take this away with me.

My Top Tip Pack a waterproof bag for your damp swimsuit, so you don’t soak everything else in your case on your way home.

Hand Luggage

Other than my essential travel documents and Ipad I also take a set of light wight clothes for each of us in hand luggage. If your luggage is lost you have something to change into or if you are heavily delayed and end up spending a night at an airport hotel. Limit liquids in hand luggage and pop your valuables in to. I off course have cleaning wipes so I can freshen up my table tray on the aircraft and keep my hands clean.

I really hope this post help you get organised. 

Happy Holidays
Lynsey Queen of Clean xoxox

This post does contain affiliate links 

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Keeping the house tidy when you have kids.

If there is one thing that seems impossible to achieve when you are a parent, it is a clean house. Children have a knack for creating mess wherever they go. The last thing you want to do is spend your day scrubbing the floor and tidying up, only to find that you need to repeat the process come tomorrow. With that being said, read on to discover some secrets on keeping your house tidy while you have children.

Involve the children

Why not put your kids to good use and get them to join in with the cleaning too? Needless to say, it is not like your eight-month-old baby is going to pick up the hoover and give the house a good vacuum. However, most toddlers love helping out around the house because it makes them feel like they are adults. Kids love copying their parents, so why not get them their own children’s sized broom or mop and let them give you a hand? Head to Raising Children for some examples of household chores that are suitable for children or check out my top tips CLICK HERE

Get up before the kids do!

Waking up before your children can make a massive difference in terms of keeping your home tidy. You will typically find that you have a lot more time and, shockingly, more energy to do the dishes, laundry, and put their toys away than you would if you left this task until later in the day. I have a good hour downstairs before my 3 come down and I get so much done. The mornings are the best time of the day as you have much more energy too.  Why not give my 5 minutes challenge a go – JOIN HERE

Consider putting some items in storage

It’s crazy to think that one little child can end up having more belongings than you! One of the best ways to keep your house tidy and organised when you have young children is to put some of your belongings in storage – just until they get out of the phase whereby they want to cause destruction around the house. Plus, it will help to make sure some of your favourite items don’t end up damaged. Some great storage ideas from canningvalestorageunits.com.au You will see that there are plenty of different options available depending on the type and quantity of items you need to store.

Have a routine 

It is also pivotal that you have some sort of routine to your day. This does not need to be a stringent routine whereby you need to follow it to the minute. However, if you have a bit of a pattern to your daily activities it will ensure that you build in the time to tackle chores. Right down what errands you have, any shopping you may need and any household tasks you need to do and tick off as you through.

The fabulous Mummy of Four swears by a virtual calendar to act as you PA and its such a fab idea.  Read how she does this and keeps extra organised with her very simple simple.

As you can see, there are many different ways that you can keep your house clean and tidy while you have children. Of course, no one is expecting your home to be immaculate, but you can keep a bit of your sanity by following the suggestions that have been mentioned above.

Lynsey Queen of Clean xoxo

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Don’t forget to Declutter your digital life

I love a declutter and always make sure I have very little clutter within my home but digital declutter these days can also be a huge issues for many.  Clutter can take up space on devices and slow them down so its important to do a monthly digital declutter. The way you set up your desktop on your home computer, browser can easily be distracting you and slowing down your productivity.
Below are some practical simple tasks that don’t just declutter, but keep you better organised and keep your files safe.

Organise your photos

On average I must take at least 50 photos a day to make sure I get an Instagram worthy photograph. The pressure of an Instagrammer can be immense. If it’s not for Instagram its of off the kids or an outfit I have seen in the shops which I am debating if I actually need it before I go back and buy it.  These photo’s certainly aren’t all needed.
– Organise your photos’s into folders. Kids, Holidays, Day out, Instagram. Work, etc.
– Delete any photos that are of bad quality or unimportant.
– Set up a drop box or one drive on your computer and store the good ones in here weekly.
– Use photo apps like Chatbooks and create simple photo books for less than £8.00.  I love producing these and we store than in month order so we can look back at memories.

Clear out those Apps

There are so many great free apps out there that is hard not to resist downloading a few every so often and just having a play.  But how often do you actually use that app? Try and keep the ones that you actively use all the time and the ones that help you out in your day-to-day life. Apps can take up so much space so make sure you go through these and delete the ones you haven’t used or have maybe only clicked on twice in a month.

Delete Email accounts

I must have about 6 emails accounts but I only actively use two of these. Delete accounts that aren’t necessary and that you don’t use often.  Or at least remove them of your phones and tablets and keep access via your computer just in case something important may come through.

Unsubscribe to email marketing

Since the new GDPR rule has come in you should have been given the option to opt out of unwanted email marketing material.  If you’re getting lots of these emails a day and they are services you don’t require or maybe once did years a go now is the time to hit the unsubscribe button. Every time and an email with no real relevance to you hits your inbox scroll down to the bottom and hit unsubscribe.
If you haven’t already subscribed to my emailing list then you really are missing out.

Social Media

This may seem harsh but defreind, unfollow and clear out those social media feeds. Do you really need to be in touch with people who when you pass in the supermarket turn their head.  Social media can be a real numbers game and on Facebook in particular its a bit of a popularity contest amongst friends but stop seeing it as this and have the people on their that really matter to you and enjoy the news feed rather than wasting time to see what you want by scrolling through Joe blogs account who you occasionally spoke to as school as she was far too cool to be your friend but these days she’s desperate to see what your up to and see how successful you have become.
Go through your friends list and likes pages and start defriending and unfollowing. This task will also make you feel so satisfied!
Unfollowing people on Twitter gives you just the important updates. You can also mute people on your Twitter feed which I only discovered recently.
With Instagram just have fun with it. The people you have chosen to follow make sure you like their pictures on their feeds don’t follow people to steal ideas or just to watch them if you don’t like their content then press unfollow (so simple). Do not compare yourself on this platform very simply have fun engage and be happy. If you do want to make money using social media read how I do it .

Desktop

I can’t work if my desk isn’t clean and organised, a clean desk helps me focus  and become so much more productive and so will a clean desktop. Clean up your files and folders and get rid of any unnecessary old files.
Create folders to organise
Have a happy engaging wallpaper to keep focus.
Remember to allow yourself 30 minutes or so once a month to declutter your digital and don’t feel overwhelmed during the process.
This book is great read and will give you much more help and guidance into the digital decluttering.  Take charge of your data and organise your digital life.
Happy digital decluttering!
Lynsey Queen of Clean xoxox

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What do I need to do to my property to get it ready to sell?

This is a question that I get asked all the time on social media, so I thought it was about time I did a blog on it. 

Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, and a big part of that comes from the process of preparing your property for sale and trying to find a buyer.
Most people will only sell a couple of homes in their lifetime, so it can feel like a minefield knowing where to start with preparing your property for potential buyers to come and view it.
If you’re thinking about moving, or if you’re in the process of trying to find a buyer for your property, my top tips will have your home sale-ready in no time at all!

Start with the simple things

When it comes to preparing your home to put it on the market, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the task ahead.  For this reason, when it comes to making a list of the jobs that need to be done, it’s important to break things down into bite-sized pieces and take it one room at a time.

Decluttering is one of the tasks that has the biggest impact on the saleability of your property.  A cluttered property is not only aesthetically unattractive to potential buyers, it will also communicate to your viewers that your home to too small for you, which may well then lead to the assumption that it will also be too small for them.

Deep clean

The approach of taking things ‘one room at a time’ should be continued when it comes to deep cleaning your property.

Start by trying to view each room objectively and make a list of the different tasks required.  Areas that are often neglected include carpets, upholstery and bathroom grout.

Don’t underestimate the impact of a fresh coat of paint

Although it can be time consuming when there is a seemingly endless list of tasks to complete, a fresh coat of paint throughout the house will have a big impact on the first impression your potential buyers have when they walk through your front door, and will undoubtedly pay off in the process of trying to sell your house.

Engage as many senses as possible

Choosing a new home is not just a practical decision for many people, it has a lot to do with how someone ‘feels’ when they walk into your property.  Help attract your perfect buyer by making your property viewings a multi-sensory experience.

Sight is, of course, the most obvious sense when it comes to a property viewing, so it’s important to be intentional about how to want to present your property to potential buyers.  Tidy and uncluttered shelves, clean and clear kitchen worktops and fresh flowers will all add to the feeling of a well-loved home.

Sight is not the only important sense when preparing your property for sale, however.  Smell will also play a big in role in your potential buyer’s feelings about your property. Make sure your property is well-aired before any viewings, and consider adding diffusers or candles for a homely, yet subtle fragrance.

 And if all that feels like a little too much work…

Of course, for many people time is of the essence when it comes to selling a property.  So, if you’re in a hurry to find a buyer, you’re worried about how long the house selling process will take and don’t want to miss out on your dream property, or you simply don’t have the time to spare carrying out work to your property before you sell, you may want to consider using a professional home buying company like Quick Move Now.  Because a genuine cash home buyer will purchase your property directly, with their own cash, the purchase is guaranteed, hassle-free and can be completed in as little as seven days!

I really hope this feature works if you are looking at moving I have put together a really simple video too CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Thank you for reading 
Lynsey Queen of Clean xoxo

This is a sponsored post with cash home buyers 

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Lets get prepared for the Big Spring Clean

I can’t wait winter will soon be winding down and springtime temperatures will be hopping right into our gardens. And that means it’s time to prepare for spring cleaning. It’s time to give your place a good deep clean.

Spring is right around the corner, and for most of us it’s an exciting time to get our homes in order. From the interiors of your home to the exterior, getting your home ready for spring will ensure you’ll be ready to enjoy the warmer weather once it comes. Before you get started you probably have some re-organising to do. Spring cleaning usually involves getting rid of old clothing, furnishings, and odds and ends.

National Spring Cleaning week here in the UK starts on March 4th. But really spring cleaning can happen at any time of year and in any type of weather. Many of us like to clean while temperatures are mild, the sun is shinning there are fewer bugs, and pollen and other allergens have not become problematic.

Essential items to get ready for your big Spring Clean

Follow a plan

Time

Set aside some time in your diary for Spring Cleaning.  Make sure you book nothing else in on these days and just really go for it.

Plan

Write down a list of what you want to achieve, plan room by room and stick to it.  I have created a Spring Cleaning Checklist which may really help you keep on top and in order.

Create a fun playlist

Create a fun  playlist with your favorite music.  Music is a great way to stay motivated and can make tedious obligations like cleaning fun.  Pretend the mop is a microphone and belt out your favorite fun as you make those bathrooms shine

Declutter

Freshen up your rooms by removing unnecessary objects from tabletops and shelves, store them accordingly or you don’t need them throw away or give to charity Replace them with a single arrangement of fresh flowers. Flowers really can bring a room together and create a sense of happiness. House hold declutter can be a problem for many people and it so easily builds up into a huge mountain but use your spring cleaning time to tackle that mountain.

Go for it

Load up your cleaning caddy and go for it and most of all try to enjoy it.

Don’t forget when decluttering have a think about it you could possibly donate or resell the item. Take a look at Ruths guide to making money selling on ebay

If your struggling and a need a little motivation then always feel free to send me a message.

Happy Spring Clean
Lynsey Queen of Clean xoxox

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Fridge Cleaning

When it comes to keeping the kitchen clean and organised at the top of most people’s list is the surfaces and cupboards But don’t forget one of the most used areas in your kitchen and that is fridge, so many people forget to clean and organise the fridge and just load foods in weekly without having a good sort through and clean.  Fridges can really smell if they are not looked after and a dirty fridge can lead to cross contamination and make us ill. . 

42% of UK people clean their fridge once a month, and a shocking 18% clean it only once a year.  Have you read my post on Home Clean Home

Keep on top of your Fridge with these very simple tips

Deep clean your fridge weekly

You are probably thinking to yourself why on earth is she suggesting this does she not realise I run a busy household and work full-time!  But this really doesn’t take that long at all.  By the day your food shopping arrives your fridge should be nearly empty so this task is automatically easier. Take everything that is left in out and clean shelf by shelf as you go.  Decide if the food you have left is still edible and then throw away the rest.

Wipe Shelves

Take the shelves out and simply wash them with warm soapy water. Dry and put back straight away.  If you have any sticky patches use a cold Scrub Daddy. 

Check food dates

When cleaning use this time to check through any food that are left and check sell by dates. If you can’t remember how old something is then to be of the safe side I would chuck it out.  If sell by dates aren’t easily visible stick a sticky label on the jar/packet with the month and date clearly written.

Leftovers

Keep leftovers in small plastic containers  labelled. I find the containers you get after having a chinese or Indian are really handy and a great size too.  Also label the portion size and the date you put it in the fridge.

Wipe down the shelves with warm soapy water and dry. No matter how careful you are, invariably food can drizzle out or spill down the side of a container onto a refrigerator shelf. Clean it all up so you’re ready to reload.food zones. It might seem silly to have zones in your refrigerator, but this is helps me not only remember where things belong, but it’s helpful to other family members and guests who are helping out in the kitchen. You can even use actual labels for the shelves so everyone should know where things go! There are some cute repositionable ones that can make it look nicer toon too. Take note of the height of your items that will go back in so that you can group like items adjust shelf heights if necessary. Another idea is to use bins or plastic baskets to organize items by group. For example, you can keep your entire sandwich making condiments in a bin and when it’s time to make sandwiches, you can pull it out and have everything handy for all preferences without having to open the refrigerator several times.

Food Zones

It’s very important to keep your food in the correct area to avoid food contamination and e-coli.

Dairy products and juices should be placed in the side where cold air blows, this area is cool but not too cold.

Meats and fish should be on the mid-tier shelf

Cheeses and cold meats should be placed in a fridge drawer.

Salad and vegetables can be in one of the drawers, still cool but not too cold so they do not freeze. One of these drawers usually has a humidity control.

Eggs and butter should be placed in a compartment protected by a cover so that they do not get too cold (eggs) or too hard (butter).

If you fridge doesn’t have many compartments use these handy fridge storage baskets and fridge fresh will eliminate bad odours.

Exterior

The exterior of your fridge can get pretty dirty from constant use. Any good general purpose cleaning product should work, and a spray bottle is essential. If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, make sure you read the cautions before you buy a cleaner, so that you can be certain it won’t damage the finish. For a simple cleaning solution, use a mixture of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle od use some washing up liquid.  Buff dry using a Stainless Steel e-cloth

Schedule your fridge clean in your cleaning schedule. I like to clean out my refrigerator weekly, before rubbish collection day and before the shopping is delivered.

As always THANK YOU for reading
Lynsey Queen of Clean xoxo

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Stop clutter coming into your home.

Are you fed up with the constant stream of clutter coming into your home? I hate having loose items on the side that really don’t have a home and I am sure you do too.

A few ideas

I have put together a simple list if ideas to hopefully stop clutter clogging up your home.

Make sure you have plenty of bins so you can put rubbish in them straight away rather than leave lying around.

Empty your bag or coat pocket as soon as you come home so the rubbish is dealt with straight away.

When you receive items through the post that come in big packaging break the boxes up straight away and take straight out to the recycling bin.  You don’t want these lying around taking up room.

Have a recycling box by the back door and empty this daily.

Do one extra organising job each day on top of normal cleaning. For example clean out a drawer or cupboard that’s become cluttered this way it doesn’t get so out of control.

Cancel any magazine subscriptions that you no longer need,  stopping the need of unwanted magazines and leaflets coming in.

Register with MPS online to stop receiving junk mail. https://www.mpsonline.org.uk. alternatively add a note to your front door alerting people not to put junk mail through.

Only purchase what you need.  Stop buying on impulse and bringing items into the home that you don’t really need.  When you visit the shops list the items you need and stick to it.  Don’t be tempted with offers.

Say NO to useless freebies that you pick up at exhibitions and trade fairs  How many branded pens do you really need.

Ask for receipts via email.  Most shops are offering this service these days and it is such a great idea.

Don’t pick up takeaway and restaurant menus as most are available online.

When the children bring in letters from school with important dates on, add into your phone calendar or dairy and disregard the letter.

Avoid going to sales, most of the time you impulse buy for the sake of it.

Buy a good mesh shopping bag that easily fits into your hand bag rather than having a store cupboard full of empty carrier bags.

Reducing filing by scanning and saving copies of warranty documents, important receipts, letters etc. One back up hard drive or flash drive takes up far less space than piles of paper.

Put things away. You quickly see whether you have room or not and if you don’t, something has to go.

Follow this rule. If something comes in, then something goes out.

If you need a bit more motivation check out my 50 things you need to throw guide.

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5 Top Tips for a Sparkling Clean Christmas

It’s a really good idea to prepare for Christmas in advance. I find that if you split your house into sections and plan to tackle one section at a time at the lead up to Christmas.

For example.  The children’s bedrooms can be week one as you probably need to make room in these for new toys that are coming in for Christmas, dinning area week 2 so you can stock check table decorations and so on.

Make sure you declutter as you go.  Clear out wardrobes, cupboards, check underneath beds and in drawers.  If you haven’t used it recently and it has no real purpose then it really needs to go.

There are 5 things you can do in advance to make sure your home is sparkling clean this christmas.

Clean your carpets

If you are fortunate enough to own a carpet cleaner  this is the time to give them a really good clean. Move as much of the furniture as you can to get that freshly cleaned look.

Don’t panic if you don’t own a carpet cleaner many local Companies will probably be offering a few Christmas cleaning packages for the festive season or there is also the option of hiring one or borrowing one of a friend.

Clean the Oven

You may be like me and clean the oven pretty much after every usage but if you not and it has a build up of dirt and grim then its time to get your oven clean on. There are some fantastic oven cleaning products on the markets so you can quite easily do its yourself but always take care and use good cleaning gloves.

Clean the Fridge 

Have a really good fridge clean, take all the items out and the shelves. Soak the shelves in warm soapy water and clean all the sides using a good antibacterial fridge cleaner.  Check all sell by dates on the food and wash over jars and bottles so everything you are putting back into the fridge is very clean. Add in a fridge deodoriser to help keep it smelling fresh and make sure you leave enough space for all the extra Christmas food.

Clean the silverware

If you are doing Christmas Day at your house then make sure you have plenty of cutely and its sparking clean. Most of us have a nice set of cutlery or dining set that only makes an appearance on special occasions. So get this prepared.  Just wash in warm soapy water, towel dry and if your silver has become slightly tarnished use a metal cleaner and buff to dry.  You can also try this amazing silver polishing gloves. I have these and use them all the time I must have my silver as shiny as I can get it.

Organise and clean the Christmas Decorations

Christmas decorations spend a long time living in dusty confined spaces until they are brought out again but how many of us actually think about cleaning them.  You would have seen me a few years on Obsessive compulsive Cleaners bleaching my baubles and still to this day I am stopped in the street and asked If I really do this and YES of Course I do.  But you don’t have to be as full on as me. A quick wipe over with a damp cloth will be enough. Make sure you test the lights before you put them on the tree and plan your christmas theme making sure it matches well with the room you are displaying your tree in. If threads on baubles are looking bear and the odd decoration is looking a little tatty then hide at the back or better still don’t hang at all.Over the years my children have made me various tree hanging decorations so we have a special tree on the middle floor for all their bits and pieces and they get to decorate this just the way they wish.

I have designed a christmas cleaning and organising calendar that starts on November 25th it gives you a daily task to do to help keep you organised on the lead up to christmas.  Click here to get yours.

 

This post contains affiliate links

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Getting Guest ready this Christmas

At Christmas time visitors can make the festive season all the more stressful, but a few simple steps will help ease the pain.

Guest preparation is the key at Christmas time. Always make sure you are as organised as you can be so you can relax and enjoy special time with your friends and family. Think of your visitors, there is nothing worse than ignoring them because you preparing food in the kitchen or tidying up and in turn they are sat twiddling their thumbs in the lounge.

Make sure if you have guests coming over for a meal that you are fully prepped. (ie) The table is set, extra chairs have been brought in, food is nearly ready, drinks are ready for pouring and you are ready. 

No dashing off too quickly get changed or apply your makeup!

I really enjoy playing host and will spend weeks getting organised. It’s so important that your guests feel welcome. If you have invited friends or family to stay then think about offering them privacy and a few home comforts.  Have the guest room ready or a dedicated area to accommodate them.

Always have a few spare generic Christmas presents wrapped up under the tree in case a gift is given to you but you didn’t buy them one.  You do not want to get yourself in an embarrassing situation.

The Guest room 

Having a space that guests can make their own allows for a much easier stress free visit. Your spare room may also be a bit of a dumping ground passing off as a home office, or a place where you dry your clothes so this is a good chance for you to have a quick declutter and organise. If this room isn’t used much you may not have the radiators switched on so get these switched on ready and warm the room.

Allow your guest some storage space, make room for their bags and a space for them to hang their clothes.

Leave a set of clean towels at the end of the bed and a set of mini toiletries in case they have forgotten something. Pop the wifi code on the bedside cabinet along with a few bottles of water.

If you have a family staying in the room invest in a few airbeds so a family can all stay together.

20 Minute Mad Guest Dash

We can also have unexpected visitors where little notice is given, Here are some of my top tips for getting you guest ready within 20 minutes.

Throw open the windows to let air through the house to make it feel refreshed and to get rid of any smells.

Entrance Hall 

Start by clearing the entrance to your home so guests don’t fall over shoes and coats when they walk in and make sure your door mat is clean by giving it a shake and sweep any dirt away.

Leave a space for guests shoes and coats.

Kitchen

Next, clean the kitchen. Put any dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher and make sure your tea towel is clean. lighting a festive candle and emptying the bin. Spray a damp microfibre cloth with all-purpose spray and use it to wipe over kitchen surfaces and brush crumbs onto the floor. Once you’ve finished, speed-vacuum yourself out of the room starting in the furthest corner. 

People always migrate to the Lounge

The living room is another area of your home where guests are likely to spend a lot of time. Tidy away any clutter in your living room such as books and magazines, and if you have a pet, quickly rub your furniture with a damp rubber glove to remove pet hair. Spray sofas with a fabric refresher and turn your cushions over instead of vacuuming them to save time. Dim the lights and use lamps where possible to hide any dirt and hair on the carpets.

Your Bathroom must be clean

The bathroom is an area in your home where your guests will spend time alone and will make judgements about how clean it is! If you only have a few minutes to get your bathroom ready grab some fresh clean bathroom towels and change the bath mat.

1. Grab a clean cloth and a good bathroom cleaner and  wipe down the sink, the toilet seat and underneath the base of the toilet. Keep some handy cleaning wipes under the bathroom sink so you can just grab one quickly when in and out of the bathroom yourself.

2. Scrub the inside of the toilet and add some toilet bleach.

3. Leave the window slightly open

4. Light a strong pleasant scented candle.

5. Replenish Toilet paper.

No go areas

Lastly, if there’s a room in your home that you don’t want guests to enter, simply closing the door will make them less likely to go in.

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Christmas stocking gift ideas

I always used to struggle filling up my children’s stockings.  It is not always easy looking for small gifts that easily fit.  I still have younger children in my family and I absolutely love to put together a stocking for them.

There are so many options for what to put in a Christmas stocking. The traditional approach to a Christmas stocking for kids is to fill the toe of the stocking with either an easy-peel orange or satsuma, or a Terrys chocolate orange.

Other ideas include adding the traditional gold coins which you could do by adding in a small bag of chocolate coins or even some money.

Putting together the stockings at Christmas is one of my favourite Christmas activities and these little. nik naks are always really appreciated sometimes more so than the big expensive items.

Last year I went on a Christmas Stocking mission and this is what I have come up, hopefully this will help give you a few more ideas.

  • Scratch card
  • Gift cards
  • Lego min figure
  • Plasticine pack
  • Hair bobbles
  • Hair clips
  • Match box car
  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Rubber
  • Money
  • Key ring
  • Socks
  • Tattoo
  • Stickers
  • Glow sticks
  • Card game
  • Glitter
  • Badge
  • Nail polish
  • Funky tooth brush
  • Bouncy Ball
  • Marbles
  • Christmas earrings
  • Nerf Bullets
  • Chocolate
  • sweets
  • Candy Cane
  • Book mark
  • Bag decoration
  • Small action figure

Don’t forget some adults love a Christmas stocking too. For adults, stocking fillers could be chocolate, some fruit, something useful like socks and maybe some mini perfume samplers or skin creams to fill space. You can also be a little cheeky and add a cocktail can to start the festivities.

The 5 gift rule

The 5 gift rule is a useful way to plan buying gifts. This is particularly useful if you are buying for children or a large family. The 5 gift rule helps you plan for a variety of different types of gifts whilst keeping the number of gifts sensible.

For presents the general 5 gift rule is:

  • 1 thing they want
  • 1 thing they need
  • 1 thing to read
  • 1 thing to wear
  • 1 thing to do

Hope this has given you some stocking inspiration don’t forget my Christmas Calendar countdown is now available.

Happy Christmas Planning