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As family and friends prepare to gather during the holidays, many people clean, repair, decorate or even take on larger home improvement projects to make it more enjoyable. Here are 6 ways to help get your home ready for the holidays.

1. Get a head start (if you can)

While some enjoy the rush and excitement of pulling everything together at the last moment, for others that can be stressful. Do you promise yourself year after year you’ll start earlier?

One of the best ways to commit yourself to starting is by compiling a checklist. Whether it’s painting, shopping, decorating or baking, make a list of everything you want to get done in preparation for the holidays. Then, group the items on your list and set weekly deadlines for yourself. This can help you keep on track, manage your time more efficiently and ensure you have stress-free time to enjoy the holidays.

2. Declutter your home

Decluttering can be done any time of year, but before the holidays you may want to include it alongside cleaning and decorating. Less clutter may even give you peace of mind and less to clean up before and after the holidays.

Start by gathering items you don’t need, want or use anymore. Decide what you can toss or donate. Perhaps you’ll discover household items that you can recycle or repurpose elsewhere in your home.

Related story: Acts of Kindness: 6 Ways to Make a Difference During the Holidays

3. Consider rearranging your space

Rearranging your space by repositioning furniture may go a long way toward making your home more inviting for holiday get-togethers. Start with common spaces where the majority of time will be spent over the holidays. For larger gatherings, move on to other rooms around the house — if you have time.

Another tip is to change where you put your larger decorations. If you usually put them in the same place each year, a spot you haven’t considered may make gatherings feel less crowded. Hanging mirrors or adding new decorations can make the room still feel as festive.

4. Get help for the bigger tasks

If you want to do a deep cleaning or home improvements before the holidays, it’s a good idea to book services as early as possible. These may include the often overlooked fixes or more time-consuming tasks of maintaining a household. Here are some items to consider:

  • Professionally polishing floors and wooden surfaces
  • Powerwashing
  • Painting rooms
  • Clearing out the gutters
  • Inspecting fire extinguishers
  • Servicing air-conditioning units

5. Consider a Home Equity Loan to help fund larger home improvements

If you’ve polished and cleaned your home year after year, this might be the year to take on larger improvement projects that may have a greater impact — like replacing your floors or windows, adding new doors, professional landscaping or perhaps even a small home addition for more space.

Read more about how you can unlock the value of your home with a home equity loan to help fund larger home improvement projects.

6. Take advantage of seasonal sales and promotions for the home

Besides giving you a reason to celebrate with friends and family, the holidays can be a great time to find deals on furniture, appliances, and fixtures. Make a list of what you need and rank the items on your list. For example, you might rank replacing your stove higher than a new dining room set.

By ranking what’s most important to you, you can save time and narrow your search for seasonal promotions and discounts.

As the holidays approach, these tips can help you get your home ready for the festivities. And before you know it, you’ll be welcoming in the New Year.