Organising a crowded home this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, this year might be your first to host Christmas, or perhaps your first chance to have an extended family staying over. As our families grow larger, the challenge of hosting a family Christmas can be quite the toil for some people – but there are ways you can still enjoy the holidays without steam coming out of your ears.

If you’re tasked with being the host this year, follow these top tips to make sure your Christmas is as stress-free as possible.

It’s all in the timing

Cooking for all those extra people is a stress we could probably all do without – but there are ways in which you can facilitate the process. First of all, consider writing down the timings of every food you are going to eat, from the turkey right through to the Brussel sprouts – including preparation time. Some of this you can do the night before, or perhaps even consider slow cooking your turkey – if you want to save time though, consider peeling and chopping vegetables the night before and leaving them in water.

You can also get everybody else involved – even the little ones – while chopping vegetables is best reserved for the adults, you could ask others to lay the table, put out the crackers or spoon the cranberry sauce into a dish. It’s the season of good will, so make sure everybody gets involved!

Make extra space

It’s one thing to thing to worry about cooking for everybody; it’s another to panic about where everybody is going to sleep – and store their luggage! In situations like this, a divan bed can really help. The extra storage space underneath the bed is perfect for keeping extra clothing, Christmas gifts or whatever extra treasures your guests might be bringing. The next big challenge is deciding who is going to top and tail!

Establish a few ground rules

This is by no means an army operation, but you want to make sure your house doesn’t descend into chaos this Christmas, so consider implementing a few guidelines which everybody can follow. For example, with board games – make sure everybody plays fairly and consider looking at the TV schedule in advance. The last thing you want is for Dad to be moaning about not being able to watch Goldfinger because everybody else wants to watch the Downton Abbey Christmas special!