Preparation is the key
PLEASE let me start this column by apologising profusely; You'll probably never forgive me for bringing it up so early, but I want to give you plenty of time to prepare your home for 'the most wonderful time of the year' as it will be upon us sooner than you think.
If you're lucky enough to have one in your home, it's certainly a good idea to leave plenty of time to prepare your spare room for Christmas as during the festive period it will offer valuable extra space for relatives and friends to stay in.
Unfortunately, spare rooms are often the room in a home that's neglected; the space that can too easily become a place for storage or a place to hide the mess and clutter.
It is common therefore, for this room to not receive the same level of attention and investment in terms of décor and furnishings as other areas of the home.
However, when Christmas suddenly comes around, so does the realisation of the importance of the mistreated spare room.
Due to lack of preparation though, many unfortunate hosts are forced to give up their own bedroom and endure a blow up bed on the living room floor because the spare room isn't habitable.
Make the most of the space you have available if you do have a spare room by starting nice and early and having a good clear out. There's no better time to get rid of clothes, toys or the exercise bike that are gathering dust in the corner than at this time of year.
Charities will be grateful for the donations, but also, one man's trash is another man's treasure and you may find that someone is searching high and low for an exercise bike or a painting of Caernarfon Castle to give to their husband or wife this Christmas!
Once your spare room is clear of clutter, prepare it for guests by transforming the space into an inviting bedroom that your friends and family will never want to leave! A great way to update a room is to treat it to a lick of paint or even a feature wall.
Although re-decorating the walls can seem like a daunting process, if you select just one to update and keep the rest of the scheme fairly neutral, you can easily make changes whenever you fancy in future.
A spare room can also be updated simply by purchasing a new set of soft bed linen or fresh new towels that can be laid out ready for the arrival of your guests.
Even simple finishing touches such as accessorising by layering the bed with scatter cushions and a cosy throw will make all the difference.
Accessories will really give your guests a home away from home, but will also add detail and texture to the room.
Do remember, even when you're using your spare room as a place for guests to stay, it is still possible to incorporate a few clever storage solutions that will provide necessary storage for clothes and other belongings.
Opting for a bed which allows you to store extra clothes and bedding underneath, either in the form of vacuumed bags or pull out storage boxes is an idea.
Alternatively, there are solutions available which allow items to be stored inside the actual bed which are definitely worth considering.
If you only have the occasional guest over to stay and don't want to fork out for a brand new bed and completely redecorate the room, it's worth purchasing a sofa bed which can easily be folded away, allowing the spare room to be a multi-functional space throughout the year.
You can add comfort to the space when necessary by purchasing a few scented candles to ensure the room smells lovely and bright.
Also, fresh flowers are a definite must for those arranged dates.
Hopefully by now you'll have forgiven me for mentioning Christmas.
After all, I'm sure kick-starting the preparation process this early will work out well when your house is packed full to the rafters with extended family and friends this Christmas!