Every year when November rolls around I get giddy with anticipation. With many friends returning from abroad and out of province, my holidays are all about seeing, smooching and eating my way through Toronto with loved ones. Buuuuut, just as I start to get excited, I take one look around my apartment and come right back down to earth.
Even on the best of days, my home is a less-than-ideal spot for entertaining. Most of my living room has become the Uncuffed studio with rolled up hides lining the walls. The rest of the room has a scattering of bins of tools and camping gear belonging to my partner, who spends his spare time exploring national parks and foraging. Sounds romantic, but in reality, all of his possessions smell like burning (the man loves his fire pits). If that’s not enough, my 650 square foot apartment is also home to three tiny and adorable dogs that think they run the place. (They do.)
Luckily, over time, I’ve learned a few tricks to make my place presentable and conducive to entertaining without losing my mind:
Order in. Seriously. This is a huge time saver that lets me spend the majority of my time doing what matters – eradicating the stench of husband and dogs from my home. Instead of spending the day panicking about underdone or overdone anything, uberEATS is where it’s at. I promise you that if you order some pizzas from Pizza Libretto and dozen Glory Hole donuts from Foodora, nobody will walk away disappointed, or hungry.
Ask a friend who enjoys cleaning to pop by earlier to help tidy up. (These unicorns do exist!!) That said, just because they like doing it, doesn’t mean that it’s okay to exploit their time and good nature. I always like to offer something in return, like a trade (thanks, BUNZ); home-baked pies and costume jewellery work very well.
Distract from the mess with shiny things. I can’t be bothered to clean up my workspace every time I have friends over (I like it messy, sue me), so instead I distract them from the mess with a phuket bucket right on my work desk. In it, you’ll find anything from product testers that we get sent to crafts, fun art supplies and toys. Guests are usually so happy to root through and pick things out that they don’t even register the mess. WIN-WIN!
Always have Febreze on hand. It’s my secret weapon. At any given time I have a few spray bottles on the go because I use it all the time, literally. It’s the only way to rid my home of the smell of my delightful but stinky brood. Aaand, there’s even a Limited Edition Holiday Collection available right now with scents like Fresh Cut Pine, Fresh Fall Pumpkin and Fresh Twist Cranberry.
Don’t let the pressure of entertaining get to you. It’s easy to get stressed out when you start running out time and there are still a million things on your to-do list. Not to mention, if you’re anything less than an extrovert, you’ll probably already feel nervous about the pressure of hosting alone. Never be afraid to take 5 minutes to relax and get yourself pumped up because guess what? Your energy is going to set the tone for this thing, buddy. A couple downward dogs or some silly dancing can do the trick. Or you can watch the #12Stinks of Christmas video below for some serious LOLs. There’s a pug. With a sweater. And sunglasses. That’s all you need to know.