Spruce up your home for the holidays.

The holidays will be here soon and it is a good time to spruce up your home to get it ready to entertain and enjoy the festivities.

When the holidays come, so do holiday guests.  If you want your home to look its best when family and friends gather but are short on time and cash, check out five ways to spruce up your home quickly and inexpensively.

Freshen up with paint. Paint is one of the most economical ways to revitalize a tired room. Paint over dingy walls to give a room a clean, like-new appearance and to provide a perfect backdrop for your holiday décor.

Freshen up your floors. Have the carpets professionally cleaned before the holidays. Newly cleaned carpet looks like a million bucks (figuratively, not literally, of course), and you’ll have great peace of mind when young tykes start crawling or playing on the floor. Not all carpet cleaners are created equal, so get recommendations from your friends or go online to Angie’s List to read reviews. Speaking of the floor, a new area rug can add warmth, color and design to a foyer, family room or other space in your home.

De-clutter your gathering spaces. For the holidays remove plant stands, end tables and cocktail tables from the living room and family room to provide more space for party guests to mingle. In the kitchen, store away small appliances that only get occasional use—i.e., blenders, toasters, mixers, etc.. This not only provides a nice, cleaner look, but it also provides extra counter space for cookies, party trays and other holiday deliciousness that will be making their way into your home.

Bring in the greenery (and other holiday plants). This is where the song “Deck the halls” definitely applies. Decorate with the proverbial boughs of holly as well as evergreen boughs, mistletoe, festive Poinsettias and, of course, the traditional Christmas tree.  The entrance way of your home can set the immediate stage for a festive holiday welcome with a wreath on the door, swags of greenery and several holiday plants grouped creatively on a foyer table.

holidaysUpdate accessories. Add new pillows to your sofa or loveseat for the holidays. Refresh your wall décor and tabletop accessories. Consider custom-framing a beloved family portrait or treasured piece of artwork. Perhaps add decorative shelving units to a wall in your family room or living room—all the better to display some of your holiday décor.  Speaking of holiday décor, bringing out the pieces that have become a holiday tradition is nice. However, don’t feel guilty about retiring the pieces that have done valiant duty but are beginning to show their age. Add new pieces to your holiday tradition—i.e., candles, ornaments, ceramics, sculptures, etc.—and provide some new life to your surroundings during this happiest of seasons.