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Gifts Your House Would Love

Doesn't your home deserve a little sprucing up to celebrate the season?

Those wish lists are getting longer by the day, and the holidays are creeping up on you like Santa’s crankiest elf. But as you trudge to the toy store yet again, maybe take a moment and think about your poor little house, neglected again this season. With only a temperamental old oven to warm its cozy kitchen, the same threadbare towels littering its bathroom floors — doesn’t your home deserve a little sprucing up to celebrate the season?

This time of year is perfect for replacing appliances — most big box stores are running specials and charities are clamoring to take the old ones off your hands. It’s also a perfect time to book contractors, since no one wants to tackle home improvement projects during the holidays.

Hire someone to paint that accent wall you’ve been dreaming of; it’s a day project that will yield all kinds of holiday joy (and chances are, you’re already moving furniture around to accommodate a tree). Better yet, paint your front door a cheery color that will capture the thought of all the sunny days to come, and be the perfect foil for the holiday wreath you keep meaning to make.

One of the best gifts I’ve ever given my house was a fresh dose of organization. I still recall with a tear in my eye the year I persuaded my husband to install glide-mounted shelves in my unfathomably deep kitchen cupboards. The bliss of finally being able to reach those pans languishing in the depths of Middle Earth: priceless.

The same goes for a freshly organized closet. Take some measurements, head to your favorite organization store, and ask for help. They’re full of creative ideas to help you maximize your storage space — often without drilling a single hole. And truly, there’s no better feeling than peeking into that closet when everything is in its proper place.

If hardware isn’t an issue (in which case, congrats on getting your significant other to finally install those brand-new Nest thermostats), I’m guessing your home’s software could use a reboot. I took a good hard look at my linen closet last week, and … well, I didn’t like what I saw.

This year, I’m hoping Santa brings me a couple of new sets of sheets, so I can ditch the sorry specimens I currently have in heavy rotation. And though my Martha Stewart towels were supposed to last a lifetime, the sad truth is that sometimes Martha lies. I’m about five years in, and while it’s not dire yet, they’re definitely nearing retirement age. Take advantage of the myriad friends & family discounts and one-day sales streaming into your in-box this month and stock up.

While you’re on the hunt for linens, perhaps consider a little gift for your entertaining space as well. That oversize photo print you’ve had bookmarked since April? You’re right, it would look amazing over the sofa … and under your tree.

And though there isn’t a husband in the world who won’t hate me for saying it, few things will transform your living room faster than a fresh crop of new accent pillows. Spring for the down-filled inserts to keep everything primed and ready for those long winter’s naps.

But the best gift of all? Hiring a team of professional house cleaners to scour your casa from roof to rugs the day before everyone descends on your house for that holiday gathering, so you’ll actually have enough energy left to enjoy your near and dear. Now that’s what I call a happy holiday.