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Last-minute ways to get your home ready for visitors

These easy tips will get your home looking clean and presentable in no time.

If you’re hosting Chinese New Year festivities at home, you not only have to prep the menu, buy CNY goodies, and perhaps, even plan a kids’ play area.

Hang on, have you had time to spring-clean yet?

In any case, you only have less than a month to prep your home to receive guests, so let’s keep things easy and as stress-free as possible.

Even if you do not plan to receive any guests, you should always have your place looking clean and nest for guests who pop by unannounced.

Follow these easy, minimal-effort tips to prepare, decorate and get your home ready.

1. Plump Up Sofa Cushions

Your guests will most likely be sitting on the sofa, so make it look extra cushy by fluffing up the cushions and laying them nicely. It’ll do good to refresh the covers as well, with bright, auspicious colours.

2. Focus On The Entrance

There’s simply no time to embellish your entire home in CNY decorations, so focus your energy on places where your guests will most likely congregate, such as the entrance to your home and the living room. For instance, hang auspicious greetings or place a pussywillow plant on an accent table or shelf near the main door. It’s all about making that grand first impression.

3. Dress Up The Table


Another area of the home your guests will most likely linger in is the dining area, so add some decorative table setting elements to spruce up the space. Even a simple red table runner can make a significant impact.

4. Lay Out The Goodies

Break out the Chinese New Year treats and display them prominently on the coffee or dining table in beautiful containers or trays. You can order an assortment of goodies online from sites like RedMart, HonestBee and Fairprice.

5. Give The Floor A Quick Sweep

Break out your handy Scotch-Brite or Magiclean floor wiper and do a bit of light sweeping to rid your floors of stray hair, dust, pet hair and more. These floor wipers use handy wet or dry tissue wipes that you can also use on other surfaces like table tops and in between shelves too, and only take a few swipes to clean.

6. Welcome Sunshine


It all lies in the details. Open your windows or draw the curtains will bring in warm, natural light. A well-lit room shows the entire expanse of your warm abode and adds a welcoming vibe for your visiting guests.

7. Get Outside Help

Even if you have a domestic helper, it’s sometimes much more handy to hire external help for your festive needs. Whether it’s spring-cleaning your home, removing bulky furniture items, or ordering a steamboat delivery, these efficient services can make your life ten times easier.

8. Repurpose Christmas Decor

In case you haven’t thrown them out, recycle decor from last year’s Christmas festivities for CNY. For instance, upgrade a wreath by removing the “Christmassy” aspects and adding a couple of ang baos to match the mood. Red tinsel also works – you can drape them along shelves or hang them up on the wall.

9. Dress up the TV console area


A centrepiece in most living rooms, the TV console would usually be a key source of entertainment for guests during Chinese New Year. Spruce up the TV console area with bright flowers or a decorative art piece to match the festive atmosphere.

10. Add Fresh Flowers

Display fresh blooms to make your living room or dining area look instantly more vibrant and inviting. You don’t even have to buy from the florist; head down to any supermarket such as Cold Storage or Fairprice and grab a few bunches without overspending. Pop them into vases or mason jars, and you get your instant minimal-effort decor.

11. Refresh The Bathroom


Even if you haven’t had time to clean your entire home, a clean and fresh-smelling bathroom can leave a deep impression (the opposite also applies). Simply refill or replace your bathroom scent, or add a scented diffuser before visitors arrive. Replace the handtowels while you’re at it!

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly (

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