Timely, budget-friendly solutions for getting your house ready for the holidays (BPT) - The fun chaos of the holidays is right around the corner. Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate ... the list goes on! With entertaining season approaching at warp speed, it's time to get your home spruced up and looking like new. Your time is precious around the holiday season, so to help make the most of your days - and budget try these easy solutions to prepare for the holidays while keeping your sanity. * A fresh coat of paint is a quick and easy way to give your home a new look at an affordable price. Consider starting with the rooms most frequently used, but don't forget the guest bedrooms and bathrooms. To make the most of your effort, use a paint that has the durability and color-lasting qualities you need. Valspar Reserve, available at Lowe's, resists stains and fading and allows you to easily wipe away marks without taking off paint, even if your guests accidentally scuff walls with their suitcases. * A simple way to decorate for the holidays year after year is with an artificial tree. Lowe's offers four trees pre-lit with color-changing LED lights, meaning you can change the look - and color - of the tree with just a push of the pedal making your decorating process much easier. For a formal dinner event, glowing white light sets a perfect ambiance. Switch to the multicolor option to delight the kids. * Use holiday decorations in unexpected ways to add festive cheer in every room of your home with minimal effort. Try hanging ornaments to decorate live plants, light fixtures, doorway overhangs, stairwells, mirrors and even the mantel. For this project, don't use expensive or family heirloom ornaments - just purchase coordinating ones that work with the color pattern you already have in the room. * Guests in the house mean more foot traffic and chance for a mess, but you don't have to worry about those inevitable spills or stains. STAINMASTER carpets available at Lowe's are 30 percent more resistant to stains than other brands, and with new carpets on the floor, you'll have a fresh new look in your home that won't cause you stress when everyone arrives for the holiday parties. * Potted evergreen plants decorated with lights bring plenty of festive feelings into a room. The best news is that when spring arrives, you can plant them outside in your backyard, or donate them to a community project that needs evergreen trees. Using live plants infuses the room with light and good, clean oxygen, and it's the subtle touches your guests will appreciate and remember. With these timely tips, you - and your home - will be ready for a holiday season of celebrations.