Is Your Home Ready for the Holidays?
Where did the time go? One minute we’re celebrating the new year and the next, Thanksgiving is on the way. Is your home ready for overnight guests, baked treats and fantastic feasts? No? There’s still time. Here are some tips for getting your house in order:
Start With the Kitchen
As much as you may want to haul out the holiday decorations, hold off until your kitchen receives a complete cleanse. After all, you will be spending most of your time there. Clean out the refrigerator. Check the expiration dates on half-used bottles throwing out what has expired. Wipe down the shelves and move them around so the turkey will fit. The oven needs a deep clean, too. HGTV provides a step-by-step process for ensuring it sparkles. Don’t forget the pantry. Make room for the new by throwing out the old.
Purge the Closets, Garage and Attic
Most people keep their holiday decorations stored away. Since you’re going to be rummaging around in them, take time to clear out unused items from decades ago. You don’t have to go crazy. You don’t have time for that. You do want to create space for new items you may have to store over the coming year.
Inspect and Double Check
The last thing you want before guests arrive is to be calling the plumber because the toilet backed up. Check that your toilet is functioning properly before guests arrive. Buy a surge protector to keep electronics from frying out. Check wires and extension cords to make sure they aren’t worn out. Get a professional out to check your heating system. You don’t want guests shivering as they unwrap their gifts.
Let the Decorating Begin
Start with your front door and move on from there. Add a wreath and front yard decorations so friends and neighbors see you’re getting into the spirit. The next day, you can tackle the hall and the family room. If you like to put out seasonal kitchen towels, tablecloths and placemats, exchange them when you throw the current ones in the wash. That way, your everyday linens are ready to go when the holidays are over. Make sure your decorations are baby and pet safe.
Prepare for Houseguests
If your guest room doubles as a study or storage room, now is the time to make it ready for overnight guests. If the room is overflowing with unused items, store them in the closet you just cleared out or give them away. Leave the desk if the room is also your office but clear out electronic devices. Instead, set up a refreshment station with an electric kettle or small coffee pot, pretty cups and holiday-themed tea bags or coffee. Make sure the sheets, towels and pillowcases are clean. Bonus points for providing a basket full of toiletries in case something didn’t get packed.
Preparing your home early confers another advantage — less stress and more time to spend with your guests.