Being the designated host house for holiday parties might be enjoyable, but it can also be a very stressful endeavor. Remove some of that strain by getting your house in order ahead of time. You can take preventative steps even months ahead that will make enjoying holiday gatherings easier and more enjoyable.
1. Make an Emergency Plan
You can’t plan for everything, but the sooner you start thinking about possible unexpected events, the better prepared you will be to handle one should it occur. Think for a moment what you would do if a storm knocked out power to your house when it was full of holiday guests. Now is the time to investigate solar panel cost, and see if it makes sense to invest in a system that will keep you and your family warm even if the local utilities can’t supply power. Things like the effects of winter weather, seasonal traffic, delayed flights for incoming visitors or even a lack of necessary supplies at the store can all be mitigated with a little forethought.
2. Clear Out Clutter
Clutter around the house can rob productivity and dampen moods, not to mention that it just makes a home look sloppy and unkempt. Take time to pick up loose ends and get everything in order at least a few weeks before the holidays so you aren’t stressed at the last minute. You can find plenty of helpful tips for conquering clutter online, or you might even consider bringing in a professional to do it for you. Then make plans for a thorough cleaning a few days before guests start popping in. This will give you some reassurance that you haven’t missed anything, and let you relax and enjoy your company.
3. Give Your Kitchen a Quick Makeover
A lot of holiday entertaining takes place in or around the kitchen. If you are planning far enough ahead, think about giving the kitchen a quick refresh. You can completely change the look of your rooms with a fresh coat of paint, some new cabinet hardware and updated plumbing fixtures. Add a moveable island for food prep and serving and you’ll be ready to tackle even big gatherings.
4. Inspect Major Appliances
Even if you don’t have time to refresh the kitchen’s appearance, you should give major appliances a quick once over. It would be unfortunate to have a freezer full of food defrost or if the oven fails halfway through cooking the big dinner. In addition to ensuring everything is running properly, go ahead and wipe them down. You can hold off on a major cleaning, especially of the oven since it is probably going to get dirty over the holidays. Change any filters that might need it to help them run more efficiently.
5. Schedule a Chimney Cleaning
If you have a fireplace or woodstove, it is always a good idea to do an annual inspection before firing it up for the season. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood that can build up inside the chimney, leading to a potential fire. While it may be tempting to do this yourself, be sure you know what you are doing. Besides cleaning out buildup, a professional will also inspect the liner to ensure it is stable and in good working order. It is a small price to pay for knowing you are good to light that roaring fire when the guests arrive.
6. Fix any Fall Hazards
Most homes, no matter how careful and conscientious you are, will have a few fall hazards. Help your guests enjoy their visit without worrying about a fall by taking a few precautions. If you are unsure about what to look for, these suggestions offer a good place to start:
- Add railings to any stairs or access ramps
- Use a non-slip rug for wiping shoes at the entrance
- Clear any ice or snow from walkways and steps
- Remove any cords from areas where people will be walking
The holidays are a special time of year. Work to get your house ready ahead of time so you can relax and enjoy your company.