The holidays are just around the corner, and while that means a lot of merry-making and fun, it’s also a time to get your home in top shape! Chances are, you’ll have guests coming over at some point. Whether you’re hosting a party, a family get-together, or you just want your home to feel “cozy” for your family, it’s important to be prepared.
The weather is also a factor in holiday home preparation. You’ll want to make sure your house is safe from the elements and that your guests don’t have to worry about slipping on ice or getting stuck in the snow in your driveway.
So, how can you really prep your home for the holidays? First thing’s first: Create a simple budget of your needs and wants, and stick to it. From there, you can take a look at what really needs to be done.
Making Necessary Home Repairs
Starting with some of the “bigger” items can help you to feel accomplished right away, and can motivate you to keep going when it comes to getting your house in order. Start with looking at anything that needs to be fixed within your home.
A perfect example is plumbing. If you have any toilets that have been acting up, any leaky faucets, or any showers that won’t seem to produce the right pressure, those are issues that need to be fixed before people arrive (especially if they’re staying with you for a period of time!). Most plumbing issues are often easy fixes, but clogged pipes, frozen pipes, faulty water heaters, and blocked toilets can lead to big messes if they aren’t taken care of quickly.
You’ll also want to make sure you have adequate heat in the home. Getting your furnace looked at or getting a tune-up before the holidays can help to ensure you won’t run into any issues while people are over. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your fireplace cleaned out if you plan on using it. This can help to avoid any accidents or risks while giving your home that holiday glow. If you have people staying over or partaking in a “holiday staycation,” utilizing a fireplace in their room can save on heating costs, but it’s important to stay safe.
Do Some Sprucing Up
Once some of the bigger projects are taken care of, it’s time to start cleaning and sprucing up your home for the season. Whether you have a large home or you’ve recently downsized to save money, there are things you can do to make your guests feel more comfortable and at home in your living space.
First, try something as simple as a fresh coat of paint. Whether you use a new color or just refresh a room, it can make a world of difference. This is especially true in kids’ rooms where you might have to deal with things like crayons on the wall, or scuff marks from playing.
Cleaning your kitchen is also a great way to make your home feel more prepared. The kitchen is often the central “hub” for holiday get-togethers, so scrubbing the kitchen floor, cleaning the oven and the refrigerator, or just tidying up can make you feel more prepared for when any holiday guests arrive.
Mopping your floors is another great way to make your whole home feel cleaner. Winter has a way of bringing in mud, water, and dirt, after all, which can wreak havoc on your floors quickly. If you haven’t given them a good scrub in a while, mopping all of your floors before the holidays can make everything feel a lot fresher.
Of course, it’s not the holidays without a few extra touches to make your home feel special. Your own finishing touches are more about preference than practicality. But, some suggestions include:
- Setting the table with holiday dishes and decor
- Having a lit Christmas tree in the center of a picturesque window
- Preparing guest bedrooms for people
- Building a fire in the fireplace
- Light seasonal candles
A few last-minute touches can make a big difference for your guests. Having spare rooms available can also be important in case the weather becomes a problem. In 2009, 338,633 drivers were injured in car accidents in the U.S. Some of those can be avoided when the weather is bad by offering people a safe, warm place to stay for the night.
If you have guests on the way who have a baby, it’s also a good idea to have a few things on hand that the little one might need. This includes a few jars of baby food or formula, some toys, diapers, wipes, etc. It can make your guest(s) with young children feel more welcomed, even if they carry all of those supplies already!
It doesn’t have to take a lot of work to prepare your home for the holiday season. Think about what you want out of the holiday and how you want your home to feel, not only for yourself but for any guests that drop by, too. A few simple touches can create a completely different feel that will last all season long.