We’re making a list and checking it twice to make sure your home is holiday nice! Before the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, here are some seasonal safety and cleaning tips for getting your house spruced up in time for the upcoming festivities.
Santa’s Safety Tips
- Check corded window coverings. If your window blinds or shades have any exposed cords, consider replacing them with cordless ones to protect Santa’s littlest elves. Check, too, and repair any broken parts, such as blind slats, tilters and vertical blind tracks.
- Insulate doors and windows. Seal leaky windows and doors with weather sealer or strips to keep everyone cozy and save on your energy bill. (BTW, did you know that honeycomb/cellular window treatments naturally insulate your windows?) Or use a holiday-themed draft blocker like this adorable guy.
- Testing 1, 2, 3. Test/replace electrical outlets, and by extension, extension cords, to make sure you don’t overload outlets with all those lights. Test and replace batteries in fire alarms, too.
- Take a different tack. Check carpeting and floor coverings for loose or frayed edges. Reduce risk of falls by placing non-slip pads under area rugs.
- Can we vent? When you turn your heater on for the first time, you may smell an odor of smoke or burning, but no need to pull the fire alarm. It’s only dust burning off your heater coils. Clean dusty air vents and replace greasy oven hood screens. To be on the safe side and to keep your heater running at optimum efficiency, change your air filters every 30 days, even during the winter months.
- Get cooking. Check all kitchen appliances, including your garbage disposal, dish washer, stove and oven to ensure they’re working properly and ready for holiday cooking and clean up.
Prep the Walls before Decking the Halls
- Clean up your curb appeal. Scrub your walkway. Wipe down your front door inside and out. Shake out and sweep off the welcome mat.
- Wash your windows. DIY with a mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wipe to a no-streak shine with a microfiber cloth. Don’t forget to dust off your window blinds and shades.
Holiday Decorating Tip: Make your windows a winter wonderland with some of these seriously creative ideas.
- Freshen up the microwave. Clean and freshen smelly microwaves by cutting a lemon in half and boiling it for 1-2 minutes in 1/2C of water, then using the lemon water to scrub away stubborn spots inside and out.
- Scrub the toilet. Everyone’s favorite job, I know, but somebody’s gotta do it. Here’s how. And to keep the bathroom smelling fresh after use, invest in a seasonal scented toilet freshener to have on hand for visitors. (Your guests will thank you. 😉 )
- Clean ceiling fans. Be sure your ceiling fans aren’t trimmed with dust and dirt. Wipe them down with a clean dryer sheet or damp cloth. Wash light fixtures so overnight guests have visions of sugar plums, not shadows of dead bugs, when they lay down for that long winter’s nap.
- Overhaul the hearth. Nothing says home for the holidays like a roaring fire. To get the chimney and fireplace ready for St. Nick’s big reveal, make sure the flue is open and clean (may require hiring a pro chimney sweep). Use a stiff brush to scrub off soot stains with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Clean out the grate and sweep off the hearth. Check doors and screens to make sure they’re operating properly. And don’t forget to dust off the mantle before hanging those stockings.
DIY Design Tip: Update your fireplace with a trendy fire glass kit and never have to clean your fireplace again!
- Get your mind – and leaves – out of the gutters. Get the gunk out so rain and melting snow can flow freely — without overflowing onto arriving guests and outdoor decorations.
- Make a good first impression. Bust any dust bunnies and dirt that have collected on floors and furniture legs. These are the first things guests will see when they arrive, so keep the Swiffer handy to keep them clean through the holidays.
Do you have any time-saving tips to get your home holiday ready? Leave a comment to share!