November marks the final countdown for the end of the year. The quiet prelude before the major holidays ramp up is over. With Thanksgiving and the festive season on the horizon, there are plenty of DIY holiday preparations that need to be done. Whether you’re a holiday super host or a first-time entertainer, accommodating a holiday celebration with family members or friends can be quite the undertaking. Cumbersome home projects like cleaning, decorating, and cooking can be exhausting.
In order to maintain mental and household peace during the upcoming holiday season, set aside this weekend to get your home in order. With proper planning and preparation, you can enjoy a relaxing time with friends and family without the worries of hosting. We’ve put together a list of some simple prep work to help you plan and save you time for all the fun of the holidays.
7 Tips to prepare your home
1. Focus on the main living spaces.
Before embarking on your DIY projects, begin by cleaning. While having an orderly home is ideal, don’t fret over tedious details. Focus on the main areas in your home that guests will see like the front porch, entryway, kitchen, living room, and bathrooms.
Ensure all outdoor lighting is functioning properly and is turned on when it is dark. Establish a place to collect all cold weather apparel, including boots. Add extra hangers to your coat closet or designate a room to collect these. You should also consider adding an extra doormat for those wet boots.
If decluttering your space feels daunting, book one of our insured professionals. It’s easy to use the best home service provider app, Jonny On It. Or, for more cleaning tips see our recent interview with one of our trusted Jonny Pros.
2. Clean the fridge and oven.
If you’re in charge of cooking the holiday feast, start by cleaning the refrigerator and giving the oven a deep clean. For the fridge, begin by taking everything out of the fridge, throwing away expired items, then scrubbing all the surfaces. It will help with storage and organization for prepping dishes. This article from the NY Times has some great suggestions on fridge deep cleaning.
Plan ahead and figure out which dishes you can make beforehand to avoid day-of catastrophes. For example, pies and side dishes can be prepped a few days before, so all you need to do is bake them.
3. Test your smoke detector.
Use a microfiber cloth, or whatever is most accessible, to dust off the smoke detector. Press and hold the test button. You should hear a siren while activating the test. If the test results in a weak sound, or no sound at all, it’s time to change the batteries.
Smoke detector batteries should be replaced every six months. If you can’t recall the last time you changed the smoke detector batteries, change the batteries regardless of the test.
4. Check your HVAC.
Have an HVAC pro come and inspect your HVAC system and furnace to prevent any problems that might arise as temperatures drop. Proper heating, ventilation, and air conditioning will keep you and your guests jubilant. If you are cooking the feast, turn down the temperature a bit in the house. Your oven and guests will increase the temperature inside, so save your furnace from working too hard.
5. Don’t dump scraps or grease down the drain
As you prep your meal, resist dumping small remnants of grease or scraps down the sink after cooking. Our Pro Daniel Liebenberg warns, “your garbage disposal is NOT a trash can.” That small amount of waste can be more harmful to your pipes than you can imagine.
When grease hardens, it causes blockages in your drains. Once that blockage occurs, it’s irreversible without proper assistance. You will have to book a professional service provider to clear your pipes. Avoid spending your Thanksgiving snaking the sink; think twice about how and where you discard your grease.
6. Don’t overload your outlets.
When prepping a holiday feast, you often use kitchen appliances that spend much of their time in the cabinets. Be aware that plugging in the standing mixer, the crockpot, and the hand mixer can overload your outlets.
Overcrowded electrical outlets can put your home at risk for electrical fires. Whether it’s cell phones, TVs, or kitchen appliances, having too many devices plugged in uses more electricity and can be a hazard. From loose wires to faulty sockets, fire hazards are a real danger, and they are riskier on holidays where there are multiple people and devices.
Make sure you prepare by getting surge protectors and being mindful of how many items are plugged in. You may want to have your home inspected by a professional for any potential electrical problems, especially if you live in a particularly old home.
7. Change your air filters.
While keeping your indoor temperatures regulated is a must, it’s also pertinent to change your air filters for proper ventilation and air conditioning. This is something you can and should do all year. Check your air filters once a month to assure that they aren’t circulating dust and other allergens. Not only will you save money on your energy bill, but your system won’t have to work as hard to keep your home fresh and comfortable. Remember, your furnace needs its filter replaced now too.
Staying on top of your filter maintenance will lead to better indoor air quality and happy guests.
Book a Jonny PRO
The best part of hosting holiday parties this year is knowing Jonny On It has your back.
Jonny On It is the best home service provider app that connects you with quality service providers in less than 15 minutes. Our vetted and insured professionals can properly get the job done so you can enjoy the festivities.