Get Your Home Holiday-Ready in 10 Steps

The holiday season is right around the corner, and if you’re entertaining this year now’s the time to start prepping your home. Before the first guests arrive, use this checklist to make sure your home is ready to party.

1. Clean Your Drains

With all the extra guests in your home, your drains are going to have to do more work. Help them get off to the best start by making sure they’re clean and running properly. For an environmentally safe DIY cleanser, pour ½ cup of baking soda followed by ½ cup of vinegar down your drain.

2. Freshen Up Your Fridge

You don’t want any funky smells or suspicious stains interfering with your holiday meal. Take the time to give it a good scrub-down. Pop in a fresh box of baking soda to help absorb any odors. It’s also a good time to check on the door and tighten any loose door handles or screws.

3. Replace Toilet Seats

Let’s not beat around the bush – your toilets are going to be dealing with a lot of traffic. If your seats are looking grimy or cracked or are starting to come loose, it’s time to install a new seat. This simple trick will make sure your toilet looks good and can do its job. For more bathroom specific tips, check out our guide to quick & easy bathroom repairs.

4. Rub Away Furniture Scratches

Your tables are going to see a lot of attention and scrutiny. Now’s the time to give them a quick once-over. For small scratches, you can use the meat from a fresh walnut to rub out marks. For more heavy-duty scratches, pick up a wood cleaner.

5. Make Your Home Slip and Fall Proof

You want to make sure your home is as safe as possible for kids and grandparents alike. Fix any loose steps or boards. Fix slippery rugs in place with double-sided tape and make sure all handrails are tight. And in Minnesota, having de-icer on hand for your walkways is a must.

6. Update the Caulk in Your Bathtub

If you’ve got old, peeling caulk, the holiday season is the perfect time to get it spic-and-span. Re-caulking will give your bathtub a fresh new look. More importantly, it’ll help give it more of a defense against mildew while it gets more use during the holidays.

7. Clean the Oven and Microwave

While entertaining, you’re going to be cooking. Don’t put off cleaning for later – making sure your microwave and oven are clean will avoid embarrassing smells or burns when guests arrive. To help get rid of stubborn stains in your microwave, first add lemon juice to a bowl (or half a piece of fresh lemon on a plate) and microwave on high for a few minutes. Let it sit for a few more minutes to let the steam soak the inside, then wipe down with a wet cloth.

8. Add Felt Pads to Your Chairs

Holiday dining means that guests will be scooting in and out chairs frequently. To preserve your hardwood floors, make sure all your chairs are outfitted with felt pads. You can make them yourself, or find many different varieties at your local hardware store.

9. Fix All Light Bulbs

You know your house like the back of your hand – your guests don’t. Make sure all the lights are working properly and have a few backup bulbs on hand – especially for high-traffic areas like the entryway, living room and kitchen. You can also add some more glow (and some holiday cheer) with indoor string lights in strategic places.

10. Put Out Spare Toiletries

Help your holiday guests feel at home by setting out extra toilet paper, towels, soap and other toiletries ahead of their arrival.

With these tips, your house will be ready to entertain in no time.

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