It’s not easy to focus on home maintenance in the month of December. Between holiday shopping, wrapping gifts, decorating, baking, planning and attending parties, there are so many other tasks to complete, it’s hard to make time for routine home maintenance.
This month’s checklist has a holiday focus to help you make your home merry and bright for guests and all of December’s festivities.
- Get your home ready for visitors.
- Spruce up your guest room. Launder sheets and blankets before the holiday rush. Fill a basket with bottles of water, bags of nuts, granola bars, and small bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Add a collection of books or a stack of magazines for leisurely reading.
- Add night lights. Ensure your guests have safe passage in the dark by placing night lights in hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms.
- Prevent icy hazards. Remedy home issues that could be dangerous in icy weather. Turn off water to exterior spigots, drain them, and leave them open throughout the winter to minimize chances of frozen, burst pipes. Make sure outdoor stair railings aren’t wobbly, which could cause someone to slip and fall on icy or snowy steps.
- Decorating with lights.
- Test lights. Plug your lights in to test them before you decorate or are on top of a ladder in cold weather. If your lights are the older incandescent style, consider replacing them with safer, more energy efficient LED lights.
- Check cords. Throw away any lights with frayed or damaged cords as one faulty strand isn’t only a safety hazard, but could ruin your entire design. Use UL approved extension cords specific for outdoor use and look for lights rated for indoor/outdoor use. Read the packaging for how many strands it is safe to connect.
- Install permanent hangers. Save time by installing permanent hangers if you hang your lights in the same place each year.
- Ornament trees and bushes. Use a light-hanging pole to put lights on trees to avoid getting on an extension ladder. Create a blanket of lights over your bushes using net lights.
- Taking down lights. Prevent tangling by winding them around a cord holder, heavy cardboard, or a coffee can.
Once you check these to-do items off your list, you’ll be able to sit back and admire your work with a cup of egg nog while waiting for friends and family to arrive. Happy holidays!