Spending time with friends and family over the holidays can be wonderful, but it can sometimes be stressful! If you are hosting a dinner, cocktail party, or family get-together, you may find your home descended upon by an army of aunts, uncles, friends and cousins. Your heart will be full, but so will your home. Is it up to the task? We’ve gathered a few of our most useful tips to help your home survive the holiday season, no matter how many visitors you have!
Prepare the kitchen
Whether you are cooking a festive luncheon for 12 guests or preparing hors d’oeuvres for a classy evening shindig, you’ll need to have your kitchen in good working order. Here are a few items to watch out for:
- Clean your refrigerator: Start by clearing out any expired food or condiments that are past their best before date. Give the shelves and doors a wipe down and rearrange items to maximize space. Make sure your fridge isn’t overstuffed and that the vents are clear to allow the cold air to circulate freely. Consider storing any beverages in a cooler (or even outdoors!) to leave space in the refrigerator for your food items.
- Clean the microwave: if you’re anything like us, your microwave might be one of the appliances you often forget to clean. Make sure it is in top working order before the holidays by removing and washing the revolving plate and then giving the insides a thorough wipe down. If your microwave is over your stove and provides ventilation from beneath, ensure the vents are clear of grease, debris and dust by using a spray degreaser or glass cleaner.
- Freshen up your oven: Give your oven a quick wipe down but don’t set it to self-clean – this can use a lot of energy, which you’ll be needing over the holidays! Wipe the top burner elements and give your oven shelves a wash in some warm soapy water. Save the big oven clean for after the holidays, when it will need a thorough clean!
With more people using your home than usual, you want to ensure that everything is safe and functioning correctly. Here are a few things to check up on:
- Replace lightbulbs: Replace any burnt out bulbs with newer LED ones. Not only are LED bulbs more energy efficient but they don’t get hot, meaning you can avoid potential fire hazards. In particular, look at outdoor light bulbs that serve your entryway or side entrances — you don’t want people fumbling around in the dark as they arrive or leave.
- Prevent falls: With a house full of people, especially with little ones running around, guests may not be looking where they are going. Avoid these hazards by using a non-slip mat under any rugs and checking all interior and exterior railings to ensure they are securely fastened to the walls. Outside, stock up on salt or de-icer to prevent any slippery surfaces.
- Fire safety: Make sure the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are new and working. In case of emergencies, keep a small fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen.
- Child-proof: If you have children, your home is likely well-prepared to keep them safe and avoid accidents. However, if you don’t usually have children in your home, or your children are older and you’re expecting little ones over the holidays, you should do a walk-through to identify any potential hazards. This could include covering up plug sockets, removing breakable items, and keeping any dangerous items well out of reach.
We hope that you find these tips helpful! By taking a few simple precautions now, you can ensure a safe and happy time for everyone visiting your home over the festive season. From the family at Royal LePage Performance Realty, we wish you a very Happy Holiday!