The holidays are almost upon us, and as lovely as they are, they can be very stressful, too. You may be worrying about presents to buy and feasts to cook up that you’ll forget that your house needs pre-holiday upkeep. It’s better to prepare your home first so that you can happily focus on the festivities later on. Here’s a checklist we’ve written up for you:
Clean your oven
The holidays are the peak season for baked goods, but since the pandemic started, a lot of us have already been cooking and baking more than usual to keep ourselves occupied. That said, give your oven a deep clean before the holidays to make sure that it’s ready to take on cookies, pies, turkeys, and whatever else you’ll have on the menu.
Check your roof and gutters
One of the most important preparations you can make for the colder seasons is to check on your roof and gutters. We often forget that they need maintenance because we’re used to them doing their jobs properly, but they need extra care to protect your household from fall and winter weather.
Check on these overhead structures to know if you need roof restoration services or a gutter cleaning or replacement. Gutters are bound to get clogged this time of year with leaves and snow, so have them sorted out sooner rather than later.
Clean the fireplace
This is one of the messiest of house chores, but it’s necessary if you plan on using your fireplace this season. Line the surrounding area with newspapers before you start, and wear protective gear for your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Get your winter essentials ready
Make sure that your abode is ready for the cool—and sometimes harsh—weather of this time of year. Have your heating appliances and generator examined. If snow is a possibility in your area, stock up on snow blowers, rakes, shovels, and windshield de-icers in case of a snow deluge.
To ready yourself for the weather, make sure to have all the ingredients you need for making your favorite hot beverages. Bring out your winter blankets and sweaters.
Prep your lawn
Even your lawn needs to get ready for the season. Since temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.44 °C) will slow grass growth considerably, if you live in such cooler areas, mowing your lawn during winter won’t likely be necessary. However, grasses in colder climates will need fertilizing to keep them alive through the season.
You’re going to have a lot of new things coming into your home during the holidays, so you’ll need to make space for them. Clear your cupboards of expired goods. Since Christmas is the season for giving, consider donating your rarely used—but still wearable—garments to charity.
Clean or change your filters
If getting your interior to reach the desired temperature is costing you more than it should, chances are that you’ve been neglecting your filters. Winter season or not, you should be cleaning your filters every month. Know if and when they need changing. This will help prolong the lifespans of your cooling and heating systems and reduce your energy consumption.
Check your fire safety equipment
Whether or not you put up Christmas lights, other fire hazards still loom over the holidays, such as candles, cooking, fireplaces, and fireworks. The U.S. Fire Administration says that you should test your smoke alarms at least once a month, replace the batteries once or twice a year, and change the alarm 10 years after the manufacturing date.
Check your holiday decor
Inspecting your holiday decor will not only do your home aesthetic favors, but it can also serve as an extra fire safety measure. Examine your Christmas lights to see if they need replacing. See to it that they aren’t damaged. Avoid positioning their cables through doors or windows, as the fraying of their cords can lead to a safety hazard.
Switching to LED Christmas lights can cut your costs, as they last longer and are more energy-efficient. They’re also safer to use because they don’t get hot to the touch. But regardless of the kind of decor lights you have, never leave them on overnight, and keep them far away from other sources of heat.
As much as we look forward to them, the holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about home maintenance. Make sure that your home is safe and ready for whatever the season will bring so that you and your family can enjoy the festivities.