The holiday season is a time for family and friends, and you love throwing parties and inviting guests to your house this time of year. There’s nothing better than filling your home with people you love and enjoying seasonal traditions together.
You want your guests to feel comfortable in your home and to enjoy themselves. You’ve already begun putting up decorations and sprucing up the guest bedrooms, but you worry that you might be forgetting something.
Below, we’ve listed easy projects that many homeowners forget in the rush of turkey-preparing and eggnoggulping. These projects will help give your home a welcoming feel so that your holiday guests are comfortable and impressed.
Have Your Road Swept
Ever had to climb through a clogged gutter to get to someone’s home? You usually lose your holiday cheer when you are standing up to your knees in dirty storm water.
Clean the gutters, curb, and street outside your home so that guests don’t have to battle their way to your front porch, especially in Florida’s winter rains. Keeping a clean street does more than just eliminate the chance of someone tripping and filing an angry, Merry Christmas-lawsuit: it also improves the appearance of your home. A well-maintained street may be the first thing that your guests notice.
A professional street sweeper can make quick work of your neighborhood’s street and gutters. Talk to your street sweeping company today about sweeping your neighborhood for your home owner’s association (or contact your city’s local government office and request a community cleaning).
Dewinterize Your Walkways
After you’ve taken care of your street gutters, prepare your walkways for the holidays. Florida doesn’t get snow and ice very often, but it gets plenty of rain, and a slick, wet front walkway can be quite dangerous for your guests.
Sweep your walkway and clear it of leaves, branches, and other debris. Replace that loose piece of cement or move your dog’s toys to the backyard. Then lay a light layer of sand on the walk to help prevent accidental slips and falls.
A well-lit walkway can also help guests feel safe and comfortable. Make sure to replace your front porch lightbulbs, and consider installing a lighting system along your front walk. If you don’t want to deal with the electrical hassle of a new system, simply fill paper bags with sand and place a small candle carefully in the center. These beautiful luminaries-an American tradition-are a perfect finishing touch to your exterior holiday décor.
After your guests arrive triumphantly on your front porch, they need a place to shed coats and scarves, and you need a place to store them. Decluttering before your party can help you avoid an awkward storage problem.
Begin with your closets and sort the contents into piles: a throw-away pile, a give-away pile, a keep pile, and a keep-but-store pile. Anything in poor condition should be thrown away; anything in good condition but no longer needed should be given away; and so forth. You’ll be surprised by how much you can empty your closets, particularly when you store summer items.
Do the same in dressers and drawers, under beds, and in bathroom storage areas. The more you can empty your storage spaces, the more space your guests will have for their possessions. Half-empty closets and drawers give a clean, tidy impression that is very welcoming to guests.
For many, the holidays revolve around two important things: people and food. If you’re preparing hors d’oeuvres, sides, dinners, and treats for your guests, you need your kitchen appliances to be in top condition.
In the holiday rush, many people do a thorough cleaning of their kitchen-and in the process, ruin Thanksgiving dinner. Clean your microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher, but don’t use the self-clean cycle on the oven. The cycle can be very difficult on the appliance and cause it to malfunction, and you’ll be ordering take-out Chinese food instead of enjoying your turkey.
Make sure that your freezer is defrosted and organized so that leftovers have a home for the holidays. This may mean that you have to clear blocked freezer vents so that the freezer operates at full capacity.
Deodorize Your Home
The delicious smells of dinner wafting from the kitchen are usually enough to put your holiday guests at ease. However, many homeowners become accustomed to the smell of their own homes-a smell which, unfortunately, isn’t always pleasant to guests.
If dinner and the giant blue spruce in your living room aren’t doing enough to cover up a musty smell, put a few drops of lavender oil or vanilla on your furnace filter and turn the fan on. A subtle, pleasant smell will fill your home and ensure that unpleasant odors are eliminated.
As you prepare your home for the holidays from the outside in, you’ll help your family and friends feel welcome and comfortable. At this special time of year, your relationships are something to celebrate, and your prepared-for-the-holidays home is a great place to do so.
Contact your local specialists for help with professional projects (like a thorough street sweeping) and enjoy the season surrounded by loved ones and a beautiful home.