20 crucial projects to get done before hosting Christmas
Ensure your guests will be comfortable by getting these important projects done before Christmas.
Be honest here—anything that is expired or hasn’t been touched in months should be tossed.
Empty out the fridge and scrub the shelves and walls with a mix of half vinegar and half water.
Cleaning out the fridge will get your kitchen ready for Chrsitmas because now you’ll have more room to store your delicious leftovers.
Why stop at the fridge? Check out our essential guide to the dos and don’ts of cleaning, to save you time and effort around the home.
Look for any clutter around the living room, entryway, kitchen and any prime places people will gather.
Get rid of old mail, magazines, newspapers and spent candles.
Dust the coffee and end tables, mantel and media centre, this will help get your home ready for Christmas.
It’s easier than you think to clear the clutter and turn your life around.
If the toilet in the guest bathroom keeps running, now’s the best time to fix it to get your home ready for Christmas.
And make sure nothing is leaking and toilet handles aren’t loose.
The toilet may be the smallest room in the house but there’s no reason it can’t have style.
The last thing you want to deal with on Christmas is a leaky tap.
And you can fix almost any drippy single-lever kitchen faucet in about an hour.
If the tap’s dripping it probably needs a new washer.
To replace it, turn off the water supply and turn the tap fully on.
Place a plug in the plughole to avoid losing small parts.
Use this handy hint if there’s a funky smell lurking in your couch or upholstered chair: Sprinkle a generous amount of regular baking soda onto the fabric and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
The baking soda will help to release odours and break up some light stains in the fabric.
After about 20 minutes, remove the baking soda—and the funky smell—with a handheld vacuum or a hose attachment for your large vacuum.
Sofa stil smell? Probably time to make a new one.
Here’s another chance to get honest with yourself.
When was the last time you wiped down the blinds or washed the living room curtains?
Pet fur and dander, dust and mildew can all wreak havoc on those with allergies.
Get your home ready for Christmas and prepare for all of your guests health needs.
Venetian blinds can be notoriously tricky to dust, but using this simple technique, you can get them clean in no time.
It’s great that your mother-in-law said she’d bring her famous green bean casserole to bake at your house.
But do you really want her to see the current situation in your oven?
Get it cleaned before she shows up without using harsh chemicals.
Take a look at these five common oven problems and how to solve them.
If you have the will and a whole day (or two) to yourself, you can refinish the hardwood floors in the major areas of your home.
You don’t necessarily need to sand, but if the floor is damaged enough to warrant buffing, check out your local hardware store and rent the equipment for anywhere from 4-48 hours.
The wide range of materials on offer for flooring can make selecting what to lay a daunting task, especially if you want to install it DIY and stick to a budget.
If you’re having overnight guests, be sure to get all the bedding, including sheets, blankets and comforters washed before they arrive.
Clean the ceiling fan (or fix it if it’s wobbly), wash the rug and make sure the room is vacuumed and dusted.
And leave the room smelling great with this delightful lemony potpourri.
No, we aren’t talking a feat of woodworking precision, but a simple sawhorse thanksgiving table that is a snap to set up for entertaining and folds down when not in use.
And sawhorses are very easy to build and you can use an old door or other flat slab of wood (or melamine) as the tabletop.
Whether covered with a tablecloth or left as a rustic centrepiece, your entire family will be happy with enough room to dine in style.
Handyman reader Damien Ryan’s girlfriend gave him the difficult task of building her a 10-seater dining table in time for Christmas. We think he did really well!
Test out all the dining chairs you plan to use to get your dining room ready for Christmas and fix any chairs that are wobbly.
And if you think you’ll need extra chairs, check with neighbours or friends to see if they have any you can borrow.
Old timber furniture that is structurally sound can be easily reinvented using paint, with good preparation the key to achieving a professional finish.
Do you have a piece of upholstered furniture that has worn or torn fabric?
Don’t worry! You can replace the fabric with a design of your own choice.
In fact, you may be able to make it better than ever!
To give an old chair a new look, all you need is a couple of metres of fabric, a staple gun, scissors and a packet of tacks.
It would be hard to prove, but it is commonly held that approximately half of the dirt and dust in your home gets inside on your shoes and boots.
Keep mats at each exterior door, one outside and one inside to be extra careful.
Shake them out away from open windows and wash or hose them down regularly.
Speaking of dust, have you ever tried to dust an awkward item like a lampshade? Normal dusting methods like cloths can be difficult and ineffective.
Take advantage of one of those beautiful afternoons to give your rugs a deep clean.
Take area rugs outside and give them a good shake (or a good whack), then give them a thorough vacuum with your shop vac.
Don’t forget our interior carpets—you can rent a carpet cleaner and give your carpet a deep clean before you start hosting holiday gatherings.
Follow these great tips for cleaning just about everything with ordinary household products.
Make sure to stock the bathroom your guests will be using with plenty of toilet paper and clean towels.
And put a package of cleaning wipes under the sink so you can quickly clean up the sink, counter and toilet when needed.
Save space by using pullout rails to store towels in the bathroom.
Keep condiments and spices in an easy-to-carry rack to free up countertop space.
You always want salt, cooking oils and your favorite spices next to the stove because you use them every day.
But they don’t have to take up valuable counter space full time.
Place them all in a caddy that you can instantly stow in a cabinet after cooking.
You’ll find caddies in various shapes, sizes and prices at any store that sells kitchenware.
Check out this bamboo caddy you can make at home.
You can easily organise your dry goods by storing them inside jars and canisters.
Not only can you create uniformity in your pantry storage this way, but you can also see at a glance where your lentils, rice, or oats are stashed.
Arranging these jars on display on open shelves can also give your kitchen a rustic, homestead-chic look.
We’ve seen some clever kitchen storage ideas over the years and while clever innovations are useful (think secret drawers and hooks on ceilings), nothing beats the convenience of a large, well structured pantry.
Use those leftover closet racks as cabinet organisers.
Trim the racks to length with a hacksaw and then mount screws to the backside of the face frame to hold the racks in place.
The backside of the rack simply rests against the back of the cabinet.
Now you can easily store and find your cranberry sauce and the rest of your inventory at a glance with this pantry storage solution.
Another trick is to create a drawer divider to better organise your herbs and spices.
Make sure you’ll have enough plates, glasses, silverware and serving dishes for all your guests and holiday meals.
And if you think you’ll need more of anything, ask a friend or neighbour if you can borrow what you need.
Once you have the plates sorted, try these unique Christmas place card ideas.
Fill your cupboard with clean and sterile take-away containers so guests can take home any leftovers.
This article first appeared on Family Handyman.