​​How to prepare your house for the holidays

Holiday Preparation

The holiday season is upon us. At Hardenbergh Insurance, we want to make sure you're well prepared this holiday season for all of your festivities and holiday gift giving. But before any of these joyous events kick off, you have to do two things; clean and prep! See, preparation is key. Yes, it can be annoying, but with the proper plan, you are guaranteed to eliminate the stress. (or at the least, reduce them) Next, is cleaning, but you already know how that goes. No matter what happens this year, make sure to have fun and be safe.

Here are a few key ideas to help you out, this holiday season for your home:

Analyze and Prioritize

  • Take a quick look inside and around the house (garden, porch, parking area etc.) to figure out what all unnecessary items are strewn here and there. Go through each room starting with the public areas in the house (kitchen, den, guest rooms, bathrooms etc.) to identify similar items that won’t be needed any time soon and are not emergency kit supplies. Once the mental list is complete, now is the time to declutter these spaces. Pick up each of these items and stash them in boxes, bags inside the basement, garage, closets that are out-of-the-way. Do not spend time and energy in sorting through the clutter and decide about their reusability in near future. There will be plenty of time once the guests depart.
  • Take care of the home and kitchen appliances – with professional help, if required
  • Check the conditions of all household appliances, including the kitchen apparatus and heating system. The holiday season puts every appliance through a most exhaustive use compared to the rest of the year and last minute mishaps with a malfunctioning oven or a faulty heating system could only add up to the stress level of the host. Avoid such nightmares and be wise to seek professional help if something smells like trouble in the first place.


Safety measures

  • There maybe several aspects of safety that the host should attend to before the holiday gathering and activities start.Check all the lights outside and inside the house – replace all burned up bulbs. Keep flashlights and extra set of batteries handy as backup.
  • Childproof the nooks and corners of the house. Move all sharp objects, chemicals and other harmful items away from the reach of kids. Remind the parents in the guest-list to bring chairs and other accessories with harnesses to keep the infants and babies safe. Keep the cupboards and glass cabinets locked, unless they contain everyday need items.
  • Take care of the slip-and-fall hazards. Fix loose steps, porch rails, deck boards etc. and replace slippery rugs, mats and carpets. Use double sided tapes or other such tools to make these things stay where they are expected.
  • Check and replace, if necessary, the batteries of smoke detectors in each room and do a test drill to make sure that they work properly.
  • Shovel ice and dirt off the entryway, as soon as possible after each snowfall, in order to avoid cleaning up a heavier mess at one go.


Upgrade the look and feel of the house – within budget

Polish/paint/replace the front door. It’s the first spot the guests will lay eyes on, so let it have a very welcoming and festive look. Keep it well lt. if possible, paint the entire house exterior. Mow the lawn. Decorate the house and garden along with the porch and entryway using fancy bulbs, holiday wreaths, welcome signs etc. creatively. Use scented candles, room fresheners to make the house smell inviting too. Have coat stand or a portable wardrobe for guests to hang their coats and hats inside the hall near the entrance. In the kitchen, add a few extra tools around the table and racks on the wall to manage the visiting guests and the extra plates and silverwares etc. But in all these preparations, don’t go overboard and stick to the budget. Consider economic alternatives to make the house sparkle within budget.


Stock up on the essentials

Stock up on extra toilet paper rolls, face and hand towels, bath towels, napkins, soaps, shampoos etc. and put them on racks with open display or transparent cover, so that the guests can locate them easily.


Make it a family adventure

In all the rush and effort for these preparations, the most positive outcome would come if only the whole family worked on the mission together. Do not over-stress by trying to do everything alone. Involve the family members to share in the responsibility and pay heed to their ideas and opinions. After all, the festivals are best celebrated with friends and family together. So, bring on the festive cheers even in the preparatory stage itself. Most importantly, have fun!