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Preparing your home for the holidays

The holidays are fast approaching. With that comes the hordes of friends and family to your home. Are you prepared for this onslaught of holiday traffic? Does your house look as good as it possibly can? Is your property safe for visitors of all shapes, sizes, and ages?

Make a good first impression with your entranceway


In some parts of the country, the holidays bring with them the potential for snow and ice — elements that homeowners must take care to remove. That's not usually the case here in the Greater New Orleans area. But that doesn't mean there aren't obstacles your visitors might encounter on the way to your front door. Make sure to clear away any objects or overgrowth. Not only will your property look nicer; it's also a safety hazard. You also want to fix loose exterior steps or deck boards.

Make sure your bathroom and kitchen are functioning flawlessly


Your bathroom and kitchen areas are two essential rooms in your home. Without them, your guests likely won't have a good time.

In your bathroom:
  • Replace your tiles if necessary, or try adding new grout to give a fresh look.
  • Make sure you have plenty of guest bath and hand towels
  • Take care of your toilet. That means making sure it flushes well and is reliable.
In your kitchen:
  • Tighten up your cabinets (it takes just a few minutes with a screwdriver).
  • Sharpen knives.
  • Check the oven temperature. You can do this with a tool like the Heat Seeker from General Tools. If need be, adjust the oven's temperature using the instructions found in your manual.
  • Inspect the dishwasher. That includes removing food debris and detergent residue.
  • Inspect the refrigerator. Your fridge will open and close hundreds of times over the holidays. Tighten any loose door handles, clear blocked freezer vents, and clear cold air vents.
  • Clean the microwave (but not the oven). It takes minutes (if not seconds) to clean your microwave. But don't clean your oven. The self-clean cycle puts a lot of stress on the appliance. The last thing you want to happen is for your oven to fail during the holidays.

The final safety checklist to follow as you prepare your home for the holidays

  • Make your home childproof. That includes covering electrical outlets, moving lamps and vases away from table edges and blocking off stairways to prevent falls.
  • Change your smoke/CO detector batteries.
  • Keep jumper cables on hand, in case someone's car battery dies.
  • Double-check your first-aid kit.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs.
The holidays are an exciting time to gather with friends and family. Take some time to prepare your home for the holidays so that this time of year delivers on its promise of treasured family memories.
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