Get Your Home Clean for Christmas

We’re just ten days away from Christmas, and you probably have your shopping done and the menu planned. In your haste to finish these annual tasks, however, you may well have forgotten one of the most important: cleaning your home. You will likely have many relatives and friends coming by over the next two weeks, and you want to make the best impression possible this time of year.

Here are some tips on how you can get your home clean for Christmas:

Inspection

Think about where your guests will be during the days ahead, and make a list of what needs to be done in these spots. Prioritize the ones which need the most attention (eg. the dining room and living room are high traffic areas, the basement not so much).

Clean the Kitchen

Make sure that all food preparation areas are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Remove any superfluous materials in the general area; you will need as much room as possible to work and move around freely.

Eliminate the Clutter

You with have a lot of people, gifts, coats, boots, and other things to deal with, so try to make some extra room. Look around each of your rooms and decide on what won’t be needed. These things can go into the basement or attic for now (or into the garbage, if you have been putting it off).

Enlist Help

The family enjoys Christmas together, so there’s no reason that everyone living under this roof can’t help to clean it. After all, they were the ones who made it a mess in the first place!

Cheat

The crack in the living room wall you didn’t have time to fix? Christmas decorations can hide it for now. That stain the dog made on the rug in the corner? Try putting the Christmas tree there this year.

There is nothing wrong with a little cheating when you are down to the wire. However, you must promise to add these forgotten tasks to your New Year’s Resolutions list.

Happy Holidays!

Getting Your Home Ready for the Winter Months

OK Canadians, Thanksgiving is now behind us, which means Halloween is around the corner, which, alas, means that winter is imminent. Whether you like the colder months or not, there is no getting around them if you are planning on staying in the country. Even if you plan to flee South for a few months, it is still necessary to make sure you house is ready to withstand all of that ice, snow, and wind.

Here are some things that should be on your “Ready for Winter?” checklist:

Check your roof

There is nothing worse than trying to deal with a roof leak (or worse) during the height of winter. Go up on the roof (or have a professional inspector do it for you) and see if there are leaks or signs of potential trouble in the coming months; have repairs done now. While you are up there, clean out the eavestroughs; not doing so can lead to ice and leaking problems.

Mulch leaves

Rather than continuing to rake the leaves off of your lawn, use your mower to mulch them. They will decompose over the winter and that will help to sustain your grass during those long months of ice and snow cover.

Get that chimney cleaned

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, you will want to use it over the winter. In addition to having enough firewood, you need to make sure that the smoke can easily exit the chimney, lest it back up and come back down into your home. A chimney inspector will let you know whether you need a cleaning and also perform a safety check, so that you won’t have to worry about chimney fires or carbon monoxide.

Avoid frozen pipes

While the pipes in your home may have proper insulation to avoid freezing and bursting in February, you still need to make sure that there is no water in your exterior faucet and lawn-irrigation system.