Get Your House Ready For the Christmas Holidays
December is less than a week away and the kids only have a few weeks of school left before the Christmas Holidays. We’ve compiled a handy list of some things you can do around the house in preparation for Christmas and the school holidays.
6 tips to prepare for the Christmas Holidays
Maintain your Backyard
The weather is getting warmer and it’s time to pay some more attention to the backyard. The Christmas Holidays fall right at the time of the year when snakes and other unwanted pests are likely to take residence in your backyard. To prevent these unwanted guests:
- Mow the lawn – keeping the grass cut will prevent nasty reptiles hiding where you can’t see them.
- Weed the gardens – get the gardens nice and clean too. Remove and weeds, cut back overgrown plants and get the areas nice and tidy.
- Pot plants on feet, logs, bricks, old toys… remove anything that is on the ground. All these things can be hiding spots for snakes.
Other than taking steps to deter snakes from your backyard, the end of year is a great time to bring other parts of your backyard back into working order.
- Clean the pool – if you let your pool get a little out of control over winter now is the time to get it back in shape! Sometimes pools can take a few weeks to prepare for swimming so if you get in now it’ll be ready for Christmas and the New Year!
- Check the outdoor dining set – Your outdoor table may have deteriorated a little over winter.
- Get the BBQ ready – make sure the BBQ is working and ready for those hot summer nights. Double check the gas bottles and replace them where necessary.
Most of the creepy crawlies disappeared over winter but the cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes and spiders are starting to come out again. Organise a pest inspection or have your pest control reapplied.
Check your appliances
The extra heat over summer time can take a toll on your appliances. There is nothing worse than a fridge or oven breaking just before Christmas day! Here are some appliances and what you should do to ensure they’ll be in perfect working order all through the Christmas Holidays:
- Fridge – check the temperature in your fridge to make sure it is keeping everything cool. It might be worthwhile adjusting the fridge to summer settings now to avoid food spoiling early. Found any leaks or broken parts? Call the repair person now and ensure it’s fixed before work stops for the year.
- Oven – it’s time to give that oven the thorough once over! Clean it, check the thermostat, and have any broken or deteriorated parts replaced.
- Fans – if your fans have been off all winter they may have accumulated some dust! Give them the once over before turning them on to avoid a shower of dusty snow.
- Most importantly, Air-Conditioners! It’s time to clean the filters and have them serviced! Make sure the filters are cleaned as this will help them run smoother on the really hot days. If you notice any leaks, get them sorted now. Also, don’t forget to check the outside part of the unit too!
Get your home ready for the hot days
Pumping the air-con is one way to get the house cool but it can take a toll on the electricity bill. Here are a few things that you can do stay comfortable without the pricetag:
- Keep your curtains and blinds closed – keeping your home dark on the REALLY hot days will help keep the temperature inside comfortable.
- Turn the air con on early but keep it at around 23 degrees. Blasting the air con wastes electricity and doesn’t always cool down your house. If you know it’s going to be a hot day, turn the unit on early.
- Check the gaps under your doors – excess heat can leak in under the door and disturb your cooling efforts. Check your door and window seals for gaps and openings that shouldn’t be there.
- Have a pet plan – a hot day can really have their toll on your pet. Whether you’re going on holiday or staying at home, make sure you think about how you will keep your pet comfortable on those hot days. Make sure they will have access to plenty of shade and cold water, and where possible let them stay inside and out of the heat.
- Take advantage of those night time westerly breezes – let mother nature cool your home for free. It might be a good opportunity to check all of the flyscreens to make sure the mosquitos don’t take advantage of you while you take advantage of a cool change.
Do a household Safety Check
Unlike the rest of the year, more people are going to be in the house around the Christmas Holidays. Take the time to go through your home and look for any broken or dangerous things: broken powerpoints, broken furniture, sharp edges. It’s surprising how much wear and tear your home can endure. Fixing up the little things now can help to keep your kids and pets safe.
It is important to also consider ensuring your home is prepared for the wild summer weather.
If you forgot to check your smoke detectors when Daylight Savings started, now is the time to do that. Make sure that you have a bushfire escape plan, particularly if you are in a bushfire prone area. Remove leaves and twigs from your gutters and debris from your backyard. Keep flammable materials (gas bottles, fuel for the lawn mower, etc) in a cool and safe place.
Prepare for the storms too! Secure the loose items in your backyard from gusty winds. Plan where cars, trampolines, pool toys, and outdoor furniture will be safely moved to. This will help you avoid a clean up operation after the storm.
All of the fancy new Christmas presents will fill your home with more stuff. Spring Clean your home. Throw away unused toys, clothes, and excess furniture. As a result, you won’t have to worry about finding space for everything in the days after Christmas!
Finally, sit back, relax and enjoy the time you have with your family!