With Thanksgiving approaching and the winter holidays around the corner, there are things to look forward to (and prepare for) this time of year, even with the adjustments we are having to make because of Covid-19. Here are a few ideas to get a jump on holiday prep so you can relax and savor the simple pleasures of the season!
1. Replace floor protectors on chairs. Avoid letting dining chairs do damage to your hardwood floors: Check their feet and add or replace floor-protecting pads if needed. Felt pads come in self-adhesive and nail-in varieties; if you’re using the self-adhesive type, be sure to clean the base of each chair foot thoroughly and allow it to dry before applying.
2. Examine the sump pump. If you have a sump pump in your basement as protection in case of flooding, make sure it is working properly before the rainy season really gets going, and then repair or replace it if needed. It’s always a good idea to check your basement for water after experiencing a lot of rain.
3. Check paths, stairs and railings for safety. Slips and falls on ice and snow can happen anywhere, but they’re even more likely if the footing is uneven or a railing isn’t sturdy. Take a walk around your home’s exterior, paying special attention to walkways, stairs and railings, and make repairs as needed.
4. Show some kindness to feathered friends. Nonmigrating birds can use extra help when wild food becomes scarce and water sources freeze. Stock up now on birdseed so you can keep those feeders full, and consider providing a water source as well.
5. Deep-clean bathrooms. Aim to schedule a deep cleaning of the bathrooms so a quick surface wipe-down will be all you’ll need to get things looking spotless again during the holidays.
6. Check bathtub/shower caulk and repair if needed. While cleaning the bathroom, notice the condition of the caulk around the tub and shower surround. Cracked or worn out caulk can allow water to seep into your home’s framing. If you spot a problem area, get it replaced as soon as possible.
7. Inspect the home’s exterior, and then cover gaps. Cover any gaps you find around the exterior of your home that may be large enough for a mouse to enter — it doesn’t take much space for these little critters to sneak in. Cover exterior vents with hardware cloth, and attach door sweeps to the bottoms of exterior doors to stop furry creatures from squeezing in when the weather turns chilly. Check your garage door sweep too for gaps on the edges.
8. Remove the last of the fall leaves. Aim to fit in one final raking and gutter-cleaning session once the last leaves have fallen — but before the first snow.
9. Fix plumbing issues before the holiday crunch. Have a slow drain, stuck garbage disposal or finicky toilet? Avoid waiting until the busy holiday season, when it may be harder to find a plumber who’s available. Fix it now.
10. Stock up for winter. Taking the time now to stock up on winter gear and supplies will mean less stress when that first big storm hits.
- Check snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed.
- If you use a fireplace or wood stove, order firewood.
- Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt.
- Restock emergency kits for car and home.
- If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel.
Lastly, if you find yourself struggling this winter and need any help please reach out. I can connect you with contractors, pick up some must needed items for you, or simply be a resource for cheer!