Top Tips On Preparing Your Home For The Holidays

As the last week of October was particularly brutal with two arctic cold fronts, morning lows dropped -14° twice. In fact,  Missoula endured its top 5 coldest October on record. Not everyone is happy with winter’s early arrival, as many homeowners are experiencing the symptoms of “PHS,” or Pre Holiday Stress. Otherwise known as “Festive Stress,” PHS is very real. According to a  recent poll by the American Psychological Association , up to 69 percent of people are experiencing the anxiety of not having enough time, 69 percent are stressed by the perception they have a lack of money, and 51 percent are worried about the pressure of giving and receiving gifts – all while prepping their home for the season’s extremely cold temperatures to come.

Well, the good news is there are ways to curb the onset of PHS, and one is the easiest to control: Getting your home ready for the holidays. With a bit little elbow grease, some helpful family tips, and plenty of deep breaths, you can experience a delightful, less-stressful holiday period here in Missoula.

Sparkling Clean Equals Sparkling Holidays

Before embarking on shopping expeditions or breaking out the holiday decorations, you want to perform a good, thorough cleaning of the house. It’s standard practice to clean your residence at the beginning of each season, but this pre-holiday task is significant, as most likely you will be expecting a slew of house guests and will surely want to make a lasting impression. Start cleaning before doing anything else, so you are not scrambling around the obstacle course you created when you put up the Christmas tree and all other kinds of festive decor. Start by dusting and polishing the walls and all furnishings. Scrub, sanitize, and polish all bathroom and kitchen fixtures, appliances, and floors.

Speaking of floors, you will want to perform a deep-cleansing using a powerful  carpet cleaning machine  to extract all the dirt and grime built up over the summer months. Carpets and rugs act as giant sponges that can harbor all kinds of nasty critters like germs and dust mites, and while consistent vacuuming is essential, it is not enough to completely remove soil and re-condition the fibers. You should also deep-clean your upholstery using the same method. Follow up with a good protector spray that contains Teflon.

Batten Down The Hatches

Prepare your kitchen and dining area by cleaning your oven, along with the microwave, refrigerator, and stove. Inspect and clean the dishwasher and sharpen your kitchen knives. Tighten up loose cabinet doors and drawers, replace burned-out lightbulbs, and bring in plenty of firewood if you have a fireplace.  Remove any clutter from your guest room and spruce it up for overnight guests, including a thorough cleansing and changing of the bed linen. You may also want to clear out any closet and drawer space to accommodate your visitors. Spice up the room by placing seasonal-scented candles and small decorations in strategic spots.

Safety Above All Else

The holiday season is already stressful enough, so you want to ensure there are no calamities and mishaps. Despite the beauty of our surroundings, Missoulians are all too familiar with the dangers of winter. Start by securing non-slip areas by fixing any loose steps or deck boards and any loose pavers on walkways. Address any other tripping and falling hazards and use double-sided tape to stick down slippery rugs. Shore up loose handrails and have an ample supply of deicer on hand to clear walkways and driveway.

If you plan on having younger family members over, be sure to child-proof your place by covering all electrical outlets, moving lamps and vases away from table edges, and blocking stairways to prevent hazardous falls. Also, double-check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace any batteries if required.

So there we have a few essential tasks to get your home ready for the season and ease some of your holiday stress. Once this is out of the way, you will gain a peace-of-mind that your home is ready for the winter festivities and you can gear up on decorating.