Before family or friends come to visit over the holidays, take care of these tasks to make your home safe and comfortable.
During the holiday season, visits from friends and family are common for many of us. Are you ready? Before company arrives, it pays to look around your home and see it as your guests might.
If you’ve been living with adrippy faucet, apoorly flushing toilet, or asticking doorfor months, you may have forgotten that these things need attention. A little TLC can make your home friendlier, safer, and more comfortable for your guests. Here are eight things to think about:
1Be sure your appliances are in good working orderas you’ll probably need all of them. For repairs you can do yourself, see the Repair & Care articles in the Appliance section. For repairs beyond the scope of your abilities, call anappliance repairperson. If it’s time to replace a cooking appliance, check out your options inBuying Ranges, Ovens & Cooktops.
2Explore amenities that make a great guest room.Have an empty dresser and a luggage rack on hand. Make sure there is plenty of empty space on tables and nightstands for books, jewelry, and other small items.
3Fix plumbing problems.Save your guests from having to put up with a poorly flushing toilet or the drip-drip of a leaky faucet. Make sure the plumbing works properly, particularly in the bathroom they will be using. For information on making basic repairs, see the sections onHow to Fix a Dripping Faucet,Sink & Drain Repairs, andSeptic Tank Care & Maintenance.
4Don’t leave your guests in the dark.Be sure lamps, lights, outlets, and switches work. See the section onElectrical Systemsfor information about easy fixes.
5Solve door and window problems.Doors and windows should close and latch properly to ensure both security and privacy. For information about how to weatherstrip a door, repair a windowpane, and other window and door problems, see the sections onHow to Repair a DoorandHow to Repair Windows.
6Make sure your home is safe for kidsif small children will be among your visitors. Many accidents happen during the excitement of visits, particularly when children are on unfamiliar turf. For safety steps you can take, seeGeneral Childproofing Techniques.
7Organize your guest closet.Because most guest closets double as general storage, they tend to be stuffed with clutter. A great way to maximize a closet’s storage capacity, and provide plenty of hanging space for guests’ clothing, is to outfit the closet with storage organizers. SeeClosets & Organization.
8Be sure your fireplace is in good working condition.When you gather around the fire with friends and family, the last thing you want is to be driven away by smoke or, far worse, a chimney fire. Chimneys require cleaning periodically. You can have this done by a professional chimney sweep, or, in some cases, you may be able to do it yourself. For more information about this, seeChimney Repairs.