Planning to celebrate this Christmas with friends and family in your home? Make it easier on yourself with simple hacks and DIY to-dos you’ll be thankful for, when you’re in the thick of it this December.
You’ve been waiting this long to finally celebrate and open the doors to your abode...why not make it easier on yourself by tackling all the simple domestic projects and winter DIY jobs long before Christmas goes into full swing.
Make the festive season go all the more smoothly so you can go stress free into party planning mode and enjoy the buzz and excitement of decorating your home on the day.
Kitchen Maintenance Jobs
Your Kitchen will be the hub and hardest working part of the home. Now is the time to start checking your major appliances, and if necessary start replacing parts or equipment that are beyond repair.
Start by cleaning the gunk or accumulated emissions off major kitchen appliances for example:
Check & Clean Your Dishwasher
- Check you dishwasher for any blockages due to food waste
- Give it a proper clean by using a toothbrush and a cleaning aid to give it a once over.
- Replace any parts for example, wheels, cutlery baskets or handles that need fixing by getting on to your local supplier or retailer.
Clean, Declutter & Defrost Fridge and Freezer
- Defrost your freezer so that you’re not wasting precious food storage space due to ice blockages
- Use this opportunity to declutter and remove any ‘science experiments’ aka old forgotten jars of condiments or super frozen unidentifiable leftovers to make way for all those groceries.
- Once done you can create extra room and clean out old stains and spills.
- You may even want to check your appliance supplier for an extra rack or shelf accessory
- Check the temperature in your fridge to make sure it is working efficiently. To check on its performance use a refrigerator thermometer. If you find that it is not reaching the lower temperatures you are setting, the condenser coils may need cleaning. The condenser section should be vacuumed every 3-6 months.
Get Your Oven & Stove Cleaned and Ready
- Clean out the filters in your kitchen extractor aka hood vent. These kitchen fixtures are absorbing steam, smoke and cooking odors on a daily basis and will inevitably get dirty (and less effective) over time. Clean them out and invest in some new filter inserts so that it will be working to its fullest capacity. You don’t want a slimy layer of oily gunk greeting you when the kitchen is a busy hotspot. Use a mild detergent or a spray of a degreaser to clean the parts, or put it in the dishwasher if the manufacturer’s instructions allow it.
- Clean the inside of your oven if you haven’t done it in some time. An accumulation of sediment will lead to a smoky oven that may also set off your fire alarm when you’re cooking at high temperatures.
- Pay special attention to the glass viewing pane up front so that you will have a decent view of the multiple Christmas bakes and roasts to come.
Declutter Your Way to Stress Free Party Season
Festive Party Season usually involves stocking up on supplies, groceries and sundries. The more space you generate for storage now, the easier it will be later.
Clean Out Your Recycling
Make way for all the packaging and bottles you will be disposing of during the festive season. So off-load as much as you can now into the respective neighbourhood recycling banks to make room.
Create a Secondary Pantry
Look outside your kitchen for all the areas that may serve as a secondary pantry.
For example, your outdoor shed being naturally cold is a perfect outdoor fridge for drinks, beer and other sealed dry goods like kitchen rolls or spare glasses.
Clean a corner, clear a shelf or add a new one to create spare kitchen storage. You can check out some of our storage items here.
Clear & Restock Your Utility Area
This is a key location for decluttering too. Entertaining usually means a lot of laundry, so be sure to stock up on cleaning productsand clear out any mending projects or old clothing that need to be seen too.
Make sure you have washed and ironed party staples like napkins and tablecloths and have them to hand to save you the hassle on the party days so you can focus on other things.
You might have to use this area for storage of gifts or as a secondary pantry too - so all the more reason to recoup on space.
General Repair Jobs, Touch-Ups and Mending
This would also be a good time to check your kitchen and other parts of the home for fixtures decorative and functional, that may need mending, gluing back together or fixing.
Why? Well it just means a less run-down looking home when you’re entertaining guests. When you’re busy entertaining, the last thing you’ll want is bits of your kitchen or furniture coming away in your hands when you need it the most.
Knobs, Knockers and Handles
Check door knobs, drawer handles and latches to make sure they are secure. Secure them back if screws have come loose or if they are missing and need to be replaced.
Treat Wooden Surfaces
This would apply especially to your main dining room table or other wooden furniture that will be in the forefront. These wooden surfaces may be vulnerable to wear from guests who spill or don’t use coasters.
Use a wood-specific oil or natural wax to protect your wooden furniture surfaces from marks. Use an oil that is appropriate for that surface.
Before doing any of these treatments, be sure to clean the surface with a microfibre cloth to remove dirt and debris and use it again to remove excess oil after treating the wood.
Filling in the Cracks
There’s a lot you can do with some simple polyfiller - seal up those cracks outside and inside and fill any gaping holes in your exteriors before covering up with paint.
Small Paint Touch Ups
Be sure to keep a can of all your house paint colours in stock if you don’t have them already at hand. Now is a good time to get that small brush out and some masking tape to begin attacking those worn out areas in need of paint touch-ups internally.
Areas that tend to need attention include:
- Scuffed wall areas at the back of chairs and cabinets/tables that have been set against the wall
- Areas where you may have rising damp - this would be a quick cosmetic fix only
- Locations at the back of doors or cabinets where repeated contact with door frames and handle will lead to marking and cracks.
- Worn down handles, lips and edges that have heavy traffic and friction with human contact.
- Look down to the floor boards and sideways at corners in the busy intersections in your home. These areas usually take a lot of grubby hands (or shoes) and get marked over time.
Some simple electrical jobs in advance can also be helpful.
- You may be done with the outdoor lighting but as you add more appliances and indoor decorative lights indoors, be sure to have a few extension leads on standby.
- Replace lightbulbs that have been depleted or blown. This is a good time to replace harsher white light or blue-light bulbs with a softer more ambient warmer, yellower glow especially when restoring lamps. You should also be ensuring you use energy efficient LED bulbs.
Turn up the Dial on ‘Cosy”
True hospitality can be evident in the unseen details like keeping the house cosy and snug.
- If you have not already, it’s definitely time to invest in some draught excluders . Fit them into all doors and windows if you can and you’ll save on heating .
Have A Hearth You Can Be Proud Of
Christmas and New years is the one time many of you will be gathering your family and friends around the fireplace or hearth.
There will be family pictures taken here, presents unwrapped, Christmas movies, party pieces, hot cups of cocoa or a whiskey post-dinner… so many precious moments will be unfolding here.
Make sure your fireplace or hearth is looking its best, working efficiently and well stocked up.