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Preparing your home to entertain over the holiday season

selective focus photography of Christmas tree

Does anyone else feel like they blinked an eye back in March and all of a sudden we’re nearing the end of ?November?? It can’t just be us…

Time really does fly, but instead of fretting over the approaching holiday season with its weekend barbecues, dinner parties, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, get prepared now.

You know the old saying “a stitch in time saves nine”? Well, now is a good time to put it to use. As we get closer and closer to midsummer in Australia, our days are longer and we are blessed with a few extra hours of daylight. These come in super handy when your list of tasks to accomplish before Christmas appears to be growing exponentially (and all of this on top of work, family and end-of-year social commitments).

To help you out, we’ve narrowed it down to a list of essential tasks to check off before we really get stuck into the silly season.

  1. Clean up and declutter. To prepare for a rise in unexpected house guests, try to create and commit to a weekly cleaning roster that involves jobs like vacuuming, mopping and weeding in the garden. You can maintain the overall tidiness of your home by asking every family member to commit to cleaning up after themselves in the morning before the leave the house and at night right before bed time. It’s also a good idea to get rid of unwanted items and toys before the holidays to make room for presents, decorations etc.
  2. Prepare your outdoor entertainment areas. This should include your pool area, barbecue, decking and garden. Trust us, you’re going to want to make the most of the balmy nights by basking in the outdoor area. Check that your pool cleaner and filter are working properly (they will be working overtime in the coming months). Also make sure to take the time to confirm you have enough stock of your outdoor cleaning and maintenance products (pool chemicals/salts, weed killer, barbecue cleaning tools). This time of year is also perfect to get an inspector around to check that your pool fence is functioning correctly, to help put your mind at ease when there’s little ones running around.
  3. Make sure your home is safe in the event of a fire. You’ll want to rest easy knowing the family is safe over the next couple of hotter months, so it is crucial to take the right steps in ensuring this. Make sure all smoke alarms in the house are working, change the batteries if need be. Invest in getting your gutters cleaned to ensure they are free of leaves and dried up twigs.
  4. Put aside time for big jobs. The fresh coat of paint you’ve been saving for a hot day? Giving your outdoor deck some TLC? It can be really hard to make time for these larger tasks during the year, but the end of year period is the time when things tend to slow down and you find yourself with a spare day or two to tick those bothersome jobs off your to do list.
  5. Plan and prepare. Christmas and New Year’s is a time to relax, recharge and spend quality time with family. Planning and preparation is key to ensure everyone is happy during this time. The last thing you want is for a family member to feel left out because you forget to make sure you had enough place settings at the table for everyone. You don’t want this time of year to turn frantic, so grab a notebook and spend an hour or so each night to make sure all your bases are covered.

Above all else… enjoy this time of year! Bask in the sunshine, go to the beach, play in the pool with your family! You deserve some time out after a big year.

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Emma

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