• Teneicia Roundtree

The To Do’s and Do Not's of Holiday Prep!

The holidays are a wonderful time filled with friends and family. The cleaning before and after…. Not so wonderful. It can be overwhelming to clean the house, buy the gifts, decorate the tree, and actually enjoy yourself.

If you research the topic, you will discover there are many different ways to prepare for guests. The range of differences is broad. From simple, company-ready preparedness all the way to the Martha Stewart, 5-star hotel standard. Try not to place high expectations on creating a stellar experience. Instead, take joy in the process of creating a relaxing haven.

The following tips are here to help you do just that... enjoy!

Clean the Microwave

All of your appliances take a beating during this holiday, so make sure they start out on the right foot. Take out the microwave's rotating tray and scrub it or pop it into the dishwasher. Wipe down the microwave's interior with a soft cloth and a little soapy water. Make sure its air vents are clear of dust and grease.

If the microwave is an over-the-range model and provides general kitchen ventilation, be especially thorough cleaning its vent surfaces of greasy dust. If you don't have spray degreaser on hand, use a soft cloth moistened with ammoniated glass cleaner.

Don’t clean the Oven

The self-clean cycle is hard on your oven—and the last thing you want is for it to fail right before the big day. Give a quick cleaning around the top burner elements and leave the rest be. Save the big cleanup until leftovers are safely nestled in the fridge. It'll need it by then.

Make sure the Refrigerator is Ready

Clear blocked freezer vents. Reposition food in the freezer compartment to clear the area around vents. Clear cold air vents. Reposition food in the fresh food compartment to allow cold air from the freezer to move more freely. Gain critically needed space by putting all drinks on ice in a cooler. Fix Loose Screws and Door Handles, and ensure the door closes tight behind you.

Avoid Chemical Laden Air Fresheners

There is no need to spray a chemical laden air freshens in your home. You'll achieve a fresher scent by doing the following: Remove trash regularly and open several windows. Burn 100% essential oils in an oil burner or a high quality candle. The scent is fresh and doesn't smell like you’re trying to cover something up.

Take Time for the Small Details, but Don’t Get Lost in Them

Some ways to pamper your guest include:

Place chilled bottled water in a container and set out store bought chocolate. Wrap guest towels in a festive ribbon or set up a relaxing chair with throws, magazines, books and a portable music player (including music). Have extra closet and drawer space to accommodate their belongings, plus extra pillows and blankets. Finally, be sensitive to your guests dietary needs, and encourage them to help themselves to the pantry.

Final Safety Checklist

Change smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries. Keep jumper cables on hand, especially if you're expecting a big crowd. Always seems somebody's got a bad battery, and it's usually the car that will block everybody in the driveway. Double-check your first aid kit. At the very least, you should have burn cream, ice packs, and bandages to deal with kitchen-related cuts. Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen.

And there you have it! By applying some simple do’s and don’ts, you and your guests will be set for a fun, relaxing visit. Have a Merry Christmas!

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