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How to Clean Salt Off Leather Shoes

Winter is here again, white and cold as ever. Slippery roads, ice dams on the roofs, puddles of snowmelt everywhere, heavy snow that blocks the streets – and the unpleasant surprises just keep on coming. First, it’s your front door that doesn’t open, then it’s your car that won’t start. On top of it, your leather shoes look unrecognisable because of all the dirt and salt stains.

That’s right, it’s winter and it’s going to stay here for a while. So keep your cool and take it easy because it’s not going away. Not yet. In the meantime, why don’t you find a way to take those nasty salt stains out? There are a few very effective tricks to combat salt stains. Have a look and find out what they are.

Method 1: Salt-Stain Remover

You need: a salt-stain remover, clean rag or cloth.

Many stores offer salt-stain removers. They can save the day when you are in a rush and want to have clean, presentable shoes. These removers are chemically-based, so perhaps it’s wise to opt for other alternatives if you don’t fancy the idea of using dangerous substances. Every bottle comes with instructions, so make sure you read the label for more information on how to use the product.

Lots of people opt for salt-stain removers because this is the easiest and fastest option. But it certainly isn’t the best. Have a look at other suggestions to find out the rest.

Method 2: Saddle Soap

Saddle Soap

You need: saddle soap, sponge, clean rag.

TenancyCleaners Willesden says that one of the most effective ways to clean leather shoes is to use saddle soap. The first step is to moisten a clean sponge. Apply a small amount of the soap to it and start rubbing the shoes. Move in circles to get the salt out. Then remove the excess soap with a dry, clean rag or cloth. Let the shoes air dry. Repeat the procedure as many times as necessary to get all the salt out of your leather shoes.

The benefits of using this method are that this product is made from natural ingredients, so it won’t damage your shoes. It contains no dangerous chemicals or VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Method 3: Vinegar

Vinegar

You need: a jar, clean rag or cotton ball, vinegar and water

Take a jar and pour one part vinegar and two parts water. Shake gently. Soak a cotton ball or a clean rag into the mixture and rub the shoes gently to remove any salt deposits from the surface. This solution works great on any type of shoes, such as faux leather, fabric, suede and leather shoes. Just remember to let the shoes dry after you finish cleaning. You can also use a clean towel to do the trick. Note: you may need to repeat the procedure until you remove all the salt.

There are two primary advantages of this method. Firstly, vinegar is an inexpensive ingredient that comes in handy for many situations in the household, from cooking to cleaning. Every housewife needs vinegar in her pantry. Secondly, it is non-hazardous. Cleaning your shoes, other objects or surfaces doesn’t harm them and it’s safe for you as well.

Remember that to prevent your shoes from damaging, you should take care of them. When they are soaked, make sure you place them in a warm place where they can air dry. Don’t leave them near fireplaces or radiators because this may cause more damage. A great way to speed up the drying process is to place newspaper inside the shoes. It will absorb part of the water.

5 Post-Holiday Cleaning Tips

The holidays are gone, the presents are open, the noisy parties are over, and the brilliance of Christmas has faded away. And the only thing you want now is to have a tidy home where you feel cozy and peaceful after you come back from work.

Post-holiday cleaning can be tedious but yet inevitable duty, for sure. It is best to do it a couple of days after New Year’s Eve. This way, you not only bring back the desired comfort but also attract positive energy and prosperity to your home, and, hopefully, they will accompany you for the next 365 days.

First of all, you need to approach seriously the idea for a clean home and not to ignore even a single corner. Otherwise, the Feng Shui principles won’t function properly, the air won’t be fresh and you will continue to wear the unpleasant burdens form the previous year. The beginning of the New Year requires from you to start it properly, namely, to eliminate the dirt in your thoughts and home, to start it all over again. Every new beginning is like a blank white sheet of paper; it has to be purely white, with nobody else’s doodles and stains from wine.

Post Holiday Cleaning

  • Turning the other page is a special moment and to make it such create that special atmosphere which will make you welcome the new gifts of the destiny. If you are afraid that you can’t handle it on your own, seek for the assistance of your closest friends and family or if you doubt in your own responsibility toward the task, then motivate yourself with some reward. And earn it.
  • The home cleaning has to begin with the removal of the Christmas tree and decorations – you have maintained the spirit of the holiday long enough. Plus, your beloved pets are hypnotized by the curious temptations which cannot usually be found there and frequently organize kidnapping of the decorative toys or eat the branches (natural or artificial).
  • Take away the lights and place them carefully in the box avoiding too much twisting, which may cause unpleasant surprises next year when it turns out that they don’t work anymore. Store the decorative items in boxes and wrap up the fragile toys in tissue paper. It is better to supply yourself with а box with various compartments where to arrange the bows, the garlands and the toys separately.
  • Don’t worry about the falling spines; you will hoover them later. If you prefer a natural tree to adorn your home for the holiday, you better wrap it up in a big bag and even a sheet so it wouldn’t make a carpet of pines on its way to reach the trash bin. If the tree is in a pot, you can plant it at some convenient place – in the garden, for instance.
  • Sort out all the decoration items in the succession through which you will use them the next year. You can iron the wrapping paper and keep it for the next occasion for making gifts, and put it in a convenient place where it will be noticeable by every family member.

How to Clean the Window Panes

Windows are one of the most pretentious and time-consuming home manipulations in terms of cleaning. They become dirty quite often, with every rain or a stronger wind, which sweeps the dust clouds at them, but this is not the reason making the cleaning so dislikeable – the real reason is, namely, that you have to be extremely diligent not to leave traces and spots from the cloth you scrub them with or form your fingertips.

And last but not least, you have to be careful about the pressure with which you press the fabric on the glass surface so not to cause eventual breakage.

There are some variants to make your work easier and smoother.

  • If you would like to prevent your windows from hoar-frosting, prepare a solution containing 30 grams pure spirit, 2,5 grams of glycerin and ten grams distilled water and just rub the windows with soft-fibered cloth dipped in the solution.
  • Every winter most certainly creates troubles due the forming of ice on the surface. How are you supposed to remove the ice rapidly and efficiently? Well, the answer is with the right agent.  And you will possess the right agent if you mingle 20 grams of salt and dissolve them in some water. Spread this liquid on the ice surface with a brush with long handle or a soft sponge. You will be astonished how promptly the ice will start to melt.
  • In order to avert your windows from sweating, you can mix 20 grams soft potassium soap, 10 grams of glycerin and two grams of turpentine. Apply the substance on the windows panes and polish with soft lint-free cloth.
  • Another recipe for efficacious windows home cleaning includes the dissolving 25 milliliters iodine. It is namely the iodine that eliminates the blotches; sometimes, its cleansing power is even better than the chemical one of other detergents. The simplest cleaning variant is a water solution with some drops of vinegar, and you can use it to achieve flawless results if your windows aren’t too dirty.
  • Before starting the actual window cleaning process, make sure you will remove the cobweb, if there is any. If it is possible, you can wash away the rough dirt with a garden hose. If there is a chance to remove the sliding window, you can wash it the bathroom, but better be careful when you lift it, especially if it’s a heavy or big one, and secure yourself with an additional helper.
  • The common rule when cleaning the inner side of the windows is to start form the upper left or right corner and make twists in the shape of ‘S’ until you reach the down corners.
  • The wiping of the detergent has to be made in a vertical direction with the help of a squeegee form the top to the bottom. Make sure you regularly dry the rubber edge of the squeegee to avoid the watery lines between the overlapping movements.

If you follow these beneficial steps, you will know how to make your window panes the most shining ones in the whole neighbourhood.

6 Ways To Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Whether you see yourself as a top-notch cook or you only venture into the kitchen to pop a ready meal in the microwave, you should make sure your kitchen stays as clean as possible if you want to stop the spread of germs. You’ll probably have seen more than a few adverts on the TV that seem to use scare tactics to make you buy disinfectant products and the like, but the fact is that germs in the kitchen can lead to some pretty serious infections.

Salmonella, for example, can cause some nasty side-effects such as diarrhoea, sickness and abdominal pain and is found in contaminated foods. It can be spread by touching these foods and then other surfaces in the kitchen without washing your hands.

Another bacteria stemming from contaminated food is listeria, and this is the one that causes genuine food poisoning – it’s often found in cheese that’s gone mouldy.

E-coli is one of the most commonly found bacteria in the kitchen and it’s found in raw meat, so if you handle raw meat and then open the fridge door, for instance, there’s a good chance you’ll have spread it.

So, if you want to stop your kitchen from becoming a veritable hotbed of germs and bacteria, here are a few tips you might want to employ:

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

1. Wipe surfaces every day

It might sound like a bit of a chore, but wiping your surfaces every day will zap those germs right out of existence. You can use a germ-blasting kitchen spray and a cloth to do it and all you need to do is go around your kitchen after you’ve finished cooking or before you settle in for the night so you know it’s been done. Remember to dry the surfaces afterwards though as bacteria usually can’t survive in dry conditions.

2. Always wash your hands

Even if you’re a vegetarian you should wash your hands both before and after handling food – this way you can be sure you won’t be spreading any germs. When cleaning your kitchen always wipe down the taps and sink to catch any stray germs as well.

3. Use a chopping board

If you prepare meat or other items directly on your work surface you’ve no idea what could soon be crawling all over your dinner, and wiping the surface later on will have allowed the germs to multiply by an astronomical amount. Use a chopping board instead and wash it up immediately.

4. Do the washing up

Leaving your washing up for weeks on end is like opening the door to the germs and inviting them in for a cup of tea. Don’t give them the perfect habitat they need to survive and instead wash dishes on a nightly basis to stop the germs from having babies. Also, use a good-quality washing-up liquid that can kill them instantly.

5. Replace washcloths and sponges

Everyone has a washcloth or a sponge sitting on their sink at home and this is often the prime location for bacteria, which means every time you do the washing up you’re just spreading them around. To stop this, allow your cloths and sponges to dry and replace them often. You should also disinfect them by soaking in cleaning solutions or by putting them in the washing machine. After using sponges and cloths make sure you remove all bits of food to stop it from rotting and spawning bacteria.

6. Throw out out-of-date food

You should check your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer for out-of-date food on a regular basis to make sure none of it could potentially be a bacteria haven – remember the listeria?

How do you keep your kitchen clean?

Tips for Cleaning Your Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are, without a doubt, the most comfortable mattress in the world. After all, this type of mattress conforms to your body, filling the curves and supporting your weight much better than a coil mattress or a water mattress can. Memory foam mattresses give you a very comfortable and restful sleep, and they also help relieve body aches and pains.

Because memory foam mattresses are made from special materials, care is given when it comes to cleaning it. Below are some tips on washing and cleaning this special type of mattress.

Tips to Vacuum

The easiest and simplest way of cleaning your memory foam mattress is by vacuuming it. You can use your regular vacuum cleaner, but if you want more control, then a handheld one is a good idea.

Memory foam mattresses do absorb dust, dust mites, hair, dirt, etc. over time, so be sure that you vacuum all the surfaces of the mattress, including the sides.

Memory Foam Mattress

Tips to Remove Stains

Never use strong chemicals or products to get rid of the stains on your memory foam mattress. If you’re going to use a commercial product to clean the mattress, see to it that the product does not contain ammonia as well as bleach. Not only are these too harsh, but they can also ruin the fabric and the interior.

To remove stains, what you can use instead is a mild detergent, such as a dishwashing liquid. Mix it with water until bubbles form. With a clean sponge, dip it in the bubbles and clean the stain in a circular motion, going from the outermost portion of the stain towards the center. Of note though; only use the bubbles to remove the stains. Never dip the whole sponge into the solution; you don’t want to get the mattress soaking wet.

In lieu of mild detergent, you can also use water and vinegar mixture. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and lightly spray the mattress. Scrub the stained part quickly with an absorbent cloth. Not only can vinegar help dilute and remove the stain, but it will also soak up any unpleasant smell.

Tips to Dry the Mattress

If the memory foam mattress absorbed too much liquid, then you should immediately get it outside to dry under the sun. It’s ideal if you place it under the hot sun for the whole day, turning the mattress once in a while to dry all sides. However, if there’s no sun to dry the mattress, what you can do instead is to sprinkle some baking soda unto the stained, damp spot. The baking soda is going to absorb the liquid.

Leave the baking soda on the mattress for about half an hour to an hour. The baking soda will clump together as it absorbs the dampness. Once time’s up, you only have to vacuum the baking soda off. Of note; baking soda also removes unpleasant smell.

If the mattress is still a little bit damp, then you can make use of your hairdryer to completely dry it. Just don’t use the hottest setting though as this could damage the mattress. Instead, use the cold or warm setting.

How To Keep Your Decking In Pristine Condition

Decking can get easily weathered. Follow our easy two-step guide to keeping your decking looking fresh. You only need to do this once a year (maybe even less If you take care of it during winter)

Step 1: Clean Your Decking

Dirt and debris make decking look dull and messy, so the first step to getting a pristine deck is to clean it. You can do this by using decking cleaner. Decking cleaner is specially formulated to be kind to your wood whilst remaining effective at removing dirt, so it’s crucial that you use a cleaner that specially formulated for wood.

After applying your decking cleaner to the wood, get a stiff brush and push it over the decking to remove all dirt and grime. Remember it’s important to get all of the dirt from the tight cracks and crevices to ensure that that your wood oil bonds with the decking.

How To Keep Your Decking In Pristine Condition

After you have brushed away all of the dirt you should power wash your decking to remove any residue from the cleaning process. (this isn’t necessary for all decking, just decking that is especially dirty).

Step 2: Oil Your Decking

Go to your local DIY store and purchase some decking oil. This will bond with your wood to give it protection from all weather conditions as well as enhancing the woods natural beauty.

  • Before oiling your whole decking, apply it to a small area on your deck. This will help you to decide whether or not it is the right shade for you.
  • Assuming you like the shade of your oil then go ahead and grab a sponge or a short haired roller, and dip it on your decking oil.
  • Begin in the furthest corner and work your way across the decking, ensuring that it is evenly coated in oil by wiping away any excess as you go.
  • Once you have finished oiling your deck then leave it to dry for 24 hours.
  • Do not attempt to oil your deck if you think, it might rain in the next 24 hours, or if conditions are damp.

And voila! That’s your simple guide to making your decking look pristine ready for the year ahead.

NOTE: If your decking is brand new then wait at least 6 months before doing applying any decking treatment, to ensure all pre-treatments have naturally weathered away.

How to Clean a Flat Screen TV

Look around your living room and take a quick inventory of all your furniture and entertainment devices. Most likely, your flat screen TV is not only the one devices you use more than anything else on a day-to-day basis, but it’s probably also the most expensive and most delicate. When you bought it, you not only invested a large amount of hard earned money but also a great deal of time and effort in selecting a good model that will fit your budget and complement your home for years to come.

It goes without saying that your flat screen TV deserves proper care and maintenance to ensure it continues to bring you years of the vibrant colors and clarity you’ve grown to love. Regular cleaning of the display surface is absolutely necessary to remove dust or any foreign matter that will accumulate over time and disrupt your viewing experience. While that sounds like a relatively elementary process, without the proper technique it very easy to cause permanent damage to the display surface in the process of cleaning it.

The first thing to remember is that modern flat screen TVs (LED, LCD, or Plasma monitors) have a very different display surface than older CRT monitors. Older devices generally had a very thick glass surface which could be safely cleaned in much the same way as window could. This is no longer the case. Modern flat screen TVs have a much more thin and sensitive screen which needs to be handled with more thought and care to prevent damage.

How to Clean a Flat Screen TV

The following steps will walk you through how to clean your flat screen TV quickly and safely.

  • Turn the TV completely off. When the screen is black you can more easily see any dust or debris stuck to the surface.
  • Select a very soft cloth or towel. The best option is a micro-fibre type towel which is generally sold for cleaning eye glasses.
  • Very gently wipe the screen surface with the towel to remove any debris.
  • If any foreign matter is remaining on the screen, do not add additional pressure in an attempt to remove it. This kind of action can damage the screen. If necessary, lightly dampen the cloth with either plain water, a half and half mixture of water and vinegar, or a cleaning solution designated as monitor safe.

A few more take-aways to keep in mind when caring for your TV are as follows:

  • Paper towels or tissue paper should never used to wipe the TV screen. They are not soft and can scratch the surface.
  • Cleaning solutions that contain alcohol, ammonia, acetone, or chloride, should be completely avoided. They can wear down the surface of the screen and cause discoloration.
  • It is even advised to check the ingredients of products labeled as monitor safe and avoid anything containing these compounds.
  • Water or cleaning solutions should never be sprayed directly onto the screen as it can drip down to the edges and get inside of the device causing damage.

Your flat screen TV is likely one of the largest investments you make in the livability of your home. Following these simple steps will ensure that it stays clean and clear for years to come. Now that your TV screen is nice and clean, the best thing you can do improve your viewing experience is to place it on a beautiful flat screen TV stand.

5 Useful Cleaning Equipments that Makes Cleaning Jobs Easier

A good clean requires good cleaning products- that is what they’re made for. In addition, using the right cleaning equipment can make the daunting task of cleaning a lot easier. This article aims to enlighten you to the must have cleaning equipment that makes cleaning that little bit easier.

The products mentioned in this article are basic, budget conscious pieces of equipment. There are products out there which are considered too expensive e.g. steam cleaners etc. So this article will give you cheaper alternative equipment which will still do the job.

1. The Essence of Broomstick

The first piece of equipment each household should have is a broomstick. Broomsticks are very convenient and easy to use. Regular sweeping can keep floors clean and free from dust and other items which fall on the floor. By having a broomstick, you do not have to end up on your knees trying to sweep the floors with a mini brush or a dustpan and brush.

This takes us to the second product – a dustpan and brush. When sweeping has been made easy, why should collecting that dust be a mountain climb of a job? Dustpan and brushes are very cheap and can be purchased in almost every store selling household products.

Useful Cleaning Equipment

2. Owning a mop is not a bad idea either

Floors should be mopped regularly. Just because a surface is free from dust and dirt does not mean that it is clean. Floors harbour all sorts of bacteria and other microorganisms which cannot be removed by sweeping alone. Therefore, mopping the floor, with the use of an appropriate cleaner will remove all bacteria and clean your floors to the right standard.

If you do not have surfaces which can be swept and mopped, a vacuum cleaner is idea.

3. The Modern Choice

Hoovers are multi-functional, meaning that they can do more than one job. They can be used to hoover carpets of course, but they can also be used on laminate floors, vinyl, wooden flooring etc., by just changing the setting on the hoover. Hoovers can also be used to remove cobwebs and dust from high places. Using the attachments on provided with the hoover can help to clean the tough to reach areas such as behind the wardrobes, on top of cupboards etc.

4. A Good Set of Sponges

Owning a good set of sponges may seem silly since they are not deemed to be high tech cleaning objects. However, a good sponge can go a long way. Sponges can be used to wash dishes, clean surfaces and much more. However, it is wise to keep separate sponges for separate jobs to avoid any cross contamination of bacteria or cleaning products. Also, it is recommended that you regularly change your sponges since they accumulate bacteria over time. Keeping a variety of sponges e.g. a regular sponge, wire sponge, brillo pads etc. will also make certain jobs easier such as cleaning pots and pans.

5. Basic Cleaning Cloth

Cleaning cloths are ideal to use all around your home. They can be used from clearing up water spills near a sink, to dusting, to disinfecting. Once again, keeping separate cloths for each job will be beneficial and hygienic. These also need to be replaced regularly to avoid the build up of bacteria which will then only be spread further.

The products mentioned above may seem completely obvious and not high tech at all. But it is the simplicity which makes these so important and effective. They do not require fancy products, any complicated instructions and do not cost an arm and a leg.

Having these basic equipment pieces in your home will make your cleaning jobs a lot easier and less time consuming.

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How to Clean Your Garage Doors

If you want to ensure that your garage door is going to last a long time, then you have to clean it regularly, especially the garage door tracks. You don’t want the tracks to get too grimy, as it can lead to rusting. If this happens, then you’re not only putting the reliability and safety of the garage door at risk, but you’ll also be putting your lives at risk. Accidents do happen because of faulty garage door tracks.

Here are some tips for cleaning your garage door:

When to Clean and the Materials to Use

Cleaning your garage door is very easy, and it’ll only take you half an hour to get the job done. You also don’t need special tools when cleaning the garage door as all you will only need your regular cleaning materials. If there are rusty spots in the garage door, you will also need sandpaper or steel wool to scrape away the rust. For the tracks and other moving parts, you will also need a lubricant.

Your garage door needs to be cleaned at least every six months. However, if you live in an industrial area or if you live near the sea, then you might need to clean it four times a year. This is because dirty air from the fumes as well as the higher salt content in the air from coastal areas can easily cause rusting.

Clean Your Garage Door

Steps in Cleaning Garage Doors

Before you wash the whole garage door, you first need to check the garage door tracks as well as the moving parts like hinges and rollers. Use a clean rag to wipe away soot, oil, and grime; and if there is rusting, then you can use the sandpaper or the steel wool to get rid of it.

Once done, wash all surfaces with a mild detergent and water. Thoroughly scrub soot and grime away with a stiff brush, and rinse it off with clean water. After you’re through with the exterior, you can proceed with the interior.

When it comes to applying the lubricant, see to it that you’re only using lubricants specifically made for garage doors, a good example of which is white lithium grease. You need to apply lubricants to all moving parts, such as the roller wheel bearings as well as the garage door tracks and the axles and all the hinges. Once done, wipe away the excess lubricant then test the garage doors by opening and closing it. It’ll spread the lubricant further to the hard-to-reach areas. It’ll also assure you that the moving parts are working well.

Need Repairs?

In addition to cleaning the garage doors, you should also take the opportunity to check and see if there are parts that need replacement. Some of the most common problems are broken garage door springs and cable, damaged garage door section, as well as busted transmitters and circuit board.

If you have the technical know-how to replace these parts on your own, then you can easily do so. If not, then it’s advisable that you hire a reputable provider who can repair or replace garage door parts for you. You don’t want to do more damage to it as this can cost you more money.

6 Tips in Preparing the Home for a Holiday Season with Less Stress

As we witness this past year flying right by, unsure what happened to most of it, reality sets in that the holiday season is quickly approaching. It seems like we just took down our decorations from last year. I realize our house waits until the thaw to take the outdoors décor down, but still…already?

Well, after double-checking the calendar to make sure…yes, already. We can either sit, wondering what happened to the majority of 2012, or we can accept the fact that it’s nearly gone. But, it really isn’t completely gone yet. In fact, the best is yet to come. If you like the holidays, that is. And, I’m assuming you do, since you are reading an article about the holidays.

So, how can you start preparing now, in order to relieve some of the stress that is associated with the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Read on, because I am going to share some tips.

Preparing the Home for a Holiday Season

Tip #1- A Little Winter Cleaning

A little extra cleaning before you even get the decorations out will help ease you into the transition of hosting parties, baking holiday goodies, and trimming the tree. Instead of worrying about cobwebs and stains in the carpet as guests are about to arrive, you should do most of the heavy duty cleaning now.

This is true for both indoors and out. If you have a lot of company stopping by, or extra deliveries for the season, a little TLC on the outside would be appreciated by all. Sweep away all the excess leaves, wash down the decks, and put away all the toys.

Inside, have the carpets, upholstery, and window treatments cleaned. Also, take a look at how you can ‘make room’, especially in the cupboards and freezer. If you host parties, you are well aware of the need for extra space needed for things such as holiday dishes, foods bought or prepared ahead of time, and last minute gifts from others.

Tip #2 – Look for Quick Fixes

We all have issues within our homes that could stand a little extra care or tweaking. When you are cleaning thoroughly look for things that might prove to be a nuisance when people are over for family gatherings or parties.

This could be a leaky faucet, crooked cupboard door, or a broken toilet handle. Fix them now, so you don’t have to worry about it when it really gets hectic for you.

Another thing we do around our house is change light bulbs ahead of time. You will know if a bulb hasn’t been changed in a while. If it hasn’t, change it out now, rather than having the light burn out on a guest in the bathroom on the night of the party.

Tip #3 – Touch Up Paint Projects

Both inside and outside might have a few areas that could use a paint touch up. If you have the paint on hand from when you first painted, it makes it easier. But, areas that you will want to check are the following:

  • Front door
  • Interior doors
  • Walls
  • Trim and indoor shutter
  • Outdoor wood shutters
  • Exterior house numbers

Of course, I am not suggesting you do a complete painting project during this time…unless, you have the time and it needs it. However, a nice pop of color on the front door or the shutters might give your exterior a great new appearance.

Tip #4 – Decorating ahead of Time

We like to take advantage of a nice day early on to hang all our lights outside. It’s time consuming, and often requires bare hands to get them all connected. So, I prefer to work on a day where my hands won’t go numb. This doesn’t mean we turn them on in October or even before Thanksgiving…but, they are ready to be turned on, when it’s time.

Inside, we start decorating a minimum of a week ahead of when we want it done…minimum. This is for two reasons. First, it allows time for running to the store to replace items that might need replacing. And second, I’m never satisfied when it’s first put out. I adjust, and adjust…and sometimes adjust a third time before it feels right, over the next week or two.

Tip #5 – Check Your Dishes and Utensils

Make sure you have enough serving dishes and utensils ahead of time to know if you have enough, or that they are not chipped or damaged. This is especially true for anything that plugs in such as warmers, crock pots, or coffee and espresso makers.

If you are going to use them, clean them ahead of time as well, to save time on the day of the gathering.

Tip #6 – Shop and Prepare Ahead of Time

Hosting a party requires a little planning. The more you can do ahead of time, the more stress you can take off your shoulders. Plan the menu, clip coupons, and look for sales on non-perishable products. This will save you both time and money.

If there is anything on the menu that you can prepare ahead of time and store in the freezer, you might want to consider that as well. Just make sure to take it out of the freezer early enough to thaw naturally.

In Closing

So, there you have it. Six tips in how preparing your home ahead of time for the holidays can help reduce some of the stress that the holiday season brings with it.