Every year the hustle and bustle of shopping for presents, decorating your home and prepping it for family celebrations on top of all of your other errands has us scrambling to finish our many tasks. So how can we make it all a little easier on ourselves? Here are some tips to guide you through a festive and worry-free Holiday season.
Decorating your home with lights:
• Use extension cords. Heavy-duty extension cords that are UL-listed for outdoor use and only plugging 5 strings of lights into them is the way to go.
• Solar lights are more expensive to purchase, but they cost nothing to run. However, no sun during the day means no lights at night.
• LED lights use less energy to run and last much longer than incandescent lights.
• If you know you’re going to hang lights every year, save yourself some time and attach permanent light clips.
• Store your lights in cardboard boxes rather than plastic bags. The cardboard will soak up any residual moisture.
• Don’t self-clean your oven until after the holidays. Self-cleaning can lead to blown fuses or thermostats. Good luck finding a repair person over the holidays.
• Don’t freeze out your guests. Replace your air filters and have regular maintenance performed on your HVAC.
• Don’t try to do everything yourself. Ask each guest to bring a side dish. If a guest volunteers to help, let them.
Store your holiday decorations efficiently:
• Use stockings to hold and wrap special and breakable ornaments.
• Reuse gift boxes and paper to wrap and store ornaments.
• Use wrapping paper rolls, garden hose reels, or pieces of cardboard to store lights. You can even use wire hangers; just turn up each end, wrap the lights around so they don’t slip off and hang them in your storage area.
Remember, as hard as you try, nothing will be perfect. This is a great to time reflect on the past, to be grateful for the present, and to share hopes for the future. Relax and enjoy the holiday with your family and friends and they’ll enjoy it too!
From the Arkansas Realtors® Association to your family, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
House to House is distributed weekly by the Arkansas REALTORS® Association. For more information on homeownership in Arkansas, readers may visit www.ArkansasRealtors.com.