The stress of cleaning and preparing your house for guests can sometimes damper your holiday spirit. Before you morph into the Grinch, get your home in top shape for company and festivities with these stress-free household fixes.
'Tis the season for holiday guests -- and quite possibly your annual household cleaning and repair meltdown. Throw in your unfinished home improvement projects and you just might drive yourself crazy in the pursuit of a presentable and full-functioning house. What you need to do first is breathe. From cleaning upholstered furniture to replacing broken tiles, you've got this on lock. We're here to help you with your annual holiday home tune-up by presenting some of our favorite quick fixes. Your guests will think you never even broke a sweat.
Prepare your home for holiday guests. Photo: Getty Images
Make a great first impression on your guests by presenting a flawless entryway.
After giving door frames and knobs a quick wipe down:
- Brighten faded carpets and rugs
with hot water and salt. The salt brightens faded fiber and guards against further discoloration.
- Repair pesky scratches and chips in hardwood floors.
All the foot traffic in your home eventually takes a toll on once-pristine floors. Use these easy cover-up solutions
and none of your guests will be the wiser.
- Unstick a door.
Don't leave guests out in the cold! If your door never seems to close quite right, follow these tips to diagnose and treat
Be the consummate host: create warm, welcoming, and fully functioning guest rooms.
- Make your guest feel right at home. Start by making the bed like a pro
, as it's the first thing company will notice. A neat, tidy bed immediately upgrades any bedroom.
- Remove mattress stains.
For faint, superficial stains use a cup of powdered laundry detergent and a cup of warm water. For tougher stains, use these cleaning strategies
and employ white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
Get rid of clutter by corralling loose papers into an organized pile and stashing countertop appliances in cabinets or closets. Then turn your attention here:
- Clean your range hood.
Remove grease, odor and food spatter with these simple tips
- Troubleshoot your coffee grinder.
It's sure to be a popular appliance with a house full of guests, so keep your grinder operating at its best.
- Remove scuff marks from floors.
From toothpaste to pencil erasers, try these clever tools for removing shoe marks
from linoleum floors
and make your kitchen look flawless.
- Unclog gas stovetop burners.
If you've got a few pins lying around, just follow these steps to clean them safely and quickly
- Repair chipped china.
Serve your guests in style with a careful repair job
that can make any damage almost unnoticeable. Super glue and enamel paint gets the job done!
- Quiet squeaky cabinets.
It's a household imperfection that can annoy just about anyone. Make cabinets squeak-free
with Elmer's Slide-All Dry Spray Lubricant.
Hide clutter in drawers, cabinets or store it in another room that guests won't enter. Then:
- Clean soap scum on glass shower doors. Wipe down the doors with a squeegee
Photo: Corbis Images
for a beautiful streak-free shine.
- Replace broken tiles.
Whether it's a hairline crack or a complete break, it's easier than you think to replace a loose tile
- Pinpoint a toilet leak.
Fact: a working toilet is a must-have during the busy holiday season. With guests pouring in and out of your home, there's also a chance your toilet may start to act a little fishy. Here are tips to diagnose toilet problems
- Unclog the toilet.
So you've figured out the problem, now get your toilet back in working order quickly
- Remove hard water stains.
Sometimes regular bathroom cleaner can't remove rusty stains. Here's what you can do to prevent and remove that stubborn grime
- Clean grout.
Significantly brighten up the bathroom by using just a few simple tools to clean the white mortar between your tiles
- Unclog your showerhead.
Restore optimal water pressure by removing hard water deposits
that cause drippy water flow.
Work magic into this gathering space -- and make it with tricks designed to clean, conceal and remove dirt.
- Clean upholstered furniture.
Photo: Getty Images
Use these tips to help your upholstered furnishings look and smell great
- Remove stains from sofa cushions.
Try these stain removers
to permanently bust reappearing stains.
- Conceal a scratch on an LCD screen.
You can't completely remove scratches from these flashy TV screens
, but you can camouflage them effectively--just in time for your holiday movie marathon.
- Remove crayon stains around the house.
Living with kids is a blessing and colorful. Here's how to remove waxy Crayola
from the popular danger zones in your home.
- Clean leather furniture. Restore the luster to your leather upholstery
with simple products you have around the house.