Now that the end of summer is almost here, you may already be thinking ahead to the upcoming holiday season. If you're like most busy homeowners, you never feel quite prepared when the holiday seasons hits. However, with a little advance planning, you can be ready for the houseguests and festivities that the holiday season brings. Following are four things that you can do this month that will make the holidays in your home more pleasant for everyone.
Get Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned
Autumn is a great time to get your indoor carpeting deep cleaned. Over the summer, it has probably accumulated its share of dust, pollen particles, pet dander, and other assorted debris — and if you live in an area where seasonal atmospheric humidity is a factor, it's possible that mold and mildew colonies have begun to develop in your carpeting, so now's the time to nip them in the bud by having your carpets cleaned by a professional service.
Purge and Declutter
Purging and decluttering are generally considered activities commonly practiced as a part of traditional spring cleaning, but if you've got an active family, you should consider doing this twice per year instead. Autumn is an ideal time to purge your kids' rooms, for instance, because chances are you've just bought them their new school clothes. Decluttering doesn't have to be a time-intensive project — get your family together one weekend afternoon and have a purging party. To increase motivation, make it clear that you'll be ordering pizza when the job is done. Getting rid of the clutter will make it easier when the time comes to put up the holiday decorations, and it will make your home seem more roomy when holiday guests come to visit.
Practice Pest Control
Many people automatically assume that pest populations begin to decline in autumn and that pest control is therefore unnecessary, but this is only partially true. Certain types of seasonal pests such as mosquitoes may go dormant for the winter, but other kinds of pests simply look for opportunities to move indoors. Rats and mice, for instance, begin seeking shelter in warmer locations as soon as the evening temperatures start getting chilly in autumn, and because they are burrowing animals with long, thin bodies, they've evolved to squeeze through small spaces.
One of the first things you should do as summer comes to an end is to have the outside of your home thoroughly inspected for openings that may allow rats or mice to access the inside of your home and to thoroughly seal those openings. It's important to do this before nighttime temperatures get noticeably cold — if you seal the openings after the rodents have already squeezed through into your home's interior, all you'll be doing is making sure they're trapped inside.
Certain types of insects such as cockroaches and fleas may also seek to spend the winter in your home rather than outside — and some may already have set up shop inside at some point during the summer. You autumn pest control strategy shouldn't stop with just having any possible openings sealed up — your home's interior should be treated as well to take care of any pests that may already be in residence.
Stock Up on Supplies
Stocking on supplies before the holiday season begins will save you significant time and effort — imagine not having to wait in long lines at the last minute to purchase certain necessities. If you do a lot of holiday baking, buy your ingredients now. If you love serving wine with your meals, consider going on a tour of local wineries and stocking up for holiday feasts.
You'll feel much more relaxed when the holidays are in full swing if you're prepared.