7 Holiday Home Maintenance and Appliance Prep Tips

The holidays are only a couple of weeks away. If you are hosting friends and family this holiday season, you will need to invest some time in preparing your home. These holiday home maintenance tips will ensure your home is clean and comfortable. They will also minimize the likelihood of appliance failure.

#1 Deep Clean Your Home

If guests will be staying overnight, consider completing or hiring a cleaning company to perform a deep clean. Or regular cleaning services to help you keep up during the hustle and bustle of the season. If you hire a local cleaning company, be sure to clarify your top priorities to ensure they are added to your personalized cleaning checklist. The tips in the following sections will help with inspiration.

#2 Perform Appliance Maintenance

Your fridge, oven, range, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and washer and dryer will be working on overload this holiday season. It would be disastrous if one of your primary appliances failed in the middle of entertaining your guests. If you haven’t yet, now is the ideal time to schedule your annual appliance preventative maintenance. This will provide you with the peace of mind that your appliances are operating properly.

#3 Prep Your Refrigerator

Your fridge is likely to be at its fullest during the holiday season, so it will be working its hardest. These holiday home maintenance tips below will help:

  • Clean your fridge and gaskets for health and visual appeal.
  • Ensure your condenser coils are clean for optimal efficiency.
  • Reorganize your fridge to make room for oversized containers.
  • Invest in shelf and drawer organizers to maximize space.
  • Remove oversized shelf organizers on primary shelves.
  • Remove shelf-stable items from the fridge if you don’t have room, such as canned beverages that can be chilled with ice.
  • Turn the temperature down to 35 degrees when it’s at its fullest.
  • Invest in stackable food containers to optimize airflow.
  • Maximize space by carving your turkey the day of, or the next day.
  • Purchase zip-top bags and inexpensive reusable containers to send leftovers home with friends and family.
  • Freeze what you can ASAP to save space and minimize food waste.

#4 Microwave Reminders

The only thing better than day-of holiday meals is leftovers! Your microwave will be working hard to heat food up, so ensure it’s up for the job.

The holiday home maintenance tips below will help:

  • Clean the inside of your microwave, not just for visual appeal, but to remove the built-up food particles that slow the rate at which food heats up. This can also prematurely burn out your microwave motor.
  • Dust or vacuum the external vent, as the buildup of dust and pet hair can hinder performance.
  • Don’t forget that you can’t microwave aluminum foil or aluminum utensils. Not only will your food not heat, but aluminum can also cause a microwave fire.
  • Your counter may be full but avoid the temptation of stacking items on top of your microwave or placing things too close as it needs airflow to perform properly.
  • Keep size and weight in mind when warming up food. Oversized and heavy items won’t warm properly and can break your plate.
  • Ensure your holiday dishes are microwave-safe or transfer them to microwave-safe dishes before warming things up.
  • Invest in an extra plate topper to minimize cooking splatters when warming up food.

#5 Laundry Tips

If you will be having loved ones stay at your home, you will need to do more laundry than usual. Even if they are only staying for a few days, you can prep your linens with the tips below.

  • Deep clean your washing machine to ensure it looks and smells great.
  • Stock up on detergent, stain remover, dryer sheets, and other laundry essentials.
  • Purchase stain removal sticks and sparkling water in case there are spills so that your guests can spot treat.
  • Check your linen closet to ensure you have enough sheets, blankets, pillows, and towels.
  • Shop holiday sales to stock up on the items you are short on.
  • Wash linens that have been in the closet for more than 6 months.
  • Wash linens in your guest bathroom or on your guest bed, even if they are clean.
  • If it’s faster or easier, take your linens to a laundromat or have an in-home cleaning service wash them for you.
  • Avoid the temptation to overload your washer or dryer, as it can burn out the motor and other components.

#6 Dishwasher and Dishes

We can’t discuss holiday home maintenance without mention of the excess dishes you will need to wash.

These tips will help:

  • Ensure you have enough silverware and drinkware to serve everyone.
  • Ensure you have enough serving platters and oversized dishes, and maybe a couple extra just in case.
  • Consider using high-end (aka. plastic) disposable plates, dishes, and drinkware.
  • Keep disposable options on hand just in case, or just for dessert.
  • Check your cloth linens, and stock up on disposable napkins to ensure you don’t run out.
  • Clean and sanitize your dishwasher before and after holiday meals.
  • Double-check all of your holiday dishes and utensils to determine which are dishwasher safe.
  • Recruit a guest to help you remove food particles from food before placing dishes into the dishwasher.
  • Have a guest help you hand wash and dry non-dishwasher-safe items, as well as any overflow.

#7 Garbage Management

You are sure to have more trash than usual. The tips below will help.

  • Stock up on garbage bags, including oversized bags.
  • Sanitize your garbage disposal unit, and use it for disposal-safe foods.
  • Have a guest help you separate recyclable items from trash.
  • Consider investing in a composter or ask a neighbor if you can add to theirs.
  • If you have the space in your freezer, save the turkey carcass and vegetable peels to make homemade broth after the holidays.
  • If your garbage won’t all fit in your bin for the next trash day, tie it tight and double or triple bag it, and place it in the garage.

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