Tis the season… for holiday guests! That can be a good thing or a bad thing. With your holiday to-do list filled with shopping, cooking, cleaning and errands, you may find yourself overwhelmed to see things around the house needing attention before guests arrive. So, if the expectation of overnight guests has you screaming “Bah Hum Bug”, try these fast, cheap and easy DIY tricks to impress your guests and have your home relative-ready!
*Carpet stains – Of course, you would love to call one of those 2 day carpet install services, but right now your money is going under the tree. To tackle nasty stains try DIY carpet cleaning. Rent a cleaning machine for about $30. Don’t use soap, only hot water. Soap residue attracts more dirt. Pre-treat areas with a product called Capture – the most recommended carpet cleaner by flooring pros. If you just cannot get that stain out, cover it up with a pretty area rug that compliments your room. No one will ever have to know!
*End table water rings – Could your coffee table sing about its “5 Gold Rings”? Maybe your family left one too many glasses on the table and wore away your table’s finish. Don’t sweat it. You can rub out those rings with a paste made of water and non-gel toothpaste or water and fireplace ash. Rub the paste into the ring, let dry and polish as usual. Dab on a little wood stain if you have a matching one. Lemon oil will provide a natural clear shine.
*Slow moving drains – Don’t let your guests’ little piggy toes sit in stagnant shower water. Clear your drains quickly and without chemicals using the Zip-It Stick. This $4 plastic tool from the Home Depot will pull hairy clogs from your sinks, tubs and showers. Your guests will be squeaky clean from head to toe.
*Stained Sofa Seats – Don’t flip out; just flip them over for more even wear. Are your seats worn on both sides? Use a 20% off coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond for easy, practical slip covers. In a real pinch, tuck a pretty throw blanket along the seat, fluff some pillows and forget about it!
*Oh Holey Wall – Did you find a hole left in the wall from kids, pets or from Uncle Lou’s elbow after having too much eggnog? If you have a day or two before guests arrive, you have time to patch, spackle and paint. Be sure to sand and let spackle dry between coats. Apply primer over spackle before the touch up of color for more even finish. When time is running out, shop Home Goods for a piece of art and deal with the hole in the New Year. It’s our little secret.
*Locks don’t fail me now- Do you have a bathroom or bedroom door that just won’t latch or lock? Afraid you may walk in on Uncle Lou during his morning constitution. To ensure everyone gets a little moment of privacy, try to tweak your door latches. Oftentimes, the strike plate (metal plate of door jamb) has to be unscrewed, and realigned. If you cannot get things lined up easily, consider adding an eye hook on the inside of the room. For under $3, you provide privacy while only making a small hole that you can patch later.
This holiday,take time to relax and enjoy your family time making memories. Your guests may never notice your home’s little imperfections. So don’t make yourselves too crazy. But it is understood that we all want our homes to look and function at their best for our guests. With a little time and some creativity, your place can be as pretty as a gingerbread house.