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The hazy days of summer can be anything but lazy. For those those that want to get ahead of the frenetic holidays, and all the household chores that require attention, we recommend using these long summer days to put your house in tip top shape months before any guests arrive.
Spruce up your entryway
- Make it light and bright! Clean light fixture globes and replace burned out bulbs with LED bulbs. Take it up a notch by replacing the fixture with a classy new model.
- Banish the bugs. Sweep away cob webs, mud dauber nests and wasp nests from ceiling.
- Welcome! Replace worn out, faded door mats with better quality ones.
- Door Re-do. Paint, varnish or stain the front door and replace the hardware/doorknob.
- Dress up the address. As a last touch, replace faded house numbers. Starting at $4-6 per numeral, new house numbers are an affordable way to class up the entryway.
Tackle the big chores now
- Clean the windows. According to the experts at Window Genie, end of summer is the perfect time for having windows cleaned inside and out. Don't forget the screens! Dirty screens splash dirt onto clean windows every time it rains. To tackle the chore yourself, follow the advice of Molly Maid President Meg Roberts — with only a vinegar, water and a couple drops of dish detergent, you can squeegee off dirt and grime in a flash.
- Touch-up Furniture. If you don’t want to go through another holiday strategically covering up scratches, dents, dings and cracks, consult a woodworking or furniture repair shop now for an estimate on repairing or refinishing the piece. If the damage is minor, you could try to repair it yourself. This Old House has great step-by-step DIY instructions for minor repair projects.
- Clean your rugs. Take small area rugs and throw rugs to a professional to be cleaned and repaired now. Got wall-to-wall carpeting? Schedule a deep cleaning now so it's on the books.
Organize your living and dining rooms
- Replace throw pillows. Give your living room an instant face lift with some new throw pillows. Go monochromatic or opt for a pop of contrasting color; stay with solids or go with an eye-popping print. For even more panache, use a mix of sizes and shapes.
- Re-upholster dining chair seats. To give worn, tired-looking dining room chairs a lift, simply reupholster the seat. It’s relatively easy and requires only fabric, a fiberfill sheet, scissors and a fabric stapler. Martha Stewart’s DIY videos make the chore almost foolproof. Not into DIY? Hire a professional. To scout great fabric options, hop online and shop for a fabric that fits your style. Check out Hobby Lobby, Fabric Guru, and Jo-Ann Fabrics. You can often buy samples for as little as a dollar apiece.
Organize the linen closet
- Take stock. This means looking at your inventory of existing sheets, towels, blankets, comforters and table linens. If something is old, torn or showing too much wear, give it to Goodwill and make a note to replace it when it goes on sale.
Don't forget the guest rooms
- Replace the pillows. We’re all guilty of relegating old, flat pillows to the guest room, but why use cast offs for your house guests? With back-to-college sales in full swing, now’s the time to replace those smashed, stained pillows with fluffy, comfy ones. Your guests will love you for it.
- Clean the mattress. Changing sheets on beds is routine, but how often do we clean the mattress itself? If you’re going to be hosting guests this holiday season, take the time now to give mattresses a deep cleaning. Molly Maid’s Meg Roberts suggests you start by sprinkling baking soda over the mattress and letting it sit for 10 minutes. Next, using the vacuum upholstery attachment, slowly vacuum the mattress, starting at the top and moving to the bottom. Now the mattress is fresh and ready for your holiday guests.
- Launder the bed covers. While you’re at it, take time to freshen all the bedding. Launder comforters and spreads, as well as blankets and dust ruffles to make the guest room company-fresh. For a luxe touch, spritz with a calming lavender-scented linen spray just before guests arrive.
- Restock the hospitality basket. Before your nerves get frazzled and your to-do list is impossibly long, refresh the guest welcome basket with toiletries, shower poofs, toothbrushes, mints, and a good book or two. Don't forget to tuck in a card that has your Wi-Fi password on it as well as basic instructions on working the TV remote.
Address the bathrooms
- Evaluate the fixtures. It's time that drippy old faucet got repaired for good or replaced with a newer model. Shower head looking a little grey? Soak it in a solution of white vinegar for a couple of hours to cut through the crud.
- Tile to-do. If tile is cracked, broken, or in need of some new grout, hire a handyman or replace it yourself.