remembers one holiday when her guests kept spraying
themselves accidentally with a cheap kitchen sink
sprayer that had an unfortunate tendency to stick.
"I had a lot of wet people at Thanksgiving that
year," she said with a laugh.
offered a few suggestions for readying your home for the
onslaught. Start now, and youíll have plenty of time
to relax with that cocktail before the guests arrive.
for the little problems. Every house has them ó loose
doorknobs, toilet handles that have to be held down when
youíre flushing, that sticking sink sprayer. We get
used to them, so we know how to make them work and
hardly even notice them. But our guests donít know our
them a favor and fix those niggling problems before the
holidays, Dodson suggested. It will save your guests the
embarrassment of having to ask how to work something ó
or, worse yet, thinking they broke it.
plumbing issues. With just a few people in the house,
sluggish drains are an annoyance. With a crowd, theyíre
a flood in the making.
people can put a strain on plumbing, so itís wise to
ensure itís in good shape now, Dodson said. Make sure
toilets are working properly and drains are operating
you have a guest bath thatís rarely used, make a point
of using all the plumbing fixtures there to make sure
theyíre working right.
the garbage disposal. The garbage disposal merits extra
attention, because itís prone to fail with heavy use.
the one time of year that everyone prepares a massive
meal," Dodson said, and all those potato peels and
turkey trimmings can spell trouble if your disposalís
not up to handling the extra load. If youíre
experiencing even minor problems with it now, fix it to
avoid failure on the big day.
up caulk. Worn bathroom caulk is more than an eyesore.
Itís an invitation to leaks.
recommended checking the state of your caulk and
replacing it, if necessary. Itís a fairly easy and
inexpensive do-it-yourself project that could save you
the big expense of repairing water damage, while making
your home more appealing to your guests.
up. Nowís the time to take a tour of your house and
test all the lights. If bulbs are burned out, replace
them. If switches or fixtures arenít working, get them
also recommended making sure all the hallways and
bathrooms your guests will use have working night
lights. You want the guests to find their way without
the risk of injury.
leaks. Leaks around windows and doors can produce
uncomfortable drafts, and your guests may not have
packed sweaters to ward off the chill. Caulking those
gaps and replacing worn weather stripping and door
sweeps will make your home more comfortable, Dodson
said. And youíll be happy about the money youíll
save on your heating bills.
heating equipment checked. If your furnace is due for a
checkup, schedule it now, before the worst of the cold
weather sets in. A breakdown is a problem anytime, of
course, but itís even worse when you have a house full
of guests, Dodson said.
ready for snow. Thanksgiving snowstorms arenít unheard
of in many parts of the country, so shake off the winter
denial and get yourself prepared before the flakes fall.
Dodson recommended making sure you have shovels on hand
or a snowblower thatís in good working order, with the
gas tank filled. And stock up on deicer for slippery
walkways and steps.
might even give some thought now to where guests will
park in the event of a big snowfall. Many communities
impose parking bans in heavy snows, so have a backup
plan in case guests canít park in the street.
squeaks. Most guests want to be unobtrusive. Squeaky
doors and floorboards might make them feel uncomfortable
moving around your house, especially at night when the
house is otherwise quiet, Dodson said.
them might require just a squirt of lubricant on a hinge
or a sprinkle of cornstarch between floorboards. Or it
might require some higher-level do-it-yourself skills or
the help of a pro to fix more complicated squeaks.
the linens. Are your sheets in good shape? Do your guest
towels look fresh? If not, itís time to replace them,
Dodson said. Youíve still got plenty of time, so keep
an eye out for sales.
the closets. Guest room closets tend to accumulate stuff
we donít know what to do with. Nowís the time to
cull through that clutter and clear space for your
guestsí clothes, Dodson said.
youíre at it, go through your coat closet too. If
necessary, move out-of-season or extra coats out
temporarily to make space for your guestsí outerwear.