Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Just thinking about everything that needs to be done can make anyone’s head spin. Cleaning the house, stocking the bar, buying groceries, preparing a meal, making dessert, and of course entertaining your guests…

Adding home maintenance problems to the mix can really make the holiday a stressful time. To make things a little less stressful this Thanksgiving here are 5 handyman tips that will help you avoid those common mishaps and ensure your home will properly welcome your guests when they arrive:

Your Garbage Disposal

Large amounts of food can potentially clog up or break your garbage disposal, leaving you with a stinky sink that refuses to drain. Making a potato dish this year? Be careful because starchy foods are the worst offenders. Potato peels should always go in the trash.

Unless you own a disposal with really high horse power, then limit the contents that you put down the drain. Remember these basic tips:

  • Put starchy foods in the trash.
  • Never put grease down your disposal.
  • Only put organic materials down your disposal.
  • Run water when grinding food.

    Water valves

    One of the biggest catastrophes that can occur during the holiday season is a leak or frozen pipe resulting in a flooded home. It’s pretty difficult not to go into full-on panic mode whenever water is spilling all over your floor.

    Do you know where the main water shut-off valve is located in your residence? It’s a good idea to know where this is located just in case. Additionally, valves should be tested once a year as they are prone to rust and mineral deposits leaving them fairly difficult to open/close.

    Additionally, before freezing weather hits make sure to disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. Subsequently, this will reduce the chance of freezing on the short span of pipe just inside the house.

    For more on the subject check out our post on Avoiding Common Plumbing Emergencies
     

    Frying a turkey

    Thinking of trying a new turkey recipe this year? Frying a turkey is a new and popular method that can result in a crispy exterior while leaving a deliciously tender center, however there are some potential hazards you should consider prior to going this route!

    Hot oil can splash and burn not to mention boil over and catch fire. Here are some tips to stay safe with these turkey-frying guidelines:

  • Never fry a frozen turkey.
  • Fry the turkey outdoors and away from anything flammable.
  • Wear eye protection, gloves and an apron.
  • Have an extinguisher handy, just in case.
  • Don’t put water on a grease fire. Cover the fire with a pot or pan. Use baking soda if necessary.

    Curb appeal

    Do you have guests coming for the long weekend? Don’t worry you still have time to do some minor cosmetic touch ups. Here are some great ideas to make the best first impression on your new arrivals.

  • Inspect your exterior paint. Think about doors, window frames and siding. If any paint is peeling or extremely out of date consider doing some touch ups.
  • Lighting. Have any bulbs that aren’t functioning? Make sure to change them ahead of time or have an electrician inspect any more complex issues.
  • Decorations. Bring your front porch to life. Bring out any fall wreaths or get creative with some DIY projects using pumpkins, pinecones, apples, and cornhusks.

    Appliances

    Another home maintenance project to consider as the holidays draw closer is to repair major home appliances. Any Thanksgiving Holiday dinner will take a toll on your entire kitchen and laundry room as you celebrate with family and friends. You’ll want to make sure your kitchen appliances, washer and dryer are all in working order…this way you’ll mitigate any hiccups after all your guests arrive.

    If you are currently having issues now is certainly the time to get a handyman in to inspect or repair any issues!