With the holidays just around the corner, you might be thinking about ways to spruce up your home before guests come calling. Since it’s such a busy and expensive time of year, I’ve decided to put together a list of small improvements you can tackle in an hour or less for under $100. Let’s get started:
Front Door Facelift - Make a great first impression by giving your front door some holiday flair. A festive wreath, some planters adorned with mini Christmas trees, or some holly garland can go a long way in greeting your guests.
Light a Path - With people coming and going, it’s always a good idea to make sure your driveway and entryway are well lit to avoid slips and falls. I love solar powered lights which don’t add to the electricity bill and will keep the path properly and safely illuminated.
Set and Forget Fireplace - Everyone loves the glow of a fire, but not every homeowner wants to deal with keeping it up while entertaining guests. Replace the logs with a candelabra to give your living room an inviting glow without the maintenance.
Sparkling Floors - Give hardwood floors a holiday shine with a floor refresher. No one has time to refinish this time of year, but a simple water-based formula will fill in scratches and make hardwood look like new. Best of all, the product goes on with a microfiber mop and takes just an hour to dry.
Carpet Clean-up - If you have old stains in the carpet, now is the time to get rid of them. In a spray bottle, mix a teaspoon of concentrated cleaner such as OxyClean with two cups of water and cover with a damp rag. Use a medium heat iron to steam out the stains, but keep a close eye to avoid burning the carpet.
A Citrusy Sink - With the holidays approaching, the last thing you want is a stinky garbage disposal. Give it a quick freshen up by dropping a few white vinegar ice cubes and some citrus peels down the chute and leave it running for about a minute. This will clear up any old food particles and leave it smelling fresh.
Freshen Up After Fido - If you have a pet, chances are you’ve become used to the smell, but your guests may not be so comfortable. Give Fido’s bed, the carpets, or the furniture a liberal sprinkling of baking soda before vacuuming to get rid of both pet hair and odor.
Nicks and Nuts - Has your wood dining table seen better days? Believe it or not, you can use a shelled walnut to remove those unsightly scratches. Just rub the nut gently around the blemish and follow with a buffing wax to make it shine.
These are just a few of my favorite fixes, but I’d love to hear from you! What little home improvements do you want to tackle for the holidays? Share your ideas by sending me an email or connect with me on Facebook at facebook.com/odonnellbros.
Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.