Some people get a bit tetchy at the end of the year in those few days between getting off work for Christmas & New Year’s, where it feels like time loses some sense of meaning. Personally, I love that final week of the year as it’s like one last check to check off anything and everything you have to do so you’ll have a clean slate for the new year.
As it is also the time of year for having people visit, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time tinkering with things around the house to get them looking absolutely perfect. That may involve having to do a few DIY jobs here and there. Believe me, these are the kinds of jobs that seem simple but muck it up, and you could be left scrambling to find a local plumber or electrician in the middle of Christmas.
Without being there to look over your shoulder, here are some of the simple things to look out so you can have a DIY disaster-free Christmas.
Hanging anything on plaster walls
You just about got the wreath hung on the front door, and you may have got the sticky tape out to hang tinsel and cards on your walls, but that isn’t the only time you’ll be getting familiar with walls this year. This first piece of advice is for anyone out there who has bought a video doorbell or flat-screen TV, or anything that has to get hung up as a gift. These are items you’ll have to drill and hang on the wall. You’ll want to make sure you can drill in without hitting any wires or pipes. Just imagine drilling through an internal wall and hitting a pipe. It would be a nightmare.
Get yourself a stud detector for cheap online. They’ll be able to let you know if where you’re looking to drill into a wall is ok, especially if you’re getting a TV for an extension or upstairs bedroom, which are typically plasterboard walls.
Speaking of TVs and the like, if you’ve bought someone a big digital gift like a PlayStation or laptop, get it out now when they aren’t in the house. Plug it in and get it running, as it will probably need to run updates before it’s good to go. Better to do it now than having to spend Christmas morning staring at a loading screen.
Making sure you don’t “fall” into A&E
Did you know that one of the most common accidents people end up in the hospital for in December is from falling off ladders? It isn’t the case that people suddenly take the urge to become WWE wrestlers, but that lots of people go to hang lights & decorations at the front of the house without fully knowing how to act safely on their ladders.
You might think that going all out and getting a staple gun to hang lights up is the best way to go, but it can become a juggling act holding everything at once (plus, you’re leaving yourself open to having to remove all those staples in a few weeks). I suggest getting gutter hooks or outdoor decorating clips that you can thread the lights through.
And please don’t ever start leaning over and stretching out to reach a far light. Take your time and move over slowly. It’s best to play it safe than over-extend and have a nasty fall. Always remind yourself it’s easier to wrap presents when no arms are wrapped in a cast.
Avoiding cold radiators around the dinner table
Picture the scene. You’ve lovingly cooked a feast for the family that can take pride of place on the dining room table. Your dining room is really only used on special occasions like today, so that radiator isn’t on that much, but now that it is it barely works.
If you’re having trouble with some of your radiators just now while the heating is on a lot, I recommend reading some of the advice guides here at Trade Radiators. They have a lot of simple YouTube videos that show how to fix most problems. Go and crank the radiators up in the rooms you’ll be in this Christmas just to double-check they’re all working magically. You’d rather be feeling warm and toasty than tucking into your Christmas dinner wrapped in a blanket.
Putting candles under shelves
Is there anything more calming than a few festive candles lit up to give a room some ambience? How about lighting a candle on a shelf and coming back to find it has left a giant burn mark on the shelf above?
You need to be extremely careful with where you’re putting candles at Christmas time. Please never light one in a room and then walk away, and check that if you have a candle lit, it isn’t underneath or around anything where it will burn or leave a mark. That goes doubly for popping tea light on your living room window if you have plastic or PVC sills. Those candles will leave ring marks.
Don’t hoover up Christmas tree needles
Think of this last tip as your first resolution for the new year. When the tree is coming down, don’t hoover up all the needled with your vacuum, as it could clog and cause the thing to break. You can get away with picking up stray needles here and here, but unless you have an industrial model at home it’s best to avoid using it.
Instead, use a rubber broom that will pull the needles out of the carpet and help you collect needles in one place. And if you don’t have one of those, brush as normal and grab the lint roller you use on your clothes. They are amazing at picking up stray needles from the carpet.
There we go. Some festive tips to help avoid DIY mishaps over the holidays. Hopefully, they’ll help you have a stress-free experience, and at the bare minimum help avoid breaking your hoover!