If you’re not one of the many nervous homeowners hoping against hope that the final punch list items in your kitchen remodel will be finished by Wednesday, you’re probably thinking about your Thanksgiving shopping list and getting your guest accommodations ready for weekend visitors.
Is your home as ready for the holiday as you are? Are there easy, no-contractor-required tweaks and purchases you can make between now and Thursday that will make hosting easier for you and healthier for everyone? The short answer is yes. Here are some room-by-room tips.
1. To speed up cooking and make multi-tasking easier, consider adding a portable induction burner to your kitchen. It will add a high speed way to complete the fifth side dish you need to prepare on a four burner range.
2. Add to your oven capacity with a countertop convection steam oven. This is another way to multi-task your holiday cooking when the turkey is dominating the main oven. Convection keeps food moist and steaming keeps its nutrients intact.
3. If you’re going to be standing for hours preparing and cleaning up after a holiday dinner, get yourself an anti-fatigue mat to stand on. It will ease the stress on your back, hips, legs and feet that often come with long stretches of standing on stone or tile floors.
4. Down bedding is delightfully soft, but not so delightful to those with down allergies. Replace down guest room comforters and pillows with organic down alternatives.
5. Add a folding luggage rack to your guest room so that guests don’t have to strain their backs or knees digging items out of their suitcase while it sits on the floor.
6. Add black-out liners or panels to your guest room windows so that your guests can get a better night’s sleep.
7. Replace standard air filters with HEPA filters to improve indoor air quality.
8. Add ways for your guests to keep their bags off the floor and toilet tank in your powder room by adding a small side table, wall hook or both.
9. Replace the standard showerhead in a guest shower with a hand-held model that offers a massage setting. One with push button controls makes changing spray modes easier with wet or arthritic hands. (Showerhead replacement is a fairly easy DIY-friendly task.)
Guest Bedrooms and Bathrooms
10. Replace standard bulbs in bedrooms and bathrooms with circadian-friendly bulbs. These will eliminate pre-bedtime blue light that can interrupt sleep.
Free bonus tips
These don’t require a shopping trip or online purchase, but can ensure a happier, healthier holiday for all. First, make sure your home’s entry areas, stairs and walkways are well-lit and free of trip hazards, so that you reduce the risk of a guest injuring herself with a fall. Second, move your pet’s food and drink bowls out of the kitchen, if that’s where they normally sit, so that you or helpers don’t trip on your furry friend while rushing to finish and serve the big meal. (Some veterinarians recommend keeping pet feeding areas outside the kitchen in general.) Third, as part of your guest bedroom preparations, eliminate as many dust mites as possible with a thorough vacuuming, dusting and bedding laundering.
Last, but definitely not least, find a quiet area of your home — ideally one with a connection to nature — where you can decompress for even five or 10 minutes during your hectic preparations.
Happy and healthy Thanksgiving to you and your favorite people!