If you're planning on having friends or family over for the holidays, you want everything to be just right. Food prep, drink options and activities are all top of mind, and you've likely been scurrying around for the last several days to get everything in order. While you're hustling from the grocery store to the dry cleaner, don't forget to take a look at what's right under your nose: your house. While you've likely done most of the cleaning you needed to do, there could be other smaller issues that need fixing. You don't need a home inspection to figure these out, and luckily, most are easy enough to fix yourself in no time.
Squeaky doors and more
To solve the most vexing of home improvement issues, DoItYourself.com compiled a guide to common and quick household fixes that can be completed mere hours before guests arrive. One of the most obvious issues in a home is squeaky doors and other hinges. While this tends to happen as doors get older, there's no need to go and replace the entire thing. Squeaking hinges are caused by increased friction between moving parts. While the cause is hard to see, the solution is incredibly easy. Every handyman's best friend is a can of WD-40. This is an aerosol lubricant and can be sprayed directly onto a surface, and will begin working instantly to reduce friction between joints. To maximize effectiveness, aim the WD-40 nozzle slightly above the target, and wipe any excess with a rag. Then, slowly open and close the door several times to get the lubricant as evenly applied as possible. While you have it handy, you can look for other squeaky items in your home to fix, or really any moving part that could use a bit of loosening. DoItYourself suggested giving old locks a quick spray to keep them working well. A squeaky frame on your guest bed can also be remedied with this powerful solution.
Bathroom and kitchen woes
Why does it seem like the bathroom is always the victim of most appliance breakdowns that happen around the house? One common source for trouble is the toilet. Many are left perplexed, and maybe even panicked, when the toilet stops working like it should. Fortunately, within that mysterious ceramic tank lies a pretty simple mechanism. If the toilet handle stops working, for example, fixing it is a simple matter of removing the lid to the tank and attaching the chain that connects the handle to the plunger. It's pretty common that this becomes disconnected, but attaching it is very easy. Don't be worried about the water inside the tank: it is clean.
Another common bathroom issue involves clogged drains. According to Roto Rooter, many Americans find they need the services of a plumber around the holidays. The reason for an abundance of clogged drains around this time of year is not fully understood, but likely has a lot to do with excess grease from all the turkeys, hams and Christmas geese being discarded in the sink. Grease can be especially harmful for garbage disposal units, as it tends to clog up the delicate blades inside and pose problems. If you suddenly have a clog, try a few initial steps before calling the plumber. The best solution that few think of in time is using a plunger. These aren't just for toilets - plungers can effectively clear blockages in any plumbing system, including sinks and showers. DoItYourself.com also suggested pouring a half cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by two cups white vinegar. The mixture will react to create lots of foam and noise, but is not harmful if you keep your distance. Flush this with some boiling water to finish the job.
Tables and chairs, oh my!
With more guests in your home using your tables and chairs, any slight issues are going to become a big pain. While you may have learned to live with your wobbly furniture, your guests may not find it so endearing. Thankfully, fixing these is simple. Just find a spare cardboard box and cut small squares from it. These squares should be small enough to stay concealed under the legs of the table or chair. Then tape the cardboard to the leg that's causing the wobble. You may need more than one piece of cardboard. Voila, furniture that works.