First time hosting Thanksgiving at your house? Maybe it’s the first time you’re doing so since moving to your new place? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are all the preparation tips you’ll need to have your holidays go off without a hitch.
- Dust Your Ceiling Fans
Remember how you kept your fans on all summer to spread around that cold air you kept making the A/C pump in? Well, now that the blades aren’t spinning around anymore, chances are really good that you’ve got a bunch of disgusting dust built up on the edges of each one. And if your fan is right above your kitchen table, think about how tasty it’d be to have that fall right atop your turkey. (Yum!)
Now, instead of just trying to simply dust the fan blades – which really just releases it back into the air – try this. Use a pillowcase, a spray bottle, water, and two tablespoons of vinegar. It’s a smarter way to trap the dust and other grossness so you don’t breathe it in and kick start that winter cold just in time for the family to arrive.
- Steam Clean Your Carpets
Remember that time you spilled a glass of red wine on your living room carpet earlier this year? And remember how it never quite came out… so you just placed a plant or coffee table over it instead? Well, it’s time to finally be rid of that stain and to make that carpet new again with a steam cleaner.
You can hire a company to come in and handle the whole thing, or you can rent one for an afternoon from your nearby grocery or home improvement store. They’re easy to use, and you’ll be surprised by how gross and dingy your carpets have grown from just regular, everyday use.
- Sharpen Your Kitchen Knives
Think about how much stuff you’re going to have to cut up this Thanksgiving. Every chunk of vegetable, every slice of turkey, every piece of pie. Now imagine that every single time you go to cut something, you’re doing so with a dull blade. Not only does this slow you down, but it also increases the risk of you slicing your finger while trying to cut the carrots. Instead, watch this video to see step-by-step instructions for sharpening your knives.
Just be sure that you’re now confusing your sharpening whetstone with your honing steel rod. They each help to improve your knives, but in different ways.
- Check Your Spice Cabinet
Are you about to run out of basic black pepper and salt? Is your pumpkin pie spice from years ago finally so old that it needs to be thrown out instead of thrown in a pie? Take stock of what you’ve got, what you need, and what you need to replace in the spice and seasonings cabinet so that everything tastes just the way you want it to.
- Scrub Your Oven
Little-known fact: the self-cleaning function on your oven – while awesome – increases the likelihood that it’ll break. That’s because it burns up everything inside at 900 degrees, whereas it usually maxes out your baking top temperature at 500 degrees, and making your oven go into hyper-drive could cause it to break down.
“A full dishwasher uses less water than handwashing does, and it lets you get back to the party.”
Should that happen, feeding a family of 15 might be a tad difficult without an oven to pitch in. So, instead, go the all-natural, non-toxic route. Use basic ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar to clean your oven. These solutions are frugal, effective, and totally free of harmful chemicals and caustic ingredients.
- Prevent Those Potential Fires
We all hate the incessant chirping noise the smoke detector makes when the battery dies in it. But going without a properly-functioning smoke detector during the holidays is a risky move, especially when there are so many fires and cooks in the kitchen. So replace the batteries in your smoke detectors, folks. And while you’re at it, make sure the fire extinguisher under the sink isn’t expired either.
- Use the Dishwasher (But Fill It First)
Skip hand washing your dishes after everyone’s done with dinner. Instead, pack the dishwasher to capacity (with everything that’s safe to go in there) and let it do the dirty work. Not only does this use less water, but it lets you need to only deal with a few extra-large pots and pans so can rush back to the table for dessert.
- Save Some Energy
When you begin cooking, lower your thermostat a few degrees and let the oven’s extra heat help keep your house warm. Also, plan to cook your side dishes the same time as your turkey to make the most of all that heat you’re generating. And when you’re cooking, be sure to use ceramic or glass pans. They allow you to turn down the oven’s temperature by up to 25 degrees and still get the same results.
On top of that, use your oven’s convection feature to circulate the heated air, reduce the required temperature and cooking time, and cut your energy use by about 20%. And to get the best deal on your electricity and natural gas utilities, let Allconnect help.
So this Thanksgiving weekend, make sure you’re well prepared to impress the family. Have the house ready and running efficiently, and save yourself some time and energy so you can get back to what’s really important – spending time with the friends and family you love.