It is around this time of year that people start to get bogged down in to-do lists and getting organised for the week of eating and sofa snoozing that is Christmas. The focus is on whether or not a metre of Jaffa cakes is going to be enough and who gets first dibs on the Radio Times bumper addition when it comes out. But not many people think about making a few other plans for a hassle free Christmas so I thought I might share my top five tips.
Check when bin day is
It might sound dull but it is always worth checking out when your revised bin day might be. I know, it’s dull but there is nothing worse than having a stuffed bin and not realising it won’t be collected on the usual day (and might actually be collected on a Saturday) so double check on your council website so you know exactly when it might be. And remember that wrapping paper typically can’t be recycled so don’t stick it in your blue bin (or do what we are doing this year and only use brown paper and string so it can be recycled).
Give your appliances a service
All trades people deserve a much needed break over the festive period so if they are called out it is only right they add a surcharge to their prices. In order to avoid you having to call anybody out it’s a really good idea to give all your appliances a once over in November. Clean out washing machine and dishwasher filters as theses are typically the things that cause them to stop working. And give the oven a good clean. Its a job that nobody likes to do but think how smug you’ll feel when somebody offers to give you a hand on Christmas Day and sees how clean it is.
Boilers should also be serviced annually so make sure yours is done. This should then mean you can avoid that most painful of cold showers and no heating for a week, or longer if it needs a new part. When I worked for a lettings agent I cannot tell you how many boiler break downs we had to deal with when we re-opened in January, most of which could have been avoided.
Get a spare key cut
And hide it somewhere. Not under a pot by the front door. But somewhere really obscure. Being locked out because you forgot your keys is never any fun and calling out an emergency lock smith on New Year’s Eve is even less fun. Says the woman who once sat on her own freezing front drive for four hours waiting for a locksmith when the front door slammed behind her.
Check when doctors and dentists are open
Sometimes the unexpected happens and you just can’t avoid somebody being poorly, or needing a dentist over the holiday period. Whilst it is unlikely that you are going to need emergency root canal treatment straight after Christmas it is worth making sure you know when they are open in case you need to see someone. I shall be on the phone to Weybridge Dental later this week to make sure I have their opening times pinned to my fridge.
And if you have pets, what are the arrangements for emergency vets, god forbid you need one.
Finally, the most important point of all
Go and get your diary now and pencil in a window to breathe. Before you know it the period when the kids are off, your other half isn’t working, you have some time off too, gets rammed with appointments and get togethers quicker than you can say “Santa’s been”. It is well worth just penciling an afternoon or an evening where you say “Nope, nothing is happening then” so you can just put your feet up with a mince pie and a cuppa and catch your breathe.
And to congratulate yourself on being so organised this year.
This is a collaborative post