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HOME IS WHERE YOUR HEALTH IS: ​Preparing Your Home for Thanksgiving

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Preparing Your Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But before we start stuffing turkeys and mashing potatoes, now would be a good time to prepare our homes for one of the most celebrated holidays of the year. And what better place to start than in the kitchen and dining room?

Since you will obviously be doing a lot of cooking, it is a no-brainer that you sharpen your kitchen knives and make sure that they are ready to do all the work for you. Not only will sharp knives make meal preparations so much easier, but dull knives can slip and cause painful cuts. And while you’re at it, check to see that loose wooden knife handles are properly tightened to avoid any further accidents while cooking. Secondly, make sure that all your kitchen appliances are in tip-top shape for the occasion. Clean your microwave thoroughly, from its rotating tray to its interior, all the way down to its air vents. Clean the top burner elements of your oven, but leave the major cleanup until after the holiday since the oven will definitely be far from spotless after all the cooking and food preparation. Also, make sure that your refrigerator is ready for the challenge. Roy Berendsohn lists some handy tips to do this over on popularmechanics.com

And since we’re still on the topic of preparations in the kitchen, perhaps one of the most important things to do is this: DO NOT dump grease down the sink. Even the smallest amount can cause drains to be clogged. Trust me, no one wants to spend Thanksgiving snaking the sink. Better yet, if you think you already have slow drains, schedule your plumber before Thanksgiving. Don’t wait to call for him until the day after when most plumbers are already busy with other people’s kitchen sinks. 

Lastly, while candles add to the ambiance of the occasion, try and keep them to a minimum. We cannot stress it enough, but fire prevention is most important during these occasions when candles can be left unattended. And since you can never be too safe, it is always a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen. If you already have one, make sure it isn’t expired; otherwise, be sure to buy a new one or have it refilled.

Perhaps the second most important room to prepare in your home for Thanksgiving is the bathroom. Make sure that your bathrooms are well stocked with supplies. Have extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, floss, towels, hand soap, and toilet paper ready. When it comes to your bathroom garbage bin, Liz Hardy from porch.com gives a pretty practical suggestion: set it in plain sight to remind your guests not to flush objects down the toilet. She also suggests to allow 15 minutes in between showers to allow proper pipe drainage and give the hot water ample time to warm up.

When it comes to the living room, here are a few things to tick off your Thanksgiving preparation checklist. All the cooking in the kitchen can heat up the home, and the tendency is to turn your AC all the way down. This is actually more harmful for your system and can lead to it giving out. Instead, lower your AC in 2-3 degree increments every couple of hours. In time, when all your guests have settled, you will find that your home’s temperature will be at a fairly comfortable one. Better still, just like with your kitchen sink, have your HVAC unit inspected before Thanksgiving Day to make sure you don’t run into any hiccups on the day itself. In addition, don’t overload your outlets. Once all the eating is done, everyone will probably be either in front of the TV, a computer, or their phones and tablets that are plugged into the nearest outlet. This commonly ignored practice is a recipe for disaster. One way to avoid this is to charge all your electronics before Thanksgiving Day so you don’t have to compete with everyone else who needs to plug in their device. Another precaution is to use surge protectors and have your home inspected for any potential electrical problems. 

Of course, the easiest and most immediate method is to simply keep your plug-ins to a minimum. Monica Beyer from makeitgrateful.com suggests you display some good reads. Books, magazines, and photo albums are great alternatives to mobile phones and tablets, not to mention excellent conversation starters. Finally, check your smoke alarms—make sure they have new batteries—and ensure that your home is slip- and child-proof. Remember, you can never be too safe.

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

I’m sure you’re excited for Thanksgiving—I know I am! But as my high school teacher used to say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” To be assured of a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, make sure to prepare every corner of your home to avoid any setbacks or worse. You’ll thank me for it later.







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