7 Tips To Prepare Your Phoenix Home for the 2017 Holidays

Ah, the holidays. A time for family, well-wishes, and socially acceptable greed. A time for relaxation and sleeping in and cozy sweaters and cookies…

…and the chance to absolutely lose our minds.

Here in Phoenix, AZ, keeping a household in shape is a tough job at any point in the year, both when it comes to cleaning and to ensuring the safety of who lives there. When the colder months roll in and all of the big excuses to get together (and buy a lot of expensive new things) loom, that job turns into a nightmare. Unless you’re June Cleaver (which seems pretty unlikely) or Kevin McCallister from Home Alone (which also doesn’t seem probable), you’re not going to breeze through the preparation that’s demanded when playing host. Everyday life doesn’t get put on hold while the halls are decked, after all, no matter what 1950s holiday sitcom specials tell us.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a tidy list of easy ways to get yourself ready for the coming pandemonium without driving yourself into an early grave. Before we get to the more serious stuff, let’s first take a quick look at the question of entertaining:

1.Take It Outside

Chances are good that your home is going to start feeling cramped in the upcoming weeks, thanks to the endless number of guests and decorations that will start to materialize from seemingly nowhere from now until the New Year. To keep space and the average number of messes manageable, consider taking the party (metaphorical or not) outside. With the temperatures (finally) dropping, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the cooler days and nights we have here in Phoenix.

2. Holiday Meals on the Patio

Of course, your yard is going to need more than just grass to entertain guests. Furniture is the name of the “good host” game: chairs, tables, loungers, firepits, and more. The list goes on. And while Arizona doesn’t have the most extreme climate around, it’s no stranger to inclement weather, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting pieces that not only look good but are also guaranteed to be durable.

3. Keep It Secure

Okay, now it’s time to get serious.

Safety: it’s always important as a homeowner to consider how you’re keeping your livelihood and family protected, but it can become an especially significant concern during this time of the year when would-be thieves know that many will have a lot of expensive new purchases tucked away somewhere.

4. Lock things up

One of the most effective security measures to consider investing in is the reinforcement of your home’s weakest parts: namely, entry points in the form of windows and doors. While most come with some basic form of protection — locks, glass, perhaps a screen — the “default” tends to be pretty flimsy, or at least vulnerable to a would-be intruder with a degree of determination or a decent set of tools.

5. Don’t forget the screen door

You can’t do much better when it comes to improved safeguards than a solid security screen. And when we say “solid,” we mean it literally: you can find models for doors and windows alike that run a wide gamut of quality and durability, but you’ll want something sturdy if you’re serious about your protection. Additional locks or door reinforcement kits are worthwhile investments, too, but they can still leave vulnerable parts such as glass exposed. A metal cover will keep everything intact and can come in several styles of various design and complexity to ensure that they keep your house look like a home, not a prison.

6. What about the windows?

One thing to keep in mind: while doors are a simple enough matter, consider operable, rather than stationary, guards for your windows. These models include a release mechanism that will let you open them via pushbutton or key — a valuable option to have in the event of a fire or other emergency.

7. Last but not least: Have Fun!

With any luck, the holidays will be a time of relaxation, good food, and family, but it’s important to be prepared for them. Beyond the basics — Hang the lights! Make up the guest room! Clean the toilets! — are other considerations that will go a long way in making sure you have a smooth, safe end to the year. Just make sure you have some matching towels.