With guest season and the holidays coming fast and furious, you want to be sure your home is cozy.
Here are some tips from Realtor Magazine on how to make that happen, along with a few other timely tips:
#1 Wash Bed Pillows. You love your trusty, old, perfectly-snugged-to-your-head pillow. But guess what's also snug against your head? Fungus — 4 to 16 species to be precise. Not very welcoming! With fall being the height of guest season, you'll want your guest pillows fresh, too. Pop them in the washing machine and dryer for an all-over clean feeling. But be sure to check the manufacturer’s advice, too. Some pillows shouldn't be washed – replace them instead.
#2 Clean the Mattress. Sleeping soundly gets even better when you know you're lying on a clean and fresh mattress. Over time, skin cells and sweat get into the mattress, then dust mites show up for a dinner party featuring those tasty skin cell morsels.
You'll want your guest mattress to be at its freshest. It's easy to do: Vacuum it and then wipe it down with a cloth dampened with an upholstery shampoo. But be sure to let it dry; otherwise, you're inviting mold. Also, be sure to rotate it 180 degrees to help keep it lump-free. If you've got a flippable mattress, go ahead and flip it. That, too, can help kill the yucky mites.
#3 Insulate Windows. Bone-chilling drafts seriously detract from the cozy vibe you want. Keep it cozy by hanging drapes as close to your windows as possible to help you keep the heat inside. You can even add clear Velcro strips or dots to the back of the drape and attach to fasteners on the wall to help insulate. Be sure to cross one drape over the other when you close up for the night. Insulating shades can do the trick, too.
#4 Trim Tree Branches. The last thing you need is a winter storm knocking down a mighty tree whose branches are angling over your roof. Long limbs invite pests to explore your roof for excess water to seep into cracks in the roof or siding. Homeowners should keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from the house. Plus, it's easier to trim branches after leaves have fallen. And if it’s an evergreen, you'll have greenery for the holidays!
#5 Get a Chimney Sweep to Inspect the Fireplace. It's time to dust off and sweep the chimney! Best to hire someone who knows wood-burning fireplaces. A professional chimney sweep will ensure your wood-burning fireplace burns more efficiently and will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter. Also, if you don't already have a chimney cap, this is also the time to add one to stop wild outdoor critters from crawling down it — and into your house.