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Festive preparation: How to get your home host-ready for Christmas

The most magical time of the year is fast approaching. The Christmas spirit will soon be taking over (if it hasn't already!); carols playing and families are reuniting. However, before you invite everyone over for some festive fun, consider fixing all the little niggles you've been putting off in your home.

Create your own Christmas preparation miracle by getting host-ready with these top 18 jobs. Now is the perfect time sort out any imperfections you’ve wanted to rectify for a while (or far too long!)

If it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone when it comes to living with issues you’ve learned to ignore or work around.

Out of the homeowners we surveyed, 22% of them said they only get around to tackling unfinished jobs when they’re hosting something big, such as a Christmas party!

You’ll only find trades who meet our high standards and pass our quality checks on Checkatrade.

Christmas preparation tips: When should I start preparing for Christmas?

The amount of Christmas preparation time to factor in depends on the types of jobs you need completing. Aim to have everything finished by the end of November so you have the whole of December to enjoy the festive season.

The best way to organise your Christmas preparation is to work out exactly what needs fixing in your home. The next step is working out how long fixing each item might take. It’s also important to consider the wait times of any tradespeople you want to hire to complete each task.

Consequently, it’s best to think about preparing for the Christmas holidays around three months in advance.

Avoid disappointment by popping your postcode into the search bar below. We’ll then send you a list of tradespeople ready to help you transform your home. Be quick and book your job today!

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Still not sure what you need? Check out these 18 must-do jobs before you host guests this Christmas.

Outdoor Christmas decoration ideas

Your Christmas preparation should prioritise winter-proofing your home

1. Service your boiler

When the nights draw in and the temperature drops, that’s the perfect time to get your boiler serviced.

Servicing your boiler will help you dodge unexpected chills and guarantee everyone in your home stays warm and cosy during their post-dinner nap.

Boiler servicing is a popular job that people search for in the lead up to Christmas, so don’t wait too long to get your boiler booked for a festive service.

Last year, we saw a 91% increase in searches* for gas boiler servicing in the final 3 months of the year.

Find out what the cost of a boiler service is in our boiler service cost guide.

2. Get your chimney swept

Clean out the cobwebs and sweep your chimney to make way for Santa. You won’t appreciate his dusty footprints all over your carpets, nor his soot-covered sneezes.

Leaving this pesky task too long isn’t good for your health or the environment. It’s also a fire hazard; there could be blockages, or even nesting birds. So, make sure you check out how much it might cost you and book in your chimney sweeper today.

You don’t want to wait too long either, searches for chimney sweepers on Checkatrade increased by 27%* in the final 3 months of last year.

3. Insulate your pipes and inspect your plumbing

The last thing you need to worry about is frozen pipes when you’re hoping to enjoy a warm bath. Just like you enjoy wrapping up in a big winter coat to face the elements, so do your pipes. 

Hire a plumber to inspect and cover your pipes before it’s too late. They’ll let you know the best insulation methods for the type of plumbing you have and make sure everything stays cosy until the frost begins to thaw.

Plumbers are popular this time of the year: We saw a 34% increase in searches for general plumbing* for the last 3 months of the year, so make sure to find a plumber near you sooner rather than later.

For more helpful tips, check out our guides on: How to prepare your house for the winter and Cost to prevent winter freezing damage.

Christmas preparation: how to get your home host ready in time for Christmas. Image: Family at front door of friend's house at Christmas time

Refresh your interiors and spruce up your spaces

4. Revamp your guest room

Even if your guest bedroom isn’t being used as a central storage hub, it’s time to clear the clutter and give it a fresh lick of paint. Perhaps you use it as a handy refuge for a post-lunch afternoon nap? Maybe it’s a convertible office space? Whatever you do in there, it’s good to keep it welcoming and the bed ready for any sleepy heads.

Remember that different paint types are suited to different spaces, so if your guest bedroom is a little on the dark side, opt for a semi-gloss. As well as reflecting light, it’s also stain-resistant and easier to clean – win-win!

If wrapping gifts is more your thing, then find a professional painter and decorator to take the stress away.

5. Repaint all your high-traffic areas

Freshening up the oft-overlooked areas, such as light switches, scuffs on the skirting boards, and the scrapes behind doors, you’ll soon see the difference it makes to your home.

Start by cleaning and priming surfaces to remove grime and any cooking smells, then grab the paintbrush and get painting. Just make sure you’ve turned off the electrics when working near light switches and sockets.

Start your search for the best painter and decorator near you!

Related content: How to paint a room & Hiring the best painter and decorator

6. Get your oven cleaned

A clean oven is an efficient oven. Avoid a turkey disaster this year by making sure your oven is spotless and working at its best. You need it running at an optimum if you’re going to pull off a show-stopper.

There are some great cleaning products on the market. However, they tend to be time-consuming and don’t necessarily guarantee professional results.

A professional oven cleaner will take away your oven woes and make it spotless in a matter of hours.

7. Fix your creaky stairs

You don’t want the kids to hear Santa coming up the stairs! If you’ve fallen prey to the wear and tear inevitability of a creaky stair, it’s time to get it fixed.

Read our guide on How to fix creaky stairs to make sure this annoying house-niggle doesn’t ruin any surprises.

While you’re thinking about your stairs, why not consider some under stair storage to keep the clutter at bay?

Related content: Staircase refurbishment costs

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Wooden banister decorated in Xmas lights and wreaths

8. Install extra storage

If your stairs won’t accommodate any storage space, fear not! Adding extra hat and coat hooks near your home’s entrance is a simple way to keep your house tidy.

Imagine the ease as your family walks through your wreath-laden front door and places their woolly outwear on your perfectly aligned hooks?

Alternatively, a rack on the back of a door is a space-saving and cost-effective way to free up storage space.

9. Declutter your living spaces

If you have enough storage, then a Christmas clear-out is the best way to make space for all your shiny new toys.

Luckily, you don’t need to embrace your inner Marie Kondo to make a difference. If cleaning doesn’t spark joy, why not hire someone to do it for you? Find a professional cleaner to help add some Feng to your Shui.

10. Deep clean your whole house

It doesn’t matter how well you’ve prepared for Christmas, when the day finally comes, it feels a bit manic. That’s why starting the festivities with a thoroughly clean home should be the top of your agenda. In turn, this will provide a tranquil foundation for the fun to begin.

If Mrs Hinch isn’t your spirit animal, book a professional cleaner who will free you up to focus on the important things (like consuming the best Quality Streets).

Deep cleaning services are popular among homeowners from October to December time – we saw a 19% increase in searches for deep cleaning services on Checkatrade last year*.

Make sure to book in your local cleaner before the busy festive period!

11. Hire professional carpet cleaners

Nothing screams ‘homely Christmas!’ more than fresh carpets (okay, maybe the turkey dinner and the sweet scent of cinnamon drifting through the house…); however, it doesn’t hurt to transform your floors and lay the perfect foundation for entertaining.

We recommend deep cleaning your carpets once a year – twice if you have allergies or pets. Getting your carpets professionally cleaned will help restore them and lift the pile for a ‘like new’ appearance.

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

Include a bathroom revamp in your Christmas preparation

12. Regrout the shower

Your shower is about to endure way more traffic than usual. Avoid any unwelcome leaks by regrouting and resealing your tiles and trays.

If you’d like to leave this one to the professionals, find out how much it might cost you here.

13. Replace that cracked toilet seat

There’s one issue that pops up at this time of year more than any other, and that’s the humble toilet seat. It’s a job we often overlook until the dreaded fear of someone sitting on a cracked seat becomes a reality.

Thankfully, a local handyperson will be able to sort this out for you quickly and easily.

14. Increase your bathroom’s capacity

It’s worth considering extra storage options in your bathroom as you may need some extra space for additional guest towels and toiletries. Also, make sure your toilet roll holder is in good working order. It’s going to have to store all those extra rolls…

If you have a compact bathroom, smart storage is the answer. Think about building upwards, not outwards.

Bathroom greenhouse diy

Prepare your exteriors and winter-proof your home for Christmas

15. Install an outdoor electrical socket

If OTT Christmas decorations are your thing, you may already have outdoor power outlets installed. However, if this is new to you, you’ll need to get a qualified electrician in to accommodate your additional power needs.

Make sure you forward-plan to ensure plenty of time for any last minute changes to your decorations. In the meantime, here are the average costs to install an outdoor power socket.

16. Get your windows cleaned and resealed

If you’ve decided your Christmas lights are going to rival those in Home Alone, you may as well get your windows cleaned too. Nothing says Christmas quite like the twinkling of lights against glistening glass.

Book to have your windows cleaned a month before you put up your decorations to avoid disruption. It’s also worth winter-proofing them by having your seals checked and repaired where needed.

Related content: Window cleaning prices.

17. De-weed and tidy up your driveway

No amount of Christmas decor will hide an overgrown garden. We often neglect our front gardens, so it’s important we de-weed and tidy it to maximise its kerb appeal.

Hire a gardener before you hang your Christmas decorations to give yourself the best canvas. If speed is your priority, consider a jet washer to freshen up moss-attacked patios and grime covered paving slabs.

18. Hire a professional to install your outdoor Christmas lights

Safe installation of Christmas lights

Looking for Christmas lights that make your neighbours gasp ‘wow!’? Then why not consider hiring a professional for all your holiday decorating needs?

They won’t just help design and hang your light installation, they’ll even help you take them down, which means you get to avoid the dreaded repacking of endless wires!

They may even provide a call-out service just in case you encounter any problems.

Related content: Christmas decoration ideas: Eco-friendly ways to jingle your bells.

Christmas preparation takeaways

The little jobs we overlook do add up, but these touches are what makes a house a home – particularly at Christmas time!

If there’s anything you’re not confident with, always look at hiring a professional. A handyperson can take on various tasks, but where jobs are more specialist, make sure a qualified professional is at hand.

Did you find these Christmas preparation tips helpful? For more ideas on how to get your home Christmas-ready, take a look at our Christmas decoration ideas.

Christmas decoration ideas

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*Based on Checkatrade searches in the final quarter of 2022 vs previous quarter in 2022

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