We are close to the annual school closures and most households are starting to think about how to prepare for the holidays.

Whether you are going away or staying home for the holidays, you should take time now to get ready so that you do not end up working harder during the holidays.

How to prepare for the holidays

Prepare a holiday checklist. Putting together a list of things to do could enable you to enjoy more well-deserved downtime. There are also many things that you may not think about and planning ahead can help you avoid problems later.

Spring clean early. Everybody wants to kick back during the holidays and chances are that your housekeeper or domestic worker will also be taking their annual leave during this time. So, start now with a spring clean to ensure you have less to do over the holidays.

Clear out unwanted goods. You can box up any unwanted goods and donate them to local charities or you could make use of Seeff’s Home2Home Campaign. Simply contact your nearest Seeff branch to find out how you can donate goods via the campaign to other homes in need and charities.

Plan meals in advance. Draw up a menu and make as many freezer meals as possible. Don’t leave the shopping too late, especially if you are planning festive meals. It can be disappointing when they run out of stock of your favourite festive season foods.

Stock up on the basics. Shop in advance for basics such as toiletries, cleaning materials and dry goods. This may mean fewer outings, or you could start shopping online for convenience and time saving.

Do your Christmas gift shopping and wrapping early. This way you ensure that you are not faced with out-of-stock situations, and you will not run out of wrapping paper. Check that your tree and decorations are still in a good condition and replace as needed.

Prep for visitors. If you are expecting visitors for the holidays, start getting their room or sleeping arrangements ready. If you have a guest room or suite, get the beddings washed and the room cleaned and stocked.

Get your car serviced. If you are travelling for the holidays, get your vehicle booked in for a service and tyre check. If you have a caravan, check and make the necessary repairs and replacements. Fill your gas bottles and purchase and source non-perishable goods in advance.

Check your home security system. Make sure all windows and door mechanisms, including garage doors, are in good working order. Check your alarm system. Check all exterior lighting. Consider installing timers, especially if you are going away.



Check your household and vehicle insurance. Read the fine print to ensure you are adequately covered in the event of a break-in or other potential mishaps over the holidays. Increase your cover if necessary.

Prepare for load shedding. If you do not yet have an inverter or generator, it might be a good time to get this done because we are likely to face blackouts over the holiday season. A basic system can at least keep the television, internet, security and a few lights on.

Prepare a safety checklist if you are going away. List all of the items to check, from switching off the geyser, stove, plugs and pool pump to putting a timer on a few lights. Include house keys and access arrangements in the event of an emergency while you are away.

Alert your Neighbourhood Watch, security company and neighbours. If you are going away, let all relevant people know and leave contact numbers. These days a house sitter is a preferred option, especially if you have pets or you are going overseas.

Courtesy of Gina Meintjes of Private Property & Seeff Property Group



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