Tip Sheet: Readying Your Home for Labor Day Entertaining

by James Florence
Photo: Hansen Landscape Contractor (2016)

A well-maintained outdoor living space creates the perfect setting for a Labor Day weekend get-together. Photo: Hansen Landscape Contractor (2016)

Labor Day is just around the corner, and if you’re like most people, you already have plans for how you’re going to spend the three-day weekend. If those plans include having friends and family over, you’ll need to make sure your home is in suitable condition to receive guests. Here are five quick things you can do to get ready:

1. Clean your living room. Expelling the clutter that has accumulated in your living room can be a daunting task, so it’s best to take a systematic approach. Begin at the top of the room (removing cobwebs and dusting high shelves, for example) and work your way downward—this will help you avoid having to redo things like floor cleaning. Another good technique is to start at one corner of the room and clean in one direction all the way around so you don’t forget anything.

2. Sanitize your bathroom. While cleaning your sink and toilet, take a moment to check seals, plumbing connections and fixtures for leaks. Since such leaks often go unnoticed (which can lead to dry rot and water damage), it’s important to check these areas on a recurrent basis.

3. Anticipate insects. Bees and wasps are the ultimate buzzkill for a backyard barbeque, so take preventative measures to keep them at bay. First, check around your property for nests and remove them using the appropriate procedure (you may want to call a professional for this). Other ways to deter bees include putting traps in trees, rubbing almond oil on your outdoor furniture and lighting Citronella candles.

4. Spruce up your yard. One of the most effective ways to impress guests is having a well-kept yard. Prior to your party, rake fallen leaves, pull weeds, and trim overgrown trees and shrubs. If you have time, throw down some new mulch or topsoil to give your yard a fresh look.

5. Prepare your pool. In addition to cleaning your pool, make sure its pH and chlorine levels are correct—the last thing you want is for your guests to complain of eye soreness from too much chlorine. If you’re unsure about your pool’s levels, take a water sample to your local pool supply store for testing (typically a free service).