Get your home ready for Christmas

With presents to buy, holidays to organise and food to prepare, it’s easy to neglect your home in the run up to Christmas. As always, we’re on hand to help, so here’s a list of quick fixes to get your home sparkling in time for 25th December.

December 15, 2016

home ready for Christmas

Bring Hygge into your home

  • Embracing the Danish concept of hygge doesn’t have to involve great effort or expense – it’s a Danish term for feeling cosy, spending quality time with friends and finding pleasure in ordinary, everyday moments. So lay out some cosy throws, plump up your cushions and enjoy some time with your loved ones
  • Nothing says homely and cosy as much as a fire or wood burning stove, but mess and hassle is the last thing we want at Christmas. Save yourself time and energy with instant lighting and long-burning wrapped logs. They don’t spit, you won’t need firelighters and you’ll have a roaring fire in an instant.
  • Ensure your heating is working properly – no one wants to be sitting in a cold house with no hot water on Christmas Day

home ready for Christmas

Make room to make merry

  • Declutter surfaces to make room for guests drinks glasses and bowls of nibbles. Let’s face it, you aren’t going to touch the fruit bowl for the next few weeks. Downsize to a small bowl of festive satsumas and make space for the mulled wine and mince pies
  • Simple touches like a candle-lit mulled wine warmer will look lovely when guests come round and help spread the gorgeous smells of Christmas around your home
home ready for Christmas

 

“Before-Christmas-itus”

It’s a mild illness that you’re probably still in the throes of; the obsessions to get that job done before Christmas. While it’s now unrealistic to say you could re-decorate the guest bedroom, you could at least replace those lightbulbs that went 6 months ago before visitors arrive…

  • A quick and easy trick to enhance lighting this time of year is the humble fairy light. Plus, they’re a much safer bet than candles if you’re hosting children or elderly relatives
  • Oil squeaky door hinges, wipe paintwork doors and bannisters and clean the windows, because while we’re wishing for a white Christmas, chances are the low winter sun will be glaring in on Christmas day and showing up how good your window cleaning skills are
  • If you’re still committed to getting that job done beforehand – no matter how big or small – then consider getting some extra help and find a home service professional with Plentific

home ready for Christmas

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas…

  • Stock up on some festive scent diffusers
  • Water your Christmas tree! The last thing you want is to be hoovering up pine needles on Christmas morning. Tending to your tree should also ensure it continues to give off that lovely pine aroma
  • Get rid of any dodgy smells – clean pet beds and purge your fridge / cupboards of old food to make way for Christmas dinner!
  • Give your bathtub, sink and shower a good scrub in advance of planned – and the inevitable unexpected – visitors

home ready for Christmas

A welcoming first impression

  • Tidy up the front of your house so it looks just as good as the interior. While these tips are for home sellers, they’re good ideas that we could all use
  • Leave plenty of time to make up spare bedrooms with clean sheets and towels. It always takes longer than you think, so just set aside a block of time
  • Significantly more house fires happen at Christmas time, so make sure you test smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
  • Hang a festive wreath up on the front door

You’re all set, Merry Christmas!

Rising London house prices spark departure of thirtysomethings

Campaign group Generation Rent says exodus has occurred during a period when property prices in the capital rose by 37%

Houses in Islington, London
A street in Islington, north London. Only among twentysomethings are there more people coming to the capital than leaving it. Photograph: Alamy

The number of thirtysomethings leaving London has leapt in recent years as high housing costs have forced people to move out of the capital, according to campaigners.

Analysis by the group Generation Rent showed that 65,890 people in their 30s moved from London to another part of the UK in 2014-15, a net loss of 30,410 in that age group. This was 48% higher247_jul16_fa_tabletthan in 2011-12, when 20,590 more 30 to 39-year-olds moved out than moved in.

Internal migration data from the Office for National Statistics also showed a sharp increase in the number of children leaving the capital. In 2014-15, 26,920 more children under 10 moved out of London than came in, compared with a difference of 19,980 three years previously.

Generation Rent said the exodus had taken place during a period in which house prices in London rose by 37%, compared with 16% in the UK as a whole, and rents increased by 10%, compared with 4% outside London.

It said almost two-thirds of people moving out of London had gone elsewhere in the south-east and the east of England commuter belt, while 12% had moved to the Midlands and 11% to the north of England.

Only among twentysomethings are more people moving into London than out; in 2014-15, there were 37,950 more people in this age group living in the capital than the year before, a 3% increase.

Betsy Dillner, the director of Generation Rent, said: “Growing numbers of Londoners are giving up on the city and its extortionate housing market.

“London is an incredible city and the decision to move away isn’t taken lightly. These people are leaving friends and family in order to find a home they can afford, and some are leaving their jobs. This should worry everyone in London, from employers facing a loss of skills to communities losing valued neighbours, and particularly Sadiq Khan, whose housing policies will need to stop this exodus.”

Research by Lloyds bank found that moving to somewhere an hour’s commute from London could mean paying hundreds of thousands of pounds less for a family home. While the average price of a home in London transport zones one and two was £741,919, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, the average was £183,345, while in Peterborough, it was £189,319, Lloyds said.

Andrew Mason, the Lloyds mortgage products director, said: “Commuters to London who don’t mind a longer journey between home and work could reap the financial benefits of living outside of the capital.

“However, the decision of whether to live in the city or further away is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times. Quality of life is also a major factor: family circumstances, better schools, physical environment and homes that offer better value for money also come into the equation.”