Photo courtesy of a4gpa on Flickr.

Hide the breakables and break out the stain remover.

Grandparents have a tall order in prepping their home for family holiday visits that include young children.  Typically child-free during most days of the year, grandparents don’t have to worry like parents do about things covering unused electrical outlets or keeping fragile heirlooms out of reach of curious hands.

At The Maids, we love children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We also know how to help grandparents make their family visits a pleasant memory rather than a holiday nightmare.

How to prepare your home for the arrival of the grandchildren

Dust off old playthings.

Give grandchildren something to do while the adults are busy.  Set aside a room with toys and games for the little ones to enjoy.  Thoroughly dust and clean each item with a solution of warm water and dish washing soap.

Vacuum “crawl spaces.”

Young children spend a lot of time on the floor, whether playing or simply crawling around.  Vacuum all floors to remove dust, dirt and small items like rubber bands that can easily find their way into a child’s mouth.

When dusting, move small, breakable and/or antique items out of reach.

Consider moving objects such as picture frames with sharp corners that can also injure small children.

Cover unused electrical sockets

Move wires, such as those for holiday decorations, computers, and other electronics, out of reach.

Move garland and other dangling holiday decorations up high

 A curious child can choke on garland.  If you have a holiday tree, keep breakable ornaments and loose tinsel off the lower branches.

Keep an emergency “stain remover kit” handy.

Include a bottle of club soda, dry cleaning fluid and a plastic spray bottle filled with the following solution: one teaspoon mild laundry detergent, one teaspoon white vinegar and one quart of cool water.  This solution is safe for washable fabrics and most carpets.  For non-washable fabrics, use the dry cleaning fluid and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also spray your prized linen tablecloth with either spray starch or fabric protector. Spills will be easier to remove.

Holidays are indeed a time of togetherness and celebration. Taking a few steps before the grandchildren arrive will remove hazards and with them potential stress triggers for everyone. Happy, safe wee ones make the season even more joyous.

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