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rope fairy lights wrapped around a tree in garden bed
Get your home ready for the holidays by breaking up tasks into bite-sized pieces, starting six weeks out.

Create time for yourself this holiday season by spacing out the prep work over a six-week period. By tackling tasks a few at a time, you’ll feel confident things are getting done, avoiding the last-minute frenzy that can dim the holiday spirit. Our week-by-week guide will help you plan essential tasks, leaving you free to enjoy the magic of the festive season.

Four to six weeks out

Get the niggly home maintenance jobs out of the way early, so you can relax in the lead-up to Christmas. These common D.I.Y. fixes work wonders for giving homes a fresh look and feel.

1. Retouch your paint

If your doors, skirting, window frames and other timber trims are generally sound, with only minor chips or dings, retouching them is relatively quick and easy. Use a utility knife to cut away a piece of the existing paint (about the size of a 50-cent coin) from an inconspicuous area and take it in-store for colour matching. Fill any small dents or cracks using timber filler; once dry, sand it flush with the surrounding surface using 120-grit abrasive paper. Touch up with paint.

Your front door is the first thing your guests will see, and it’s a great opportunity to introduce a pop of colour into your home. Don’t forget to decorate your freshly painted front door with a festive Christmas wreath, like this simple D.I.Y. wreath.

Tip: If the bottom edge of a door or window frame has absorbed water and started to rot, call in a tradie!

2. Mend the blinds

Blinds are often overlooked so long as they’re still functional. However, taking a moment to get them back on the straight and narrow makes a huge difference to how a room looks and feels. With vertical blinds, chances are the bead chain aligning the bottom edges has come loose. Simply push the small plastic cylindrical clip on the chain back onto the receptacle at the base of the blind.

With Venetian blinds, if the lifting cords are frayed but not yet broken, replace them. Pull the lifting cords out from the bottom rail, snip the knot and use a lighter to carefully fuse new cords to the old ones. Gently pull the new cord through and knot.

3. Install a shade sail

Installing a shade sail allows you to make the most of your outdoor area this summer; it also protects guests from harsh sun exposure and overheating. This D.I.Y. project requires a little pre-planning and a few helping hands, but it can be achieved in a day or a weekend, allowing you to enjoy your shaded area in the lead-up to Christmas, during the holiday season and beyond.

4. Light up your outdoor entertaining area

If there’s one thing that makes it feel like Christmas, it’s draping your outdoor area in magical, twinkling festive lights. Whether you’re going into full-blown fairy mode or choosing more traditional (and year-round) lighting, the four things to consider while lighting up an outdoor entertaining area are safety, ambience, entertainment and security. In addition, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective and energy efficient option, make sure to consider solar lights – and there is a wide range to choose from.

Check out our tips on how to light up your outdoor space so it’s not only functional, but also warm and inviting.

5. Install security cameras

Give yourself the gift of peace of mind this holiday season by installing smart security cameras around your home. The process is simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look for the most vulnerable spots on your property (including obscured entrances) and make sure these are covered.

When planning camera placement, don’t hide them! The presence of cameras can help deter would-be burglars. Also, make sure there’s ample light for your camera to get a clear shot in the dark.

Tip: Be a good neighbour – make sure your cameras and lighting aren’t infringing on your neighbour’s property, privacy or enjoyment.

Two to three weeks out

Now is the time to tackle the jobs that always seem to be on the ‘to do’ list, but never get done. These three chores are essential to the safety and comfort of your family and guests, so take a moment to check things over – you'll be glad you did.

1. Clean and oil your deck

A deck is the perfect place to entertain family and friends during the holidays, so it’s important to make sure it looks great and is in top condition.

First things first, inspect the deck for raised boards and loose nails, both of which can be a potentially serious safety hazard. Tapping any offenders down with a hammer is the quick fix, but for a more permanent solution, replace nails with heavy-gauge, self-drilling screws. Gently pry the nails out, then replace them with exterior-grade screws.

Tip: Choose screws that are longer than the original nails, so they bite into untapped timber in the joist.

Giving your deck a thorough clean will give it a new lease on life. (And with the right tools and equipment, it’s a simple D.I.Y. job.) After you’ve cleaned your deck, re-oil it. This is an important part of regular outdoor maintenance, as it adds a new layer of protection to the timber, giving your deck a longer lifespan. The first signs that you may need to re-oil are deterioration, patchiness or discolouration on the edges and other areas of the timber deck. If this is the case, it’s time to get the oil and start coating!

2. Change the lightbulbs

Lightbulbs are one of those things we forget about until we need them. However, they make a world of difference to in-home ambience, so take this opportunity to test and review yours. Are there any that could be swapped out, in particular for energy efficient ones? (Switching to LEDs is one of the fastest and easiest ways to reduce your power consumption.)

Also, take a look at lightbulb fittings throughout your home and stock up on a few extras, especially in high-use areas, so you have them on hand if you need them.

3. Test smoke detectors

Christmas is a good time to remember to test your smoke detectors and to change the batteries if necessary. It only takes a few moments of your time, and it could be a lifesaver.

One to two weeks out

We’re starting to get close! Before the holidays begin and guests arrive, give your home and garden a little TLC – you'll be amazed at the difference.

1. Tidy up your front garden

First impressions make an impact. If you want to wow your guests from the moment they arrive, put a little time into creating a fabulous façade. For example, perk up pathways by removing weeds and possibly even adding a pebble path or stepping-stones; another tip is to add plants that reflect and enhance your home’s architecture.

2. Clean out the gutters

Cleaning your gutters is an easy D.I.Y. project that not only keeps your home looking fresh and clean, but this simple job can also prevent more serious problems like blocked downpipes and leaking rainwater.

3. Clean your couches, carpet and upholstery

Normal vacuuming is great for regular maintenance, but carpets and upholstery need regular deep cleaning to remove allergens, stains, bacteria and pet hair that build up over time. Deep cleaners make fast work of substantial cleans with minimal elbow grease, making them a perfect solution for a pre-Christmas tidy-up.

Tip: Did you know that we hire out deep cleaners? View the range online and then visit in-store to hire yours today or for more information.

4. Clean the oven

Cleaning your oven can make Christmas cooking and baking more enjoyable. A good clean helps your oven retain heat, and it’s also more hygienic. (It’s also easier than you might think.)

A few days before Christmas

'Twas a few days before Christmas and your preparation checklist is now easy, familiar and manageable, leaving you time to relax and enjoy the build-up to the festive season.

1. Give the outdoor entertaining area a final clean

Now is the time to clean things like the barbecue and outdoor furniture.

Tip: Don’t forget to wipe out the chilly bin!

2. Give the indoors a good clean

Wipe down walls, windows and skirting boards, and sweep, mop and vacuum the floors. Clean out the fridge and freezer while giving the kitchen a deep clean, and tackle the bathroom to get it ready for guests.

Lastly, change the bedding and add a few stylish throws and cushions to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. And now you’re ready to add any finishing touches and welcome friends and family into your home for the holidays!

Style your space for Christmas

If you’re looking for tips to style your space for the holidays, check out our handy guide.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.