The holidays are the best time of the year, but also the most hectic. From taking care of your house to your holiday guests to your health, here are 10 projects you should tackle now to end the year on a high note.
Winterize the House
The heat is on – which means your furnace filters need to be changed so that it run at peak efficiency. In addition, you can close vents so that you’re not paying to heat rooms you’re not using. Need help? A Thumbtack pro can do it for you.
Average cost for furnace maintenance and repair: $75
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Clean the House
Do a major house cleaning at the beginning of the month so that everything is in tip-top shape for all of the people who are sure to be dropping by to exchange gifts and merriment. Focus on the entryway, the kitchen, and the bathrooms, as well as the guest room if you are expecting overnight visitors. Don’t have time to do a big clean? Bring in a pro to do a serious scrub and then just focus on maintenance for the next couple of weeks.
Average cost for house cleaning: $120
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Get the Windows Washed
You want to be sure you can see those guests as soon as they’re trotting down the walkway, so take time now to get those dreary windows sparkling like new inside and out. Windows need to be washed twice a year no matter what and December is the perfect time to make it happen.
Average cost for window cleaning: $150
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Repaint the Hallways/Entryway
You may think repainting during the holidays is the craziest thing you’ve ever heard of, but using paint to freshen up a hallway, entry way, or adding an accent wall is actually a task that can be completed in a day and will give your home a gorgeous new look and also make any holiday decorations in those areas really stand out. It’s a gift you can give yourself… and you might as well do it when you’re having the most guests, as they’ll all be sure to rave about how great it looks.
Average cost for painting starts ata: $225
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Hire Someone to Haul Away Your Junk
Did it take you hours to find your holiday decorations at the back of the garage? Is it going to take you all day to clear out the junk in your spare room so you can get it ready for your holiday guests? Since you’re already being forced to go through your stuff, why not take a little extra time to set aside the things you’re ready to donate or trash and then hire someone to haul it away for you? You’ll feel lighter going into the New Year and there’s no better time to donate unwanted belongings than during the holidays when those in need will appreciate them more than ever.
Average cost for junk removal: $135
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Book a Bartender/Caterer for Your Holiday Party
Are you throwing a holiday party this year? Trying to do it all on your own can be supremely stressful. Even if you don’t want to hire an entire staff to do everything for you, you may want to bring in a caterer to drop off the food you’ll be serving (or to stay for the duration of the party and do it all). A bartender is also an excellent person to hire for any holiday party as they will take the stress off of you so you can enjoy yourself instead of making sure everyone has a drink. They’ll also ensure none of your guests are over-served, and have a great way of making a party feel that much more special (without breaking the bank).
Average cost for a bartender: $225
Average cost for a caterer: $120
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Find a Personal Trainer
Whatever your fitness goals for 2017, you should find and hire a personal trainer now so that you’re ready to start working out come January. A personal trainer is an amazing way to help you maximize your workouts, stay on track, and keep you motivated. But if you wait until after the New Year to try to find one, you might discover that everyone is booked… and that just may be the excuse you were looking for to put off your fitness goals another year.
Average cost for a personal trainer: $50-85
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Hire a Personal Chef
It’s easy to spend all of December substituting bread pudding for broccoli, sugar cookies for salad, and gingerbread for green beans. After all, you’re spending tons of time shopping for gifts, going to parties (that often don’t have enough food or healthy options), and getting your home ready for visitors. Give yourself the gift of a personal chef who can come in and cook one nice dinner or drop off a week of meals so that you and your family are eating well despite all of the chaos.
Average price for a week of drop-off meals delivered for 2 people: $125–150
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Book a Massage
If you’re hosting a holiday party, the last thing you want is to show up stressed. And, honestly, you don’t want to show up stressed even if you’re just a guest. Hire a masseuse to come to your house for a soothing massage before your biggest party of the season, so that when it comes time to mingle with co-workers or catch up with old friends, you’re happy, relaxed, and your very best self.
Average cost for a massage: $60-$90
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Get Your Hair and Makeup Done Before a Party
Another way to look and feel great before a big party is to hire your own personal glam squad to do your hair and makeup (or just one if you don’t need both). A professional can add a little glamour to your look, eliminate the stress of trying to do it all on your own, and make you feel pretty and pampered… And you can’t really put a price on that. (Though it’s also more affordable than you’d think!)
Average cost for a makeup session: $80
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