I personally hate these things. If you have a 10-foot tall Santa Claus in your yard, then it just looks like a bad car dealership sale. I am not saying you can't have one or two in your overall décor scheme, but have a little commonsense. Gauge how much space you have in your yard and don't over do it.
The winter is the perfect time to do that cleaning. It's too cold to go outside and you've got family coming in for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so why not get the cleaning out of the way so it can look immaculate.
You're stuck in the house anyway and cleaning is a great to stave off cabin fever. Nothing makes you crave the outdoors more than a unclean house. It could be clutter or broken appliances that just need to go.
While they may not give you the Black Death, mice can chew holes in your walls and floors. They can eat your food and be a general nuisance. When you see a mouse hole, the first thing you need to do is close it up. If they can't get to you, then you don't have to worry about them eating your food. The problem is these little buggers can chew through almost anything.
Through the years, dust and other items can accumulate in the ducts. If you have small children, then they can put toys, food and other items in the vent. This can cause a substantial decrease in air flow and if the air is hot enough, it can heat the items up and eventually cause them to catch on fire.
The best way to clean out the vents is to simple pull off the grates and start pulling things out. Take a vacuum hose and stick in to get the small items that are too far to reach. Use a flashlight to see as far back as possible. If there are large items that you can't reach, then you may have to physically remove the duct work to get it out.
A home tool kit can also be an excellent housewarming gift for a new homeowner, and is one that you can be sure they will make great use of in the future. Begin by purchasing a small, portable toolbox to hold your home tools in, and then add the following basic tools to get you started: