When the holidays roll around, the thought of entertaining family and friends can be both exciting and stressful. You want your home to feel warm and inviting, but most of all, you want it to be clean and tidy. Even with a great cleaning checklist, cleaning up your home for the holiday season needs a strategy that covers all the bases.
From guest bedrooms and bathrooms to your kitchen and living room, you can treat your guests to a sparkling clean home when you use these holiday clean up tips. And if you don’t have time for a thorough housecleaning, you can still impress your guests when you use a residential cleaning service.
Start Early and Create Your Cleaning Strategy
A big cause of stress during the holiday season is that you only have so many hours in a day to decorate, plan meals, clean up and all those other tasks to get your home guest-ready. Start the clean-up process at least a couple of weeks before any upcoming holiday to keep stress to a minimum.
Begin by walking through the house with a notebook. Your goal is to identify the level of clutter and dirt in each room. Notate those ratty blankets, that pile of magazines, those cobwebs in the corners and anything else you’d notice if you were a guest in someone’s home.
Once you’ve done your walk-through and noted the condition of each room, it’s time to prioritize. Since you’re starting your holiday cleanup early, you’ll want to put in-depth housekeeping chores like window and carpet cleaning at the top of the list. Put your cleaning tasks like sweeping, mopping and dusting at the bottom of the list because you’ll want to do these tasks closer to when the holiday arrives.
Holiday Clean Up Starts with Decluttering
Since decluttering will be the first step to creating a beautifully clean home for the holidays, your family will have to be committed to keeping things neat and organized
until the actual festivities begin. Start at the front door and put any out-of-place items where they belong. Move on to the living room and den and switch out your regular decor for holiday decorations.
Head to the kitchen and clear off your counters, purge drawers and cabinets and get your holiday cooking gear in order. In the bathrooms, organize all that shampoo, lotion and other bathroom clutter. This is also a great opportunity to declutter and clean out your medicine cabinet and drawers. Get rid of any expired medicine and restock your bathroom necessities. Move on to the bedrooms and clear out any extra clutter like piles of blankets, stacks of papers and anything else that doesn’t belong. Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s time to start cleaning.
Cleaning Windows, Carpets, Walls and Ceiling Fans
You’ll want to start outside and clean the windows. If it’s warm enough, spray down your windows with a hose to loosen built-up dirt and grime. If it’s too cold, bundle up, grab a ladder and start hand washing your exterior windows. Move inside and clean the insides of the windows, window sills and frames. If you need help, The Maids is ready to lend a hand.
Grab a step-stool or ladder, a bucket of warm water, microfiber cloths and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and get to work on your walls and baseboards. Most of the dirt and grime should come off with water and a microfiber towel and the Magic Erasers will take care of dirty buildup. Knock down any cobwebs if you can reach them or get your broom out.
Get a fresh microfiber cloth and a bucket of water and move on to your ceiling fans.
If you have a steam or carpet cleaner, you can get your carpets fresh and beautiful to make your home look and smell clean. If you don’t, you’ll need to rent one or check with The Maids in your neighborhood to see if they offer carpet cleaning. Whether you do it yourself or use a maid service, after you clean your carpets, freshen them up with your favorite essential oils.
Kitchen Clean Up for the Holidays
Start by pulling out your refrigerator. Sweep and mop the floor and wipe down the walls behind your fridge and vacuum the coils. With your dishwasher empty, remove the drain filter and clean it. Run your dishwasher on the hottest setting with a cup of white vinegar placed on the top rack to loosen grime and sanitize. After the cycle finishes, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom and run another cycle on the hottest setting to deodorize and remove stains.
In a clean spray bottle, mix up ½ cup vinegar, 2 cups water and your favorite essential oils to create a natural all-purpose cleaner. Clean your small appliances and deep clean your oven, range and refrigerator. Next, clean and sanitize your kitchen counters, sink, handles, knobs and light switches with your all-purpose cleaner. Wipe down your cabinet doors, sweep or vacuum the floor and finish with a thorough mopping. If your kitchen floors can be waxed, give them a good shine with your favorite floor wax.
Give Your Bathrooms a Sparkling Shine
Give your bathroom a sparkling shine. Spray down everything in your bathroom with your all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for 10 minutes to loosen grime and dirt. Start with your tub and shower and scrub everything thoroughly including the shower doors. You can use baking soda for build up and stains. If you have a shower curtain, remove it and run it through the washer.
Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the sink, vanity, faucet and cabinet doors and knobs. Wipe down any décor and shelves and then wipe down cabinets, the bathroom door and any handles and knobs. The vinegar in your all-purpose cleaner will act as a sanitizing solution for commonly touched areas. Scrub the toilet and bathroom floor and damp mop the floor to remove any residue.
Make Your Bedrooms Fresh and Inviting
Since you’ve already decluttered your bedrooms, getting them clean should be much easier. Remove and wash sheets, comforters, shams, pillowcases and mattress pads. Give your mattresses a good cleaning and freshen them up with a little baking soda. Wipe down headboards and footboards and dust furniture, décor and lamps.
Clean any mirrors and sanitize knobs and pulls on your furniture, doorknobs and light switches with your natural all-purpose cleaner. Sweep or vacuum the bedroom floors and be sure to get underneath the bed. Clean blinds and vacuum any curtains. If you have them, make the beds using seasonal blankets. Add throw pillows and add a little holiday décor around the bedroom.
Get Your Living Room and Den Ready for Guests
Dust furniture, shelving, pictures, lamps and other accessories. Clean any mirrors. Remove cushions from upholstered furniture and vacuum underneath and down in the crevices. Spot clean any stains with a natural cleaner and let them air dry before replacing the cushions. Vacuum your upholstery and any draperies and clean the window blinds.
Use your natural cleaner you mixed up earlier to clean and sanitize commonly touched areas like doorknobs, cabinet pulls and switch plates. Wipe down entry doors and cabinet doors. Vacuum or sweep the floor and wax or shine hard flooring. Add some holiday décor like throws or small arrangements on occasional tables and you’re almost done.
Holiday Aromas for the Perfect Finishing Touch
Now that your home is sparkling clean, you can decorate for the holidays to create an inviting and festive atmosphere. But nothing says “home for the holidays” like enticing scents throughout your home. Whether you create your own aromas with essential oils and other natural ingredients or use scented candles, your guests will love the aromas of cinnamon, rosemary, pine and more.