The holidays will be here soon and if you’ll be hosting a holiday gathering like I will be, it’s time to think about getting the house cleaned up and guest ready.
I usually do a fairly good job of keeping my house nice and neat. If you were to drop by unannounced you might see a few things out of place, waiting to be put away. My kids latest project sitting out and a few dishes drying on the counter. But in general, it wouldn’t look to bad.
But with the holidays coming I like to get my house ready for guests and then just have to keep it up until after the holidays. I know we can get a little busy with cooking, shopping, and visiting with others, that’s why I like to start now on my cleaning. I have a few tips to help you get your home into shape for the holidays too.
These tasks are all things I do for my own house and you can alter them to fit your own home as needed. If you take just a couple of weeks to get your house nice and tidy, keeping it that way through the holidays will be so much easier.
Work first in the areas your guests will be in. I like to think about where my guests will be moving through my home and work on cleaning those frequented areas first.
The Front Porch
Look at the front the house. Are there decorations from Halloween that are looking a little sad? Are there some decorations that don’t fit with Fall or Thanksgiving? Remove any items that don’t look good.
Wipe down any cobwebs near the front door and around the light fixture. Wipe off the front door knobs and the door itself. Then sweep the front porch and pick up any leaves that have piled up around it. Put out any Thanksgiving or Fall decorations that haven’t been added yet.
I like to purge our coat closet this time of year. I like to remove any coats the kids have outgrown and remove any spring and summer shoes. I also remove any lightweight jackets that we won’t be needing for the fall or winter and place them in the bedroom closets.
Then I’ll remove all the shoes and things from the closet floor. Vacuum or mop the bottom of the closet and then reorganize all the items as you place them back.
Our living room can become overrun with toys and stuff that just doesn’t get put away. The first thing I always do is remove anything that doesn’t belong in this room and place it in a box to put away. We also have magazines and newspapers often in the magazine rack and on the hearth. I will go through those items and put them into the recycle box or set aside for others what we don’t need.
Once the room is clutter-free, it’s time to clean. Start high and work your way down. Getting all those cobwebs and dust that has built up on the horizontal surfaces. Clean the windows and be sure to dust the windowsill. Then break out the vacuum and vacuum the floor, get under the furniture and in the heating vents. You don’t want dust blowing out of the vents after you do all this work.
If you have a dining room with a china cabinet, now is the time to clean it. Clear off any papers or things that have gathered on your dining room table and put them away or get rid of them if they are no longer needed.
Dust the light fixture and clean the corners where cobwebs and dust can build up. Make sure to clean any windows and windowsills too. Vacuum and mop the floor.
Be sure to check your guest bathroom or most used bathroom. Clear out any clutter or items on the counter. Then clean the mirror, counter, sink, toilet, and tub. Be sure to wash any rugs and while they are in the wash, vacuum and mop the floor.
There are a few places in the kitchen that can get dirty and be missed. The oven is one of them and since you’ll be roasting a turkey and making side dishes in it, be sure to clean it now. Also, the microwave can get really dirty easily. Be sure to clean it out too.
The last place that can get missed is the refrigerator. I don’t know how it can get so dirty so easily but be sure to clean it out too. Don’t forget to go through the crisper drawers and removed any old, moldy food.
The day before guests arrives be sure to clear the counters of items you won’t need. Then clear the counters off and clean all of them. Also, scrub the sink. There is something about a nice clean sink that makes the whole kitchen look cleaner. If you have time wipe down the cupboard door to brighten them up too. The last task I do is mop the floor.
Maintenance Until the Holiday
I like to do a few rooms each week leading up to the holiday and save the bathroom and kitchen for the week of the holiday. Once the areas are clean do a quick vacuum and dust each week to keep them looking good along with a 5 minute declutter session each week to put away any stray items that have been left in the wrong spot.
A little cleaning ahead of time can really help you have a more relaxing holiday. If the house is clean well before your guests arrive you’ll just need to cook and enjoy their company.
Are there any areas of the home I missed that you think should be cleaned for the holidays? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.