Thanksgiving is just three short weeks away, and thus shall begin yet another tireless parade of winter holidays. They just keep coming, don’t they? It seems that as soon as you’ve recovered from turkey and stuffing and cleared the leftovers out of the fridge, it’s already time to do your Christmas cleaning. And then before you know it, there’s a New Year’s celebration to prepare for.
If your home is the designated holiday get-together venue for your family, you’ve probably got your work cut out for you. But with a little forethought and preparation, you can ensure that your holiday cleaning goes smoothly and quickly, so that you’ll have time to actually enjoy the holidays. Use this checklist to make sure your home is ready for holiday guests!
- Bedding- If you’ll be having any overnight guests, the first thing you’ll want to do is wash the guest room bedding. Don’t forget towels and washcloths.
- Fridge- While the linens are in the spin cycle, tackle the fridge. You’re going to want to make sure you have enough room for all the holiday meal ingredients, and for leftovers afterwards. Pro-tip: Use this opportunity to check your Tupperware supply. If you’re running low, or you’ve lost all the lids like I always seem to be doing, put it down on your grocery list. Make sure you have enough cheap, plastic containers to store leftovers for yourself, as well as to send some home with the guests.
- Garbage Disposal- Your loyal old garbage disposal is going to be pulling a lot of extra shifts this holiday season, so go ahead and give it a little extra attention before the onslaught. Cut up a whole, fresh lemon or orange and feed it into the disposal, seeds, rind, and all. This will cut down on any unpleasant odors. Then feed some ice cubes into the disposal to sharpen the blades.
- Inside the Oven, Top of the Stove- You are probably starting to detect a trend here. Yes, once the bedding is taken care of, we are putting most of our cleaning focus on the kitchen. That’s where people tend to congregate…it’s where the food is! Clean out the inside surfaces of the oven so that you don’t have any kitchen catastrophes from old, stuck-on food in there. Then scour the top of your stove until it shines. We like to use Bon Ami for both of these tasks. It’s an all-natural scouring powder that doesn’t scratch, and is excellent for getting stuck-on food off of glass stovetops.
- Windows- The days are darker this time of year, so you want to let in as much natural, outdoor light as you can. Plus, you’re going to want to be able to see your guests approaching! So wash your windows with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Especially in the kitchen!
- Bathrooms- Make sure all the bathrooms in your home are as clean as they can get. Even if you are not cleaning the master bedroom, clean the master bath. Why? Because holiday gatherings are known for epic bathroom shortages, when all of your turkey-and-ham stuffed guests wake up from their naps at the same time with the urge to go.
- Space for Gathering- Check all of the main gathering rooms (kitchen, dining room, living room, etc.) and take stock of the space available. Are you going to need extra chairs or lounging room? If you need to, now’s the time to move coffee tables, houseplants, etc. to other rooms in the house to make room for all those extra people.
- Front Porch and Entryway- Last but not least, take a few minutes to sweep off the front porch and steps and clean the floor and dust any furniture in your entryway. This will be your guests’ first impression of your home, so make it shine. It’s also a good idea to address the need for coat, hat, scarf, and muddy boot storage at this point. You may need to clear away some of your family’s winter things to make room for your guests’ winter things. Or just hang up a few new hooks by the door.
Congratulations, you’re done! Go ahead and take a load off, and remember: it’s never wrong to have your holiday party catered!
Happy holidays from Green Home Cleaning!