With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas ahead, there are bound to be opportunities to welcome family and friends into your home over the next month or so.
I love hosting, for one thing it means I don’t have to pack up the kids and take them anywhere but on the other hand, I love having the people I love the most packed around the table sharing food and life.
Cleaning the house before a holiday can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. I don’t know about you but I tend to focus on all the nitpicky little places that no one ever sees. To overcome this habit, I do a simple quick cleaning checklist for the holidays.
It’s not a deep cleaning, I wait until January to tackle that. Rather it’s exactly as it sounds… a simple quick clean of the house.
So what does that entail?
Focus on the Areas Where People Will Be Gathered
It’s easy to get caught up in cleaning your whole house from top to bottom, and if you have the time then go for it. For me though, to keep holiday prep to a minimum I focus on where we will actually be gathering.
The kitchen, living room, dining room and hall bathroom get my first focus. Bedrooms and the upstairs get a quick sweep through, similar to what I do daily, but I don’t spend the time deep cleaning them now. I’ll wait until after the New Year when I have more time and motivation to give my house the BIG deep cleaning.
Remove the Clutter
Take a laundry basket and quickly move through each room removing the items that don’t belong like stray toys, books, clothing, dishes, etc. Put them back where they belong.
Depending on how many people you are expecting, you may even want to remove or move some furniture to make extra room.
Freshen Up the Bathroom
I give the bathroom counters a wipe down, removing any extra items that don’t need to be out. I scrub the toilet, take out the trash, sweep the floor (see below for my new favorite floor cleaner) and make sure there is enough toilet paper and fresh hand towels.
It’s also a nice touch to light a candle, add some air freshener or perhaps even a small vase of flowers or other seasonal accents.
Clear a Space for Extra Coats and Bags
With guests come extra coats, bags and winter accessories. There is nothing worse than cluttering up your fresh, clean space with miscellaneous bags and coats thrown about. Designate a place for them, whether that be a bedroom, hall closet or mudroom.
To a Quick Dust
Starting from the top of the room, work your way down to the bottom with a duster. I quickly move through the room dusting. If I notice a sticky mess or cup ring then I will polish with a rag but for the most part I do a simple quick dust.
I also arrange the Christmas decorations that might have been knocked over or moved by a child or other mishap.
Clean the Floors
The whole main floor of my home is hardwood with tiles in the bathroom, so cleaning the floors is a must. When the sunlight shines through, it highlights every single speck of dust or dirt, so I have to be diligent about cleaning them on a regular basis.
Cleaning my floors is one area where I put a little bit of extra effort in. First I vacuum (yes it is so much easier to vacuum hardwood floors then try to sweep with a broom and dustpan).
I’ve used a lot of vacuums over the years but my new favorite is the Hoover Air Cordless Vacuum. It’s lightweight and maneuvers easily through the home and really cleans!
I was really hesitant about it being cordless. Would it really be powerful enough? In a word.. yes!
Seriously, it picks up small dust and hair along with small specks of dirt, Cheerios, popcorn kernels (anyone else have kids that can ruin the whole house with a bowl of popcorn?) and paper pieces better than my old vacuum ever could! The Hoover Air Cordless has windtunnel 3 technology which provides performance and heavy duty suction power to lift and remove dirt.
The convenience of no cord means you have freedom to move about your home with ease; no plugging and unplugging, no winding and rewinding and most importantly, no tripping, tugging or tangling. Another great feature is that you can easily remove the canister and attach the hose to clean the stairs or other hard to reach surfaces without having to fumble around with the base.
The LithiumLife batteries have double the capacity of our standard 18-volt lithium Ion batteries which means longer runtime and fade-free power. My Hoover came with two batteries and a charger so that way I always have a battery ready to go! And the lithium batteries are interchangeable with other products in the same line which include 3 vacuums and a hardwood wet floor cleaner.
Set the Table
Next put a little effort in making the table look nicely with a fresh new table cloth, placemats, napkins and perhaps a festive centerpiece. It doesn’t have to be a full spread with stacked plates and extensive silverware. I also like to set out all my serving dishes and whatever platters and bowls we will be using.
I set up a drink station off the kitchen, so it’s easier to access, with plenty of cups or glasses, ice and whatever beverage we are serving.
Set the Mood with Lights & Smells
Finally turn on the Christmas lights, light a few candles, turn on the essential oil diffuser, play some festive Christmas music gently in the background or light the fireplace. These warm touches are my favorite part about the Christmas season. It’s amazing what the soft glow of a the Christmas tree accompanied by the smell of a cinnamon candle can do to your mood!
All in all, I spend about an hour before the big event with my simple holiday cleaning checklist to get my house into shape and to put us in the mood for some good ‘ol Christmas cheer!
What are your quick cleaning tips for the holidays or a special dinner?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.