The holidays are an extremely stressful time for everyone, but especially for the family in charge of hosting. With the chaos of day to day life, it’s easy to put off cleaning until the very last moment. We’ve all done it. But if you’re anything like us, and have felt the “PTSD” of past attempts to get ready last minute, then you’re probably ready to try something different this year. The best way to prepare without feeling overwhelmed is to space out your cleaning routine over a few days. By doing this, you’ll only need to make minimal touch-ups the day your guests arrive, leaving time for other responsibilities, or hopefully, time for you to relax! (That’s the dream, isn’t it??)

If you have the chance to space out your cleaning, start with the tasks that might not need to be touched up the day your guests arrive. Cleaning windows and blinds, wiping ceiling fans, and corners of the rooms to help get rid of any dust and cobwebs. As you go through the rooms, start rounding up the laundry! Grab all towels, blankets, sheets, and table linens. If you have any stains on your tablecloth, make sure to soak it before washing it for the best chance at removing the stain.

In a few rooms of your home, there may be miscellaneous clutter like toys, clothing, or boxes you haven’t touched for a while. Gather up these items and set them in closets or other available storage. It might not seem like a big difference, but clearing off surfaces is an easy chore that can make a room feel bigger. While doing this, wipe off the tops of any furniture and put away any unnecessary belongings.

High Traffic Areas

As you get closer to your guests’ arrival, you’ll begin to start cleaning your bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, and any other common areas. As you go through your bathroom cleaning, make sure you have enough toilet paper, clean towels, and soap. It’s a nice touch also to have travel-sized toiletries for your guests such as shampoo, extra toothbrushes, and deodorant in case they forget theirs.

Your kitchen is a popular area during this time. Not only is there cooking taking place, but people tend to gather in the kitchen to catch up, especially when getting drinks or food. Organizing your countertops and cleaning out your fridge will help make room for your guests and anything they may bring, and also help you finally get rid of those leftovers you’ve been too scared to touch. While wiping down your counters, don’t forget your microwave!

Freshening Up Your Floors

You started with the corners of rooms and ceiling fans, then to countertops and other surfaces, now it’s time to do the floors in your home! For hardwood or tile, make sure to sweep or vacuum before mopping, especially if you have pets. With carpet, vacuuming will do the job. If you notice before cleaning that your carpet has an odor, put vinegar (preferably white) in a spray bottle and apply it liberally to the flooring. Leave it dry, and the smell should be gone. Don’t worry about residual vinegar odor, because once it dries, vinegar is odorless!

Microwave Cleaning Tip

Using a microwave-safe glass or bowl, fill halfway with water. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar and microwave for five minutes on high. Carefully remove the container and wipe out the inside of the microwave!

The Big Day

Now that you’ve spaced your workload out over a few days, you have only a few things left to do. The day of, wipe down surfaces, move your shoes and jackets, so your guests have room for theirs and anything else you feel the need to tidy up. Add fresh flowers or candles to brighten the place up or to cover the scent of the turkey you may overcook. It never hurts to have a contingency plan!

No matter what, remember that the holidays are for spending time with the ones you love. Feeling overwhelmed? Just too busy to clean? Give the wonderful ladies of Kathleen’s Cleaning Service a call today to take some of the stress off your holiday plate!