Whether you’re hosting a few friends for a dinner party, or your parents are staying for a week, cleaning up for the holidays is a chore that seems to sneak up on us. With so much last minute shopping to do and office Christmas parties to attend… the last thing you want to do is bust out the deep cleaning gear once you get a minute to yourself at home. Here’s a list we hope can help you to prioritize the most “visible” areas of the home you should be sure to clean before your mother-in-law breaks out the white gloves… And while you’re at it, be safe!
If you’re low on outdoor holiday décor, focus on the front door. This is the focal point and with so many guests coming and going, it’ll be the most visible part of your home’s exterior. Simply hanging some lights, garland or a wreath will perk up your entrance immediately. If you’re feeling really festive, get yourself a big holiday door mat to help snag some of the mud and salt your guests will be bringing through the door. Functional, but also decorative – win/win. Be sure to have a coat rack or designated area like the hall closet with extra hangers for coats, purses, shoes, umbrellas, etc. so guests aren’t searching for a place to unload their “stuff.” This way all your efforts to tidy up won’t unravel the second guests arrive!
The holidays are for eating, drinking and being merry. Your kitchen and/or dining area will be where you spend the most time – conversing, fighting, laughing… whatever it may be. A stinky garbage disposal can turn your guests off and distract from the delicious smell of dinner cooking. Simply run a lemon peel and some boiling water through to freshen it up. Another great tip is to be sure you’ve cleared space in the fridge ahead of time for leftovers once you’re done eating. This way you avoid a last minute scramble to reorganize or form the dangerous “tower of Tupperware.” Also, make sure your dishwasher is empty and ready for the post-dinner pile up. As far as décor goes, a little goes a long way. Simply swapping out your regular tablecloth and napkins with something Christmassy will jazz up the dinner table enough.
Nothing like running out of toilet paper with a house full of guests! Be sure you’re stocked up on amenities like a 5-star hotel to avoid having to run out for grandma’s favorite hand soap or tear-free shampoo for your sister’s kids. Also, as with the dining room, a simple swap out of one or two things like festive towels and a holiday tissue box can transform your bathroom for Christmastime with minimal effort. If you’re hosting multiple guests for any length of time, be sure to do a preventative snaking of the drain and deep clean of the toilet – and if you don’t have a plunger, get one! Oh, and anything you wouldn’t want a guest to see in your medicine cabinet… relocate it now. They’re going to look.
Short of just hiding everything in the storage closet or garage, what are some of your best tips for tidying up for guests? Let us know what we missed, and what works best for you around the holidays! And check out our list of habits you can form to keep your home clean year-round!