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!

The Foyer/Entryway:

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!   Kitchen/Dining Area:

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.   Bathrooms

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!

While it’s great to have some extra help around the house, assigning chores to your kids means much more than that. From teaching them work ethic, to discipline and accountability, having a structured chore list in the home is common among most families. We certainly are not parenting experts, but we know you like to have a clean home! We’ve created a downloadable kid friendly chore checklist – we left it blank for you to customize to your family! Continue reading "Downloadable Kid Chore List"

The end is near! The end of pollen season that is. Some say this spring was the worst pollen season yet… I’m sure those of you with allergies say that every year!

During the heavy pollen season, sometimes it seems like a waste of time to bother cleaning the outside of your home and car because in no time at all everything is covered in a dusty yellow film again. Don’t give up! While pollen can interfere with your spring cleaning efforts, we’re here to offer some tips to make your life easier:

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We think yes! Okay, having a clean home isn’t the answer to life’s problems… but it can help you feel more in control, relaxed and free of constant responsibility. When you’re stressed or bummed out, the last thing you want to see is a sink full of dirty dishes or toys strewn about the family room. After a long, hard day, coming home to a clean and tidy home can really elevate your mood and help you get into relaxation mode. So what is it about a fresh, clean home that just makes you feel good? How do you keep up on house work to maintain that “tidy home, tidy mind” feeling?

Continue reading "Does Having a Clean House Make You Happier?"
 

Do you love the look of your windows after they’ve been detailed by a professional company, but hate the way they seem to get dirty between cleanings? It’s like there’s always that one window that, no matter how often you call a professional, just won’t stay clean.  Doing your own touch-ups using home cleaning solutions won’t replace a professional cleaning service, but they can keep you satisfied with the state of your windows in the meantime.

Keeping your windows in a shiny state isn’t as difficult as it may seem and can be made easier when you follow these five helpful hacks. Remember that these tips are only to be used for interior cleaning. Always leave any hard to reach windows that would require a ladder to the professionals. As pleasant as it is to have clean windows, it isn’t worth sacrificing your safety for.

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Pressure washers have become extremely popular rental options among home owners looking for fast and efficient cleans. Pressure washing your siding, deck and driveway is extremely effective if done correctly. Unfortunately, many are unaware that there are different types of equipment meant for different surfaces… and that without proper training, one can easily damage their property.

 

The most common mistake do-it-yourself pressure washers will run into is applying too much pressure. It is easy to underestimate the power of a jet of water, but many first-time attempts will end up carving strips out of wood decking, or etching lines into the home's siding.

Continue reading "The Dangers of DIY Pressure Washing"