Seven Cleaning Strategies for Getting Your Home Holiday Ready
Whether you are expecting guests or traveling to see family, the holidays are a good time for a thorough house cleaning. Beginning the year with a fresh atmosphere can create optimism for the year ahead.
The holidays shouldn't be stressful, so to help here are some tips to get your house clean and holiday ready for visitors, festivities and the New Year.
1. Out with the old, in with the new
You can expect to bring in extra items over Christmas, especially if you are blessed with a large gift-giving family. If you have stacks of clutter, then this would be a good time to sit down and eliminate what you aren't using anymore to make room for new things you might be receiving.
If you have children, tiny useless toys can build up especially at the bottom of toy boxes. Look for broken toys or items your children do not seem interested in anymore. They will probably be bringing in more gadgets and toys, and won't notice anything missing.
Go through your family's closets and dressers in search of small or worn out clothing. Children grow fast, so you would be surprised at how often clothes should be donated to family, friends or local non-profits. Don’t let them take up any unnecessary space in your home.
It's best to sit down and make small piles to organize the clutter. You can use trash bags and boxes to sort things accordingly. Remember, it is always best to recycle and donate appropriate items, but keep in mind garage sales and consignment stores can offer some extra cash, which can be a good way to pay off those pesky holiday bills.
2. Clean in places you don't think of daily
Underneath the unused items you clear out, you will find a bit of dust and dirt. It is a good idea to clean these areas before they are covered up again with other items. If you want to keep your house smelling fresh and clean, wipe down every inch of your home to remove allergens and dust particles.
Don’t forget small things like the arms of chairs, doorknobs, and light switches. Be sure you are using appropriate cleaning solutions for different surfaces. Some chemicals are too harsh for wood furniture and electronics. Instead, you should treat these surfaces with extra care and use the proper cleaning methods and supplies.
If an area is heavily covered in dust, try using a dry rag to remove the excess particles first, then go back to wipe your area with an appropriate cleaner.
3. Utilize your vacuum
Cobwebs can show up in unexpected places. You might not notice them every day, but if you are expecting company for the holidays, there is a chance they will. Do a walk-through of your home and search from floor to ceiling to spot any problem areas.
Instead of using your dusting supplies, use your vacuum wand to clear them out. Most vacuums have extendable tools that can help reach in high places and there is no hassle with anything sticking to rags and dusters. The vacuum tools can also help you reach into small cracks such as the edges of hardwood floors and window sills.
After dusting, use your vacuum to give your floors a good cleaning. It’s hard to not make this chore a race, but the best vacuuming strategy is to move as slow as possible to allow the roller to loosen up particles just below the surface.
Make sure you vacuum in two directions. If you vacuum only vertically or horizontally, you will leave behind dirt and dust.
4. Double check meal areas
Holiday gatherings typically involve meals, and everyone loves to jump in the kitchen and help cook up a delicious dinner. Before the room is overflowing with helping hands, look it over and try to spot appliances in need of a little extra cleaning like your microwave, toaster ovens, coffee makers, and stove top.
Scrub the inside of your sink with an abrasive cleaner and a coarse sponge. You can shine your faucets with a basic window cleaner and a microfiber towel. Odors can also hide deep in your drains from food particles that have built up. Use a simple bleach solution to flush the odors away. You will be surprised at the difference this will make with smells in your kitchen.
Wash any placemats or tablecloths that you might use. Also, be sure to bring out any holiday dishware hiding in the back of your closet since last holiday season, and clean them ahead of time.
5. Provide adequate amenities
You want your family to feel as comfortable as possible while visiting during the holidays. Be sure all bedding is washed, and they have an adequate number of blankets and pillows.
Exceed their expectations by making sure they have necessary toiletries for bathroom needs. Small toiletries are available for purchase in a variety of places like a local drugstore or grocery store. Arrange the toiletries neatly in a small basket and place it on their bed or somewhere easily noticeable. Write them a nice note expressing how happy you are to have them, and if you have any specific rules let them know ahead of time.
It is also important to pick up fresh bathroom supplies such as soap, toothpaste, and lotion for them to use if needed. Chances are they have these things packed along with them, but in this case, it is better to be prepared to provide them additional amenities.
6. Protect breakables and fix hazards
If you are expecting holiday visitors that might be bringing along children, you should eliminate as many breakables and hazards as possible. It’s hard to consider these hazards if you don’t have children at home or if they don’t visit often. Think like a two-year-old and walk through your house and look for potential problems.
If you are expecting young children, there are some baby-proofing strategies to consider:
- Are the electrical outlets covered? If not, pick up covers at a local department store.
- Are cabinets with poisonous cleaning supplies easy to access? If so, think about purchases kid-safe locks.
- Are your favorite porcelain collectibles within their reach? If so, place them on a higher shelf.
- Do you have any hard tables or corners at head level? If so, consider installing a cushion to prevent head injuries.
Even if the children attending aren't young, it is best to put away anything you might not want to be broken. You will be able to relax and enjoy conversations knowing that your possessions can't be damaged, and no one can be harmed.
7. Final walk-through
Do one last walk-through of your home before all the guests begin arriving, and finish up any last-minute tasks. Put away personal documents or bills laying around, and sweep off your porch along with outside welcome mats.
If you happen to be the one traveling out of town, doing these things will still leave you feeling refreshed upon returning home. You are not going to want to spend time cleaning while you are unpacking and catching up on errands.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with not enough time to finish all of your tasks, call us at 918.376.4114 for a cleaning quote. At Custom Maid, we can send helpers to get your home holiday ready without the added stress or hassle.