The following is a guest post by April Lane, for a full bio visit the bottom of the post.
There’s usually a lot to do to gear up for the holidays, and it rarely feels like we have time for it all. Keeping things clean, of course, is an important part of those winter duties. Among everything else going on, you want to get the best bang for your buck with your cleaning efforts. You desire to feel proud of your environment without taking too much time away from your other obligations. Here are 10 of our best holiday cleaning tips to give you the biggest cleaning returns with the least amount of effort. Whether you’re having a holiday party, hosting some guests for the season, or just looking to enjoy your home with your family, you’ll be able to enjoy a clean home with minimal struggle.
1. Not All Parts of the House Are Created Equal
The first and the best piece of advice we can give you for holiday cleaning tips is to prioritize your efforts. If you stick with the hardest and most meaningful areas first, it will make your job easier, plus, if you run out of time, you’ll have the critical work taken care of. Many times we think we need to clean the whole house to be fully ready for the holidays. Although it’s nice to have a completely spotless home, it’s not always a necessary solution, or even realistic. With everything going on during the holidays, it’s sometimes not in your best interest to clean the entire home yourself. If you truly desire a fully immaculate house and don’t have the time, hiring a maid service can be a great option. Otherwise, identify the areas that are the highest priority. These will be the rooms that guests congregate and spend the most time in. For example, if you have a spare office that no one will be using, let alone seeing, this is a very low priority to clean. You could use that office cleaning time for some last minute Christmas shopping, instead.
2. Walk a While in Your Guests Shoes
Take a break from your personal perspective for a minute and imagine you’re one of your guests. Do a quick walkthrough of your home and make notes of the areas you’re drawn to, where you’ll be spending time and especially notice any things out of place or any dirty areas that require tending to. This exercise will help you highlight which places really need cleaning and where to put your efforts. It will be a balance between what areas could use the most attention and where the guests are likely to spend the most time. We’ve featured some of our top prioritized spaces for the holidays, below.
3. Tidy Up, Cowboy
Now that you’ve chosen your VIP areas to focus on, before you dive right into cleaning, it’s time to tidy up the rooms. Start by picking up all the stuff around the house that isn’t in its proper place. Grab a big basket or a bag and put all the stray objects in there. Afterward, organize each room, so they’re nice and presentable. Lastly, put the acquired articles back where they belong, or create homes for them.
4. Priority Area: Entryway
The entryway probably won’t be the highest priority area, but if you have the time, it’s a highly relevant place to give some attention. You don’t have to spend a lot of time here, unless it really needs it, as folks will only be passing through. Sweep the ground, organize a place for shoes, shake out the welcome mat, clean any windows and wipe down the front door. Because it’s the first experience of your home that people get, if you tidy it up, even a small amount, you’ll provide others with a good first impression of your abode.
5. Priority Area: The Kitchen
The kitchen is a hot attraction for guests. People tend to gravitate towards the food during gatherings, making the kitchen a premier hang-out spot. As a high traffic and potentially messy room, the kitchen generally should be given priority for cleaning.
Although the contents of the refrigerator aren’t out in the open, it’s a crucial area to clean. You and your guests will likely be going in and out of it during any cooking occasions or to grab beverages. It’s also nice to have this area clean and organized, making it easier to find items, and creating a more pleasant food preparation process.
Wash all the dishes and clear out the dishwasher so it can be easily loaded as more dishes accumulate later. The sink is a focal point of the kitchen and should be cleaned thoroughly, same with the stovetop. Clear and organize the countertops, making sure they’re wiped down with disinfectant spray. Finish the job by mopping the floors and lighting a scented candle, leaving the room with a fresh aroma.
6. Priority Area: Bathroom
Another top priority is your bathroom. You certainly don’t want to neglect the washroom, especially if you’re hosting visitors. Make sure you pay extra attention to these areas, as bathrooms attract lots of germs. Nothing is more unappealing to visitors than using a restroom that hasn’t been attended to recently.
Use a disinfectant to hit all the bathroom surfaces starting from the top down. Clear and organize the counter clutter and the medicine cabinets. Thoroughly clean the entire toilet, spraying the outside with cleaner, wiping it down and cleaning the inside bowl with toilet cleaner. Clean the bathroom mirror and wipe down the countertops and sink with disinfectant spray. Clean the shower if you have any overnight guests, and earnestly sweep the floor.
Toss those used towels in the laundry and replace them with plenty of clean, fresh ones. Stock extra clean towels in a basket or drawer. Equip the bathrooms with plenty of extra toilet paper rolls and hand soap to account for increased use.
As a finishing touch, liven up your bathroom with fresh herbs or flowers. You can get small bunches of lavender, for example, and place them in little vases to make the room smell naturally pleasant. Add some winter décor and seasonally scented soaps to spruce up your restroom for the holiday spirit.
7. Don’t Forget the Floors
The floors are an essential part of cleaning. As a general rule, they should be done last to reduce the risk of re-dirtying them while cleaning other surfaces. After you’ve completed your highest priority rooms, run through any hallways or other parts of the house and give them a quick mop and vacuum.
8. Clean As You Go
Having a little mental preparation goes a long way. Because the holidays are very active around the home, with people coming and going, you’ll want to be continually keeping the house as clean as you can. Have some quick cleaning tools around your house to make this job easier. Keep some microfiber clothes and extra all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant sprays in different areas such as your kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. In the case of an emergency cleanup, your tools are handy.
9. Final Walkthrough
Remember that “guest perspective” you tried on in the beginning? Now that your main duties are complete, do another walkthrough, viewing your house through the imaginary lens of a visitor to your home. Notice any areas that stand out to you that need a final scrub or tidying and take care of those areas as you see fit.
10. Have Fun
This rule is the most significant one of all! Often, we can become overwhelmed by the large seasonal tasks ahead of us. With the stress of the holidays and all the things to do, we can feel inundated. It’s the time of year for spreading cheer and enjoying the company of others. It should be a joyful celebration. You can make your cleaning just as joyous of an occasion. Remember why you’re cleaning up in the first place; enjoy the fact that you’re creating a welcoming space for your guests and your family. Put on some holiday tunes and get the whole house involved. You can make games out of it, and celebrate together with some seasonal treats like hot chocolate or cookies when you finish.
If you have too much on your platter this holiday season, don’t be afraid to get some help. A maid service can free up lots of your time to get to the important and pressing holiday chores. If you could use any house cleaning services in the Seattle, Wa area, contact April Lane’s Cleaning, today. We can’t do your gift shopping for you, but we can leave your house flawlessly clean, helping to free up your time to get your shopping done and spend more time with your loved ones.
Name: April Lane’s Home Cleaning
Description: April Lane’s Home Cleaning is now one of the largest independently owned Seattle house cleaning companies. Our clients prefer to spend their time doing other activities rather than cleaning house. For over 15 years, our trained staff has provided exceptional, customized home cleaning services that give our clients freedom from household chores and time to do what they like.