The smell of freshly baked cookies, the sights of twinkling lights and Christmas trees, children’s excitement, and time spent with family make the holiday season feel truly magical. It’s no wonder that many people agree that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.
But, unfortunately, this time of year can also be overwhelming, especially if you are in charge of any holiday parties or have extra family staying with you. Trying to keep up with holiday festivities and all the housework that comes with it can seem nearly impossible.
Keeping a checklist can help things move more smoothly and allow you to relax and simply enjoy the season. With these checklist suggestions, you can complete your before, during, and after to-dos with as little stress as possible.
Before The Festivities
First, it’s a good idea to plan your holiday checklist. Some preparation can be done well in advance, while others can be done just a day or two before the festivities begin. Write it out on your calendar so you’ll know exactly what to plan for each day.
Also, you will want to ensure you are prepared for any messes your guests might make. Have cleaning products, paper towels, and trash bags handy, just in case.
So many benefits come from decluttering your home. In the case of holiday gatherings, decluttering will make your home appear larger, allow space for your guests to place their things, and provide more room for all that delicious holiday food.
You should begin the decluttering process a few weeks before your guests are set to arrive. This will give you ample time to organize things without the stress of a last-minute decluttering frenzy.
If you find that you have run out of time, you can do a type of power decluttering. Just grab a laundry basket and put any leftover clutter inside. Put this basket in the garage or storage room. Just be sure to go through it and put things away after the holidays.
3. Deep Clean
There is some debate about whether you should deep clean before guests arrive or wait until after they leave. Even though things are bound to get dirty during the holidays, we still think it is a good idea to do a thorough cleaning beforehand.
If a whole house deep clean just won’t fit into your schedule, here are a few areas to focus on.
Kitchen– Throughout the holiday season, your kitchen is bound to get a lot of use. Start with the appliances. You can deep clean these well in advance. And, they will only require a quick cleaning if they get dirty again before the party.
Deep cleaning your oven and microwave is a must. You don’t want your guests baking their holiday dish in an oven with last month’s lasagna stuck to the bottom.
Deep cleaning your fridge will create more space as you clean out leftovers and out-of-date contents. It will also create a more inviting place to store all the yummy holiday food.
Other areas of the kitchen to deep clean include the dishwasher, trash can, and backsplashes.
Family Room– In the family room, be sure to vacuum any crumbs out of the couch and do a thorough vacuum of the area. You may also want to dust the curtains, blinds, bookcases, and TVs.
Bathroom(s)– Outside of the kitchen and family room, the most visited place in your home will be the bathroom(s). Since germs and smells like to reside in bathrooms, it is a good idea to deep clean and freshen up the bathrooms for your guests.
Deep clean the toilet, sink, and bathtub, dust any shelves or decorations, restock the toilet paper and soap and put out fresh towels. Adding an odor-eliminating air freshener will keep your bathroom smelling fresh for your guests.
4. Food Prep
Most holiday gatherings include an abundance of food. If you plan to do a good amount of the cooking, you may want to plan your menu and make some things ahead of time. And, since you cleaned out the fridge, there will be plenty of space to store the stuff you prep ahead of time.
5. Spruce Up The Entryway
Certain areas of your home will be seen right away, the main one being the entryway. Sprucing up your entryway will help create a welcoming feel as your guests enter your home.
First, shake out the rugs by the front door. Sweep and mop the entryway area and dust any furniture and artwork.
6. The Extra Touch
If you find that you have planned and prepared well and still have some extra time, you may choose to add a few special finishing touches to make your home even more inviting.
These finishing touches may include putting up more Christmas decorations and taking extra care as you decorate your Christmas tree. You could add twinkle lights or candles to enhance your Christmas tree’s ambient lighting.
During The Festivities
1. Act Quickly
Spills are bound to happen; it’s just the way life is. However, spills will seem like no big deal if you are prepared and have some carpet cleaning supplies on hand.
Commercial carpet cleaners and club soda are great at handling spills on your carpet. Additionally, if red wine is a part of your holiday menu, be sure to have some white wine on hand to neutralize any red wine stains.
2. Keep It Clean
It can be easy to neglect housework as you are swept up in holiday activities, but if you spot clean throughout the day, things will stay relatively tidy. Be sure to put things away when you are finished with them so the clutter doesn’t pile up.
You can also make assignments for clearing the table, dish duty, etc., so you don’t have to do it alone.
After The Festivities
1. Take It Easy
Cleaning up after the holidays is easily the worst part. Not only are you sad that the fun is over, but you are probably worn out as well.
These end-of-party tasks can seem quite daunting, but don’t be too discouraged; you don’t have to rush to finish everything as soon as the last guest leaves. Get some rest and start fresh in the morning.
The next day, you can make a schedule with a list of things you need to accomplish. Your schedule may look something like this:
- Do a load of dishes.
- Clean off and wipe down counters.
- Do another load of dishes.
- Take out the trash.
- Do a load of laundry.
- Do yet another load of dishes.
- Wipe down appliances, cupboards, and baseboards.
- Sweep and mop floors.
- Set out an air freshener.
- Sit back and relax.
With these tips, your holiday entertaining will be a breeze! But, if during your festivities, you find yourself wishing for a bigger or more modern kitchen or bathroom, the new year is the perfect time for that.