Decorating & Cleaning Tips For The Holidays

Get Your Home Clean & Clutter Free For Christmas

Our homes are the “hub” of the holiday season. It’s where we gather to eat, play, and celebrate together. But let’s be honest, preparing our homes for the holidays can sometimes be overwhelming. The key to successful holiday cleaning is to start early: Plan to kick off your housekeeping tasks several days in advance. We’ve gathered our top ways to get your home sparkling clean this Christmas, leaving you time to actually enjoy the festivities.

#1: Start by playing holiday music. It’s an easy way to set the holiday mood and distract you from “chore aspect” of the tasks at hand.

#2: One big tip you can use to make sure your house is as clean as possible during the holidays is to deep clean while you decorate it. Since holiday decorating often requires you to shift around furniture and tabletop items (especially to make room for the tree), it’s a great idea to clean your house as your are putting out all your decorations. Begin by removing and storing your day-to-day décor that will be replaced with holiday decorations. Then dust and clean surfaces.

For example: We love a great wreath on a mirror. But before you hang a new wreath, use some of our favorite glass cleaner and lint-free wipes to just give everything a once over.

#3: And speaking about decorations… you don’t have to go overboard with decorations to make an amazing impact at this time of year. Think about the rooms that you will be socializing in, and focus on these first. Then look at having 1-2 key items in the room that will make a real statement instead of lots of little things that will just end up cluttering the space. Spend a day decorating and make it a tradition.

Choose a scented candle with a Christmassy aroma for instant festive cheer. Pine, cinnamon, gingerbread and cloves are a few of Santa’s favorite. Or make your own stovetop potpourri. Add water, cranberries, orange slices, cinnamon sticks and vanilla to a pot (along with any additional spices you like), bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The warm smell of the holidays will fill the house in no time.

Create the best top table
: When setting the table for Christmas day, think about introducing some natural elements. Holly, berries, evergreen sprigs and pinecones all look beautiful and are easy and cheap to source. Set your dinner table the night before Christmas Day so you can fully enjoy it.

#4: Create a wrapping station. Having a designated space to store gift-wrapping materials not only makes the wrapping process easier, but also helps to prevent unnecessary spending on gift wrap, tape, and gift tags since you are able to easily assess what you have on hand. A desk in the home office or a dresser in the basement works wonderfully for a wrapping station. But a plastic or zippered cloth container that slides under the bed is also an option: simply put all wrapping supplies in the box and bring it out when it’s time to wrap.

#5: If guests are staying overnight, get the guest bedroom ready first so you don’t have to worry about it later. Dust surfaces and baseboards, vacuum, wash linens and make the bed and put out any extras to make their stay more comfortable, such as towels and wash cloths, and any welcoming gifts.

#6: Declutter. If you have kids, dedicate some time to clear out old toys and make room for the new ones. You can sell them on Ebay, Marketplace or donate to a charity shop of your choice. If you have a feeling that you will be getting a new clothes from Santa this Christmas, make sure you have enough space in your wardrobe. It’s great to have a clear out and donate old or never worn clothes and shoes to charity.

#7: Do a pantry audit. Throw out any expired spices, canned goods, and boxed foods. Apply the same rule you would to clothes in your closet: If you haven’t touched it in six months, toss it or donate it to a food bank. When you’re done, you’ll also have a good list of what you need to restock.

#8: Clean high-traffic areas. Vacuum, dust and wipe down surfaces.

#9: Since people like to congregate in the kitchen during Christmas, make sure your kitchen is ready. Take the time to wash down the walls and cabinets and clean appliances, including inside the refrigerator and oven. Make sure your dishwasher is working properly so it’s ready for all those dirty dishes. Sanitize countertops.

#10: Your main bathroom will be used more this season, so ensure that you scrub the floor, wipe down the toilet, and shower. Remove any gunk on the counter and sink. Disinfecting will help as there will be no need for re-scrubbing. Make sure that you have plenty of toilet paper.

#11: We’ve all got that nice set of cutlery or dining set that only makes an appearance on special occasions. Now is their time to shine – literally. Set the time aside to clean and polish your lovely kitchenware and make your Christmas meal even more memorable. Wash any special bowls or platters you may want to use throughout the season.

#12: Flip cushions. Lift the cushions of the sofa to vacuum up dust bunnies and crumbs that tend to congregate there, then flip them.

#13: Add mats. Winterize the area around your entryway to keep mud and snow from getting tracked inside all season long. Put a rough coir or rubber mat just outside the door for wiping off boots and an extra-absorbent mat (look for propylene versions) inside to rein in extra moisture.

#14: You’ll be doing a lot of laundry over the holidays so now is the time to get the laundry room prepped and ready for battle. Make sure you’re stocked up on supplies.

#15: Speaking about laundry, leave time to think about what you are going to wear on the big day. Your home shouldn’t be the only one dazzling your guests this Christmas. Plan your outfits for the festive period and make sure that they are spick and span and ready to show you off.

#16: Maintain It. Once you’ve got the house clean and tidy, try to avoid using any rooms you’ve cleaned unless you have to. Then all you have to do is a quick tidy-up (refresh countertops and floors) the day before your guests arrive.

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