Attention Folks!!! Only 6 days until Christmas! Are you feeling stressed? Do you get stressed during the holidays? Have you finished all your Christmas shopping? Wrapping? Decorations? Am I stressing you out with all my questions? Oops! Well, maybe I can help. I am going to give you some of the cleaning tricks that I use during the holiday season. I am going to approach this in two ways. Section one will be ways to clean/be prepared for guests (both invited and surprise drop-ins.) Section two will be tips for after the holidays, after dinner, and after the guests leave. Hopefully, my cleaning tricks for the busy holiday season can ease some of your stress.
“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” -Andy Rooney
Cleaning Tricks for the Busy Holiday Season
How to be Guest-Ready (Before Holiday Prep)
Keep the entryway/hallway clean.
I always try to keep the first things my guests will see clean. For me, unless you are close family/friends then you probably won’t get past the hallway bathroom, and into the bedrooms. I try not to allow myself to get too stressed out about the bedrooms. If your guests aren’t going to see it then don’t let it stress you out. Pick your battles during the holidays.
Focus your deeper cleaning on the kitchen and bathrooms.
In my family, we tend to hang out in the kitchen. So scrub down the counters, clean the light fixtures, ceiling fan blades, and sink. Give your oven and stove a little extra TLC, especially if they are about to get used more than usual.
I also like to clean out/organize my fridge. I try not to have anything leftover from pre-holiday meals and only have what is needed for cooking because it will get FULL with leftovers. Something else I have learned to help you clean up messes that might occur in your fridge over the holidays, especially with all the extra food, is to line your shelves with wax paper. If you have a spill, all you have to do is change out the paper!
Of course, I always make sure the toilet, counter, sink, and tub of the guest-bathroom is spic and span before the company arrives. I usually have my wax bars burning with some good holiday smells, like pumpkin spice or sugar cookie.
Take out ALL the trash.
You want to make sure your trash cans are empty and you could even buy an extra trash can or two if you plan on having a lot of company. After all the trash cans have been emptied, sniff out any remaining bad/weird smells. I usually hit the spots with Lysol or Febreeze, turn on my oil diffuser with peppermint or lemon, and maybe turn on a few wax burners.
Quick tip: Double or triple line your trashcans with extra trash bags. This way when the trash gets full you just take the full bag out and you don’t have to worry about putting in a new bag. Quick and easy!
Clean any places that guests will be sitting on or around.
Scrub down tables, vacuum off sofas or recliners (especially if you have indoor animals), and you can even Febreeze your couch pillows and then toss them in the dryer for a bit. It helps them smell fresh and fluffs them up nicely.
Wash any tableware, glassware, linens, silverware, etc.
Plan ahead on what you will need for the dinner. I keep my China in my grandmother’s beautiful China Hutch, but it gets dusty, so it needs to be cleaned before being used.
Quick tip: You can use olive oil or baby oil to shine all your stainless steel appliances. (So fresh and so clean, clean…)
Cleaning Tips (During and Post Holiday Festivities)
Don’t take on an entire meal alone. If you feel more comfortable handling the main course, like turkey or ham, then ask your family and friends to bring desserts and side dishes. Cook whatever you can IN ADVANCE! For more hosting tips, click here.
Don’t feel forced into using your fancy dishware, glassware, etc.
Honestly, nowadays they offer some great choices for disposable dishware. Some of them are really very pretty, festive, and you almost can’t tell they are disposable. If this doesn’t bother you, it would make clean up a lot easier! Fewer dishes to wash! I’m always a fan of that!
If possible, clean as you cook.
One thing I like to do, holidays or not, is clean up as I am cooking. It makes clean up after the meal, a lot less stressful and not as overwhelming. It might feel exhausting to clean as you go, I promise you it will be a lot better than facing a mountain of dirty pots and pans after you are tired and full from eating and entertaining.
Buy extra food storage containers.
Try to send home leftovers with your guests. Less food means less clean up for you! Plus, I always like the feeling of sending home some good home cooking with my friends and family. It is a nice little way to say, “I love you.”
Learn the difference between what needs to be cleaned right away and what can wait a day.
Some things need to be done before you head to bed, other things can wait. For example, I always put up my food and start soaking a few pots and pans. Baking soda works wonders for stuck-on food. Toss what you can into the dishwasher and call it a night! You deserve it! Maybe eat an extra piece of pie!
Hopefully, these cleaning tricks will help ease some of the holiday stress. However, remember to slow down and enjoy the moments. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Do you have any holiday cleaning tricks, tips or hacks? I would love to read about them in the comments.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us, a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” -Isaiah 9:6