With Christmas quickly approaching, and my home being in a state of disarray (for various reasons), I thought it was appropriate for a 12 days of cleaning (aka 12 areas to clean) to get the house ready for the holidays.
So whether you’re having the entire extended family over, or you just want to feast your eyes on a warm, clean and festive home this holiday season (as in my case), my list will help you find the key places in the home you should focus your efforts on to ensure your home is ready to entertain!
Here are the key areas in the house to focus cleaning efforts to wow guests during the holidays:
1. Christmas Tree
Let’s start with the obvious here. If you have a husband like mine that insists upon getting a real tree for the maximum Christmas experience (which I do agree is great, at a price), be prepared for the extra maintenance, i.e. watering daily and sweeping up those fallen needles. You don’t want to risk drying out your evergreen tree or have a mess to clean up around your beautifully-wrapped gifts.
2. The Fireplace
If you have a fireplace or any space where stockings are hung, be sure to keep the area ringing with Christmas spirit. Besides the holiday decor, this includes sweeping up any ashes or wood chips and spraying down the surrounding brick or tile with a mildew or dirt remover. This area is a prime location for guests to admire, so it should be immaculate!
3. The Stove or Oven
Oh yes of course! We all know the stove or oven area will probably be the busiest area of a home during Christmas. That’s why all appliances dealing with any type of cooking should be one of the first areas cleaned in-and-out to ensure all food remnants or grease stains are out of sight.
4. Your Dinner Table
While a festive runner and centerpiece can dress up your kitchen, a table free of clutter can really do wonders for the clean house theme ;). So make sure you remember to start with the basics like removing mail or magazines. I’ve had this on my list forever and need to tackle it once and for all! If the mail belongs to your significant other, throw it all in a storage box and ask him to shred or file.
5. The Bathroom Vanity
This area is often overlooked as most people focus on the shower and toilets when they think of a clean bathroom. Well, try to remember where guests will spend time washing their hands and powdering their noses. I especially hate the dust and mildew that can accumulate in corners or near the faucet.
6. The Floors or Carpets
Okay, I must admit I threw this one on the list to remind myself a new kitchen floor is in order for the new year; I’ve just about had it with our vinyl tiles. But if you find yourself short on time and money, give your rooms a quick sweep or vacuum to pick up dirt tracking throughout the house — this includes the hallways.
7. The Guest Room
Try not to use your guest room as a storage room during the holiday season. You just never know what friend or family member happens to be in town and needs to spend the night.
8. The Doors
I’m talking mostly about the entrance area to your home. Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser is a must! That eraser really does work like magic to remove grimy stains and fingerprints.
9. The Ceiling Fan
While most of us tend to neglect cleaning the ceiling fan, just know the filth and dust that can accumulate here really isn’t sanitary. Take 10 minutes to make sure the air circulating in your home is free of bacteria.
10. Every Room Corner
One word: dust. It accumulates more quickly than we think. So break out the dust buster or broom and get to work!
11. The Love Seat or Sofa
Here’s a simple trick to give the”I’ve just been cleaned” appearance to your fabric sofas: use a hand or baby wipe to remove dirt or pet hairs. Yep, that simple :)!
12. The Air
Nothing brings the feel of Christmas to mind better than the aroma of peppermint, cinnamon, and pine cones coming from a festive home. Scented candles afford the perfect opportunity to give your home a clean smell while tying together the whole holiday theme.
Phew! I’m glad I got that list together. Now time to get to work!
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.