Holiday Prep & Cleanup Essentials

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Posted December 23, 2012 by Marcy Farrey in Life After Five
holidaycleanup

You’ve known your family and friends were coming for the holidays for weeks . . . but somehow, you lost track of the time. You had work to finish before the holidays, parties to attend, and presents to buy. Now you have to make sure the house is clean, but you have very little time to do a thorough clean up job.

First off, don’t panic. It’s okay — it happens to the best of us. Now, take a deep breathe and start planning a way to get the place as tidy as possible. A few weeks ago, I came across a post on Apartment Therapy that had a few great tricks for a very quick cleanup, and I want to first call attention to one of those tips — it’s an important one!

Clean the Three T’s:¬†Toilets, Tabletops, the Television. What? The television? Yup! Most living rooms are centered around your tv and the amount of dust that hangs on it, your netflix stack and dvd box set pile that’s off to one side could be tell tale signs of why the rest of your house isn’t exactly spotless. Plus if you sit chatting in the living room, you’ll be staring at it wishing you would have moved it. Toilets and tabletops are a bit more self explanatory, but important none the less.

Use this as your jumping off point. If you have time to do nothing else, make sure these are at least done. Now, for how to manage the rest before, during, and after your guests’ visit:

  • Vacuum. One of the biggest problems I always have is the bathroom, where I blow dry my hair. Be sure to at least vacuum the bathroom floor, seeing as this kind of mess will be visible. Next, make sure your main rooms are vacuumed. Even if every piece of furniture isn’t dusted, a clean floor will make a huge difference.
  • Use storage containers, baskets, and closets. If you have a lot of extra items around that somehow drifted out of their permanent homes, stash them in baskets or storage bins. Apartment Therapy had another good idea — stash these in containers according to the room they belong in. Once the family is out the door, you’ll know where all of your things are, even if hidden.
  • Have extra blankets and towels clean and ready. Any time you have guests coming, have these ready. Even if they’re still in the dryer when guests arrive, it’s better than having nothing if someone needs to stay over.
  • Have disinfecting wipes ready at all times. Don’t have time to really wipe down the counter with 409? Disinfecting wipes (Lysol wipes) are a quick and easy solution. And if you want to just relax after dinner and not scrub the counters, this can also be a quick fix until you have time to really clean after the guests leave.
  • Soak pots and pans right away. If you’re cooking a big meal, don’t let the dirty pan sit for an hour or two while you finish up the rest. Start soaking it immediately so that you can clean it while you’re waiting for the meal to finish cooking.
  • Light candles and set out potpourri. A home always feels cleaner when it smells good, and there’s so many great holiday scents you can use. All you need is clear bowl or candy dish to set the potpourri in, and you’re good to go.

These are just a few of the tricks I use whenever I’m hosting. What else do you Career Girls do to make sure your home is ready? Share your tips with us!


About the Author

Marcy Farrey

Marcy Farrey is a videographer, writer, and editor. In her previous life, she worked as a broadcast news reporter and producer in Lincoln, Nebraska and as a writer and producer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University. Learn more about Marcy on her website www.marcyfarrey.com.

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