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The holidays – a time for big parties, even bigger crowds, and the resonating sounds of hearty laughter filling our homes. However, amid the joyous chaos, there’s a looming task that often casts a shadow on the festivities: the inevitable house cleaning before guests start streaming through the door. 

And if you’re playing host for the holidays, well, the pressure to ensure a spotless abode becomes even more important. Fear not, for in this guide, we’ll show you some expert holiday cleaning tips, leaving you more time to savor the joy and less time fretting over the mess. Let’s dive into the world of tinsel, tidying, and festive tranquility and start with the clean up for holidays!

Key Takeaways

  • Declutter, clear surfaces, arrange furniture, store extras, and create a festive corner.
  • Organize the pantry, deep-clean appliances, and dust smartly for a holiday-ready kitchen.
  • Scrub, refresh towels and amp up supplies. Add holiday vibes for a welcoming bathroom.
  • Dust, vacuum, spot clean, and tidy up entertainment areas for cozy gatherings.
  • Swiftly tackle dust, bathroom supplies, and kitchen tidying. Final touches make a big difference.

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Gather Your Pre-Holiday Cleaning Supplies

As you start cleaning up for holidays, let’s talk about the unsung heroes of the season – your cleaning supplies. Before you dive into the festive chaos, having the right tools at your disposal can make all the difference. 

  • All-Purpose Cleaner: Choose a versatile cleaner that can be used on various surfaces, from countertops to appliances.
  • Glass Cleaner: Ensure crystal-clear windows and mirrors for a polished look throughout your home.
  • Dusting Tools: Microfiber cloths, dusters, or dusting sprays to eliminate dust and cobwebs from surfaces and corners.
  • Vacuum Cleaner: A reliable vacuum is essential for tackling carpets, rugs, and high-traffic areas.
  • Bathroom Cleaner: Targeted cleaners for toilets, sinks, and shower or tub surfaces for a sparkling bathroom.
  • Kitchen Degreaser: Combat built-up grease and grime in the kitchen, especially around cooking areas.
  • Trash Bags: You’re going to generate some holiday clutter – it’s inevitable. Make sure you have enough trash bags to dispose of it all effortlessly.

Cleaning Up for the Holidays: A Timeline

The mere thought of clean up for holidays can be daunting. Where do you even start the clean up for holidays? The tinsel? Are the dust bunnies multiplying under the couch? The mysterious sticky spot on the kitchen floor that seems to have taken up permanent residence? We get it, and we’re here to rescue you from the clutches of one-time holiday cleaning overwhelm. Just use this efficient holiday cleanup timeline as your guide and follow it step by step: 

1. T-Minus Two Weeks: Living Spaces

Sorting Through and Organizing Belongings

  • Begin with a visual sweep. Identify items that are out of place, no longer needed, or could use a better home.
  • Create designated piles – ‘Keep’ for items you’ll use or display during the holidays, ‘Donate’ for things in good condition but no longer needed, and ‘Toss’ for items beyond their prime.
  • Set aside a donation bag in a visible spot. As you come across items, toss them in, making the donation process seamless.

Clearing Surfaces for Holiday Decorations

  • Dust surfaces with a microfiber cloth or duster. Pay attention to overlooked spots like the tops of picture frames and shelves.
  • Wipe down surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner. For wooden furniture, use a suitable polish to add shine.
  • As you clear surfaces, take note of any decor items you might need to replace or add to your holiday collection.

Evaluate Furniture Placement

  • Assess the current layout of your living areas. Consider traffic flow and focal points.
  • Experiment with rearranging furniture to create a more open and welcoming space. This could involve swapping the placement of chairs, tables, or even the sofa.
  • Take the help of family members – fresh eyes can provide valuable input on the new arrangement.

Store Non-Essential Items

  • Identify items that, while lovely, aren’t essential for the holiday season.
  • Use under-bed storage, spare closets, or dedicated storage spaces to keep these items out of sight.
  • Label storage containers clearly, making it easy to retrieve these items when the holidays wind down.

Create a “Festive Corner”

  • Designate a specific area for holiday décor storage. This could be a closet, a section of the garage, or a spare room.
  • Invest in durable, clear storage containers. Label each container according to its contents – lights, ornaments, tree decorations, etc.
  • Take a quick inventory of your existing holiday decorations, making a note of anything that needs replacing or updating.

clean up for holidays

2. T-Minus One Week: Kitchen Preparations

Streamlining Pantry and Refrigerator Contents

  • Begin by assessing the items in your pantry and refrigerator. Check expiration dates and toss away any expired or stale items.
  • Organize items by category to make them easily accessible. Consider using baskets or storage containers for a neater look.
  • Clear space for holiday-specific ingredients and treats. Designate a section for these items to avoid last-minute scavenger hunts.
  • Make a shopping list of pantry and refrigerator staples you’ll need for holiday recipes to streamline your grocery shopping.

Thoroughly Cleaning the Oven, Microwave, and Refrigerator

  • If your oven has a self-cleaning function, utilize it. For manual cleaning, remove racks and wipe down the interior with an oven cleaner. Don’t forget the oven door!
  • Place a bowl of water with a splash of vinegar inside and microwave for a few minutes. The steam will loosen grime, making it easier to wipe away.
  • Empty shelves and drawers, discarding expired items. Wipe down surfaces with a mixture of water and baking soda for a fresh, clean smell and appearance.
  • Plan these tasks strategically to use the oven’s cleaning cycle while tackling other kitchen chores

Swift and Effective Dusting Techniques

  • Equip yourself with a microfiber cloth or a duster. Microfiber is excellent for trapping dust particles without just moving them around.
  • Start from the highest points in the room and work your way down. Dust ceiling corners, light fixtures, and shelves before moving to lower surfaces.
  • Hit often-neglected spots like electronics, picture frames, and intricate decor pieces. A can of compressed air can be handy for keyboards and hard-to-reach spots

Polishing Furniture and Decorative Items

  • Select a furniture polish appropriate for the material of your furniture. For wooden surfaces, choose a polish that nourishes and protects the wood.
  • Avoid oversaturation. Apply polish in small sections to prevent buildup. A little goes a long way.
  • When polishing, use a soft cloth and work in gentle, circular motions. This not only ensures an even application but also adds a gleaming finish.
  • After applying polish, go over the surface with a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess product and achieve a natural shine.

clean up for holidays

3. T-Minus Three Days: Bathroom Blitz

Scrubbing Surfaces and Fixtures

  • Arm yourself with an all-purpose cleaner, a scrub brush, and a microfiber cloth.
  • Wipe down countertops, sinks, and any other surfaces. Don’t forget high-touch areas like light switches and door handles.
  • Polish faucets and handles. For any stubborn stains, a mixture of baking soda and water can work wonders.

Refreshing Towels and Toiletries for Guests

  • Ensure there are fresh, clean towels for your guests. Consider adding a holiday touch with themed or color-coordinated hand towels.
  • Assess the level of toiletries like hand soap, shampoo, and conditioner. Replace or refill as needed.
  • Create a small basket with travel-sized toiletries for guests who may have forgotten something.

Ensuring Ample Supplies for Guests

  • Double-check that you have enough toilet paper, tissues, and hand soap for your guests.
  • If space allows, consider placing extra towels or blankets in the bathroom for added comfort.
  • Create a small emergency kit with items like pain relievers, band-aids, and other necessities.

4. T-Minus Two Days: Cleaning the Living Room

Dust and Vacuum

  • Begin by dusting all surfaces, including furniture, shelves, and electronics. Pay attention to corners and crevices.
  • Use a vacuum with an appropriate attachment to clean upholstered furniture and ensure a thorough sweep of the floor.
  • If you have pets, consider using a lint roller on furniture to remove any pet hair.

Spot Clean Upholstery

  • Inspect upholstery for any stains or spills. Spot clean using an appropriate cleaner for the fabric.
  • Fluff pillows and throws to give them a fresh and inviting appearance.

Organize Entertainment Center

  • Organize cables, DVDs, or any other entertainment center items. Consider using cable organizers to streamline the look.
  • Dust and clean electronics such as TVs, gaming consoles, and sound systems.

Wipe Down Surfaces

  • Wipe down coffee and side tables. Remove any unnecessary items to create a clean and spacious look.
  • Use a glass cleaner for glass tabletops or framed pictures.

clean up for holidays

5. T-Minus One Day: Quick Holiday Home Cleaning and Touch-Ups

  • Address any areas that may have accumulated dust since your last cleaning session.
  • Run a broom or vacuum through high-traffic areas to capture any new dust or dirt.
  • Ensure that the bathroom remains well-stocked with essentials such as toilet paper, hand soap, and fresh towels.
  • Quickly wipe down bathroom surfaces to maintain cleanliness.
  • Declutter kitchen countertops and wipe them down. This gives the kitchen a tidy and inviting appearance.
  • Arrange seating to accommodate guests comfortably.

Wrapping Up 

As the final notes of holiday tunes fill the air and the scent of festive meals wafts through the house, it’s time to take a well-deserved breather. The journey of clean up for holidays has been a whirlwind of tasks, from decluttering guest rooms to adding those final touches that transform a house into a home ready for celebration.

From the early days of November, through the bustling preparations of T-Minus Two Weeks, and all the way to the final touches in the T-Minus One Day quick holiday home cleaning session, each step brought us closer to a space that not only sparkles with cleanliness but radiates warmth and holiday cheer. Book cleaning service online now, it’s fast and easy!

And if the clean up for holidays become too overwhelming for you, then you can always call in the experts at My Cleaning Angel. The holidays are a time for making memories, not spending endless hours scrubbing and dusting. My Cleaning Angel’s efficient and thorough approach gives you the gift of time. Time to bake those cookies, wrap those presents, and simply enjoy the festive season.

clean up for holidays


Why start cleaning in early November?

You should start the clean up for holidays early November. It provides a strategic head start, allowing you to declutter, organize, and clean at a manageable pace. This way, your home is ready for the holidays without the stress of last-minute tasks.

Can I customize the holiday cleaning tasks based on my home’s specific needs?

Absolutely! The holiday cleaning timeline is a guide, and you can tailor it to fit your home’s unique requirements. Whether you prioritize certain areas or have specific tasks in mind, the timeline is flexible to accommodate your needs to clean up for holidays.

How can I maintain cleanliness after the holiday season?

Maintain post-holiday cleanliness by incorporating daily tidying routines, regular decluttering, and setting a cleaning schedule. Involve the household, invest in storage solutions, and promptly address spills. Rotate decor items, and schedule deep cleans for high-traffic areas.

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