1. Divide, Conquer, and Turn Up the Music
Go room by room and make a list of tasks that need to be done. Then, sit down with your family and divide the chores up. You know what works best: you can assign the chores by room or by difficulty, for example, have family members choose, or have an adult buddy up with a kid to tackle a whole room.
While you’re working, why not turn on some fun holiday music (or whatever gets your blood pumping!)? You might also allow different family members to choose songs to keep everyone happy and involved. And be sure to sing along!
2. Bribe the Children (and the Adults, If Necessary)
Do you have someone in your household who loves the holidays? Really, really loves the holidays? The ones who start singing carols and sipping eggnog in October? Great! Chances are they can’t wait to decorate the house, find a tree, put the lights up, and generally create holiday magic. Tell them you’re excited too - but the house has to be clean before the decorations go up. Sorry, it’s a rule! A little incentive never hurts.
3. Focus On Key Rooms
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the amount of work you have to do, breathe. Take it step by step, starting with important rooms. The kitchen. The bathrooms. The entryway. Begin here, clear the clutter, and ensure everything is smudge-free, clean, and fresh-smelling.
After you’ve gained some wins with these rooms, move onto the next most important. This may be the living room, dining room, and guest room. Again, breathe and go one step at a time!
4. Stay on Top of the Dishes
This is a phenomenon we’ve witnessed in many, many homes: as soon as dishes are washed, dirty ones appear. A clean sink seems to never be clean for long. Make an effort to do dishes as they are used, including the pots and pans from dinner. Kids are major culprits here: “I’ll do them later, Mom/Dad.” No, no, they won’t. Reinforce the rule of washing up as they go, and if you have a dishwasher, of loading the dishwasher each night and emptying it each morning.
5. Clean Your Stovetop
Even if the rest of the kitchen is sparkling, a dirty, smudged, food-crusted stovetop is a major eyesore. It’s easy to let it go because you’re cooking and baking so much, entertaining and hosting parties. Again, just clean up as you go. A simple white vinegar/water spray is perfect for spot cleanups, and hydrogen peroxide and baking soda make a great paste to clear off the gunk at the end of a baking session.
While you’re at it, try a natural home remedy for your oven. Baking soda and vinegar is a good option, and it won’t create a toxic smell like chemical cleaners do.
6. Clean the Grill
If outdoor cooking is a part of your holiday plans, make sure your grill is in good shape. Use a stiff wire brush to scrub off food particles and other debris, and then use a paper towel to apply vegetable oil to the grill grates. If it’s been a while since you fired it up, turn it on high for about 15 minutes, and then shut it off at both the burners and the gas. Use a stiff wire brush dipped in water to clean. This will create some steam, so please be careful.
7. Wash the Windows
This simple step can make a tremendous difference. Your spaces will look cleaner and sharper, and you’ll allow more natural light to filter in. While you’re at it, dry clean or vacuum the drapes and/or dust your blinds or shades.
8. Wash the Guest Linens
Even if no one has slept in your guest room for some time, bedding and towels can take on an “unused” or musty smell. Launder them to restore their fresh scent and soft texture.
And make sure there are plenty of guest towels too!
9. Cut Clutter
The holidays are a perfect time to go through clothing, toys, and other items. If you do not wear or use possessions regularly (or at all), remove them from your home. Make a pile for donations, one for recycling, and one for trash disposal.
10. Let Us Do the Work
Or… you could focus on the joy of the season and spend time with your loved ones! Greenlife’s team of professionals will ensure your home looks its best and that you have time to shop, wrap, sip cocoa, volunteer, decorate, and maybe even build a snowman.
For some holiday help cleaning your home, get in touch with us today. We wish you the very best this holiday season!