Cleaning for the Holidays!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This last weekend I started my late fall/holiday cleaning. Each year, I try to do a really deep clean and have my carpets done just before the holidays so I am ready for entertaining. Fall/Holiday cleaning looks very similar to spring cleaning except that the spring is when I tend to paint, replace and spruce up as well as clean. Fall/Holiday cleaning is all about the deep clean and getting the house ready to rearrange for the putting up of the trees (yes, there is an S at the end of trees….I put up a few).

With that in mind, I thought I’d post a few tips that help me to reduce stress, to save time, and make the holidays merrier. Oh, and I end up with a clean house too!

Start NOW!
There's so much to do between now and the end of the holidays season - decorating, entertaining, gifts buying and/or making, baking and candy making, programs and special activities, Christmas cards and correspondence. How and where do you make time for all the cleaning that needs to get done? It really is pretty simple, if you take the right approach. Begin your holiday cleaning before the seasonal rush. This lessens stress, and gives you time to tackle bigger projects, such as polishing the silverware, having carpets cleaned or rearranging furniture.

Making a list, and checking it twice
Start by making a list of all the things that need to be cleaned. Divide chores by room and make an estimate of how long each task should take. Some tasks like changing linens in the guest bedroom will not take long and can be squeezed in between your regular activities, other tasks may require setting aside an hour or an afternoon to get them accomplished. Tick off each item as you complete them. You’ll feel like you are making headway.

A little here, and a little there
Don’t put off your cleaning because you don’t have large chunks of time to devote to cleaning. Start small. Set aside 30-45 minutes each day (even if you have to do it in 15 minutes increments). Schedule your time at a fixed time each day and keep to your schedule. Once you’ve completed a task, be sure that everyone is on the same page in keeping things sparkling so you’re not having to redo the same things again and again.

Calling all cars, we need backup here
You're not the only one who will be enjoying the holidays, so you shouldn't be the only one cleaning for them either. Set aside a specific time each week for cleaning and divide up chores so others (kids, hubby, etc.) can pitch in. Many hands make light work.

Keep it simple, sweetheart
Reduce clutter and organize while your cleaning. Less to clean always makes cleaning easier. Organizing clutter is easier when you employee shelf organizers, shoe racks, plastic totes, or under-the-bed storage to help organize clutter.

Are we having fun yet?
Cleaning doesn't have to be all work. Pay a visit to your local public library first….check out books on tape or some new music to get you motivated and keep you entertained while you work. Another idea, download a podcast or 2 of your favorite radio programs and get your IPOD into the action. Don’t forget to reward yourself. A long steamy bath, a bar of GOOD chocolate or a gingerbread latte is great motivation for me to get done with a project.

I'm going to link this to Mosiac Monday (a day late this week) over at Mary's Little Red House. Please stop by and visit all the other wonderful mosaics.