I know that there will be a lot of you that will be hosting dinners, parties, and accommodating overnight guests and family members over the holiday season. I also know this is linked with tons of preparation and planning. Since this time can become somewhat overwhelming, I decided to share with you a few of my favorite plan-ahead cleaning strategies and tips so that when the time approaches for your next party you would have already completed a few important tasks. Believe me you will be grateful for these tips once you get there. So here are 5 things you can tick off your to-do list for the holidays, right now!
1. Bathroom Cleaning Tips
I think for most people that have guests over in their home, at some stage they will need to make use of this room. It makes perfect sense that the bathrooms in your home should be an area that is cleaned well before you invite anyone into your home.
Now I know that cleaning bathrooms is no one’s idea of fun when it comes to the holidays. So, here is my advice on how to ensure everything stays manageable and simple. To begin with, create a baseline about a week before the holiday season starts. Give each of the bathrooms in your home a thorough clean, this needs to include the mirrors, countertops, the sink, floors, baseboards, shower, and the tub. Of course, you will also need to give your toilets a really good clean. The next week will be spent in “maintenance mode”.
Here is a maintenance routine you can follow for your bathroom:
• Keep an all-purpose cleaner, paper towel, and microfiber cloth in each of your bathrooms to conduct quick cleans with as little waste as possible.
• Every second day, wipe the faucets, sink, and counters down with your all-purpose cleaner and a microfiber cloth. This is an easy task to complete before you head for bed. Remember to hang your microfiber cloth out to dry. Wash the cloth and replace it with a new one every week.
• Every 3 days spray your toilet down and wipe all the areas clean using a paper towel.
• You should also declutter any of your personal bathroom items by placing all your non-essential’s into a container or basket. This helps to avoid that last-minute rush to hide away your personal products.
Here is what to do on the day your guests are arriving:
• Take your basket or container of personal products and store it away while you have guests over.
• Use your microfiber cloth for a last-minute wipe down of the mirror, sink, and counter, and remember to give your faucets a quick shine.
• Refresh your essential bathroom supplies. This will include clean hand towels, hand soap, and a clean toilet brush and plunger.
If you would like to add an extra touch, invest in essential oil diffusers, to provide your bathrooms with a pleasant and fresh scent. The diffusers are a safer alternative to candles and usually smell a lot better when compared to traditional air fresheners.
2. Use The Three Mat System
If you live in an area that experiences a lot of snowfall over the holiday season, here is my helpful system in order to make sure your entryway remains under control. In our home, we follow a stringent shoes-off policy, and we also travel with extra shoes that we only wear indoors.
Here is what you need to do:
Use a heavy-duty doormat on the outside of your front door, that will hopefully entice your guests into stomping off the sand, grit, salt, and snow that have collected on their shoes outside. The mat should be bristly, rugged, and tough.
Use another doormat on the floor inside your home to add a layer of protection to your floors and carpets from any debris that was not stomped off on your outside mat. This should be a mat that can absorb moisture and dirt while keeping any mess restricted to a small area. We invested in a large mat that really helps when you have many guests arriving at once to remove their boots and wet shoes.
Make sure you also have a boot tray that is effective in containing all the dirt, snow, and salt that was collected from outside.
3. Preparing Your Guest Rooms
If you have guests that will be staying overnight, you need to ensure that the room that you plan to accommodate your guests in, is welcoming and accommodating. Here are a few ideas to assist you in making sure your guests will feel at home. This is easy to do two weeks before the actual party.
Try to declutter the room as best as you can. You may love your knick-knacks such as a baseball card collection or porcelain doll sets, but your guests might not. Similar to the advice on what to do with your personal products in your bathroom, store all your clutter in either a basket or box and store it away in a cupboard until your guests have left.
Make sure you put clean and freshly laundered bedding on the beds. If you would like to add an extra touch, make sure you leave out a few fresh towels. If you really want to go the extra mile, also leave out a few basic toiletries. This can include soaps and small bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
4. Only Clean What Your Guests Will See
As the date of your party approaches, you may be inclined to ensure every corner and nook in the home is sparkling clean. To stop yourself from going overboard, try to remember that it is only important to clean what your guests are going to see. Your guests will not be digging through your closets and cupboards, which means those are areas that can be left for when you have more time. Think about what you notice when you visit other people’s homes, and this is where you should be focusing your efforts.
This will typically include windows, mirrors, a hall closet, floors, and baseboards. Any areas of your home where guests should not be going should have the doors shut or even locked, or visit the best maid service.
5. Make Sure Your Service Pieces Shine
When I was younger I remember my mother pulling out all her cutlery and serving dishes about a week or two before the holidays, where my sister and I would clean and shine all the pieces.
Our first task involved shining up the service pieces and cutlery. This would involve pouring boiled water into a dish and then adding 1 cup of vinegar. Put all your cutlery into the solution and allow it to soak for at least 10 minutes. Wipe every piece till it shines using a dry and clean microfiber cloth.
The next step involves polishing your serving dishes and plates. If any pieces have those annoying and small black marks, use something like cream of tartar to scrub away these irritating marks. I actually made my own video a while back on this tip, and it still impresses me to this day. Simply dust the plate with cream of tartar, add a small amount of water (only enough to turn the solution into a paste). Use circular motions to scrub these marks away.
The last step includes making sure all your glassware is shiny and clean. Steam your glasses by either holding them over a pot of boiling water or your kettle and then dry them well using a microfiber cloth ( flat weave). This will help to remove any streaks or stains.
I hope these 5 quick and easy tips will help prepare you for the holiday season. I wish you the best over this busy and eventful time of the year, or you can hire a professional house cleaning and maid service.