Even if you’re hosting for the holidays, it can feel like getting the house into shape for everyone who is coming over is impossible. Even people who are working on selling their home quickly find it hard to find time to get everything in its place and perfectly tidy. However, the trick to getting it done is to create a structure that ensures nothing gets skipped but you also don’t get overwhelmed. Here are some tips for how to clean your home for the holidays without blowing your budget on any pricey services or products.
A huge percentage of one’s home’s ‘look’ is associated with clutter, not even with cleanliness. Obviously, we all want our house to also actually be clean, but you’d be amazed at how much better everything will look when trash is thrown away, dishes are gathered and loaded in the dishwasher, clothes are hung up, and papers are filed or recycled. Make this the first step for any deep clean, since getting everything off your counters and tables will make them a breeze to clean.
While you may be tempted to buy time-saving cleaning gadgets, there is rarely a product that reduces elbow grease enough to be more useful than all-purpose microfiber cloths and cleaner. You’ll need a couple of products, of course, to handle the surfaces in different parts of the house like the toilet and bathtub or shower, but generally, you don’t need an army of these items. Keeping them all in one caddy or box can help make getting started that much better.
I always recommend putting every room and every surface/item to be cleaned on a list, because nothing feels as good as getting that sink sparkly and checking off the list item. By cleaning one room at a time and not leaving anything for later, you get the feeling of accomplishment that makes you want to stick it out and finish the house. Full warning: even professional cleaners take hours to clean a home, so you might want to bribe other household members to get out for an afternoon to really get yourself in the flow of cleaning.
While you can always wait till guests are arriving for the holidays to do the last finishing touches, little things like making the beds in exactly the way that looks best, hanging guest towels neatly, and putting a vase of flowers or winter greenery on the table all help it feel like your home isn’t just clean but also beautiful. I recommend reserving at least a bit of the time you have for cleaning to devote to these items, since finishing on a note of beauty and comfort can make cleaning feel less onerous and more rewarding next time.
Taken all together, the tasks of cleaning may seem like a lot, but breaking each one down into steps and using products that are simple and easy to store keeps your cleaning work on time and under budget!