Are you starting to feel the excitement of the holiday season? Will you find joy of family dinners and the usual warm, fuzzy feelings or is the fear of being judged on the cleanliness of your home by your own near and dear ones an issue? Debra Johnson, home cleaning expert for Merry Maids, shares her tried and tested “Season’s Cleanings” tips that will satisfy even the most difficult in-laws and keep your name from ending up on the naughty list. From getting the best out of holiday décor to cleaning the toughest stains, these Merry Maids cleaning tips are sure to serve as your very own holiday miracle this year. Stop waiting for the elves to come clean, and use Debra’s tips (found below) to get your home holiday ready in no time.
Is Holiday Décor Double the Work?
Holiday décor is essential to giving spaces a more festive appearance, but it can also double the amount of housework you have each day. Give your holiday décor a second life after it’s hung. For starters, if tinsel is adding more sparkle to your floor than your tree, don’t toss it all away. Get the kids involved in picking it up and adding it to a vase or hurricane to make a festive holiday centerpiece. By the time the holiday arrives, you and your little ones will have a lot to be proud of.
Stockings hang empty by the fireplace all season long? Coal is not just for the naughty this year–it is also a great odor absorber, and can hide the scent of your holiday meal prep work. Fill each stocking with a little bit of coal, and there will be no need for candles or bowls of potpourri.
“Grab your microfiber cloth and broom, and set your kitchen timer.”
Tackling the Naughtiest Holiday Stains
While red wine, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy are real crowd pleasers, they aren’t so kind to upholstery and carpets.
If you notice that one of your guests got a little too cozy with her red wine and the evidence is left behind on your rug or upholstery, blot it right away with a white cloth until all of the liquid has been absorbed. If the stain’s dry, whip up a quick solution of dishwashing liquid (1 tbsp.), white vinegar (1 tbsp.) and warm water (2 cups) to blot away the stain.
Mother-in-Law Approved Cleanings
If anyone is making her list and checking it twice, it’s your mother-in-law checking in to see if her child’s home is naughty or nice. Before you host dinner for the family, leave no seat cushion unturned. Vacuum under the sofa, between the cushions and by the baseboards. And don’t forget the bathroom–when was the last time you changed your shower curtain liner? Last but not least, make sure the kitchen is spic and span–not just the windows and floors, but the appliances and cabinets too.
Holiday Party Prep
With all the cooking, shopping and office soirees, who has time to clean? Ditch that mindset and create a plan of attack one week in advance, taking on one room or chore every day. Johnson recommends starting with the rooms that are used the least (such as a guest bedroom) which are unlikely to be disturbed. Then take on the rooms used more frequently, such as the kitchen, which will likely need another cleaning in a week. By the time your guests arrive, your only worry will be whether or not you have enough cookies to go around.
Cleaning with Minutes to Spare
Before you know it, the holidays are here, your guests are arriving and your home could use some cleaning. Before you curse the extra appetizer or dessert that took up your last hour of precious time, take 15 minutes to simply make your home appear like you’ve spent a full day cleaning it.
Grab your microfiber cloth and broom, and set your kitchen timer.
- Sweep up the porch and foyer.
- Fold the throws in the living room and fluff your throw pillows.
- Toss any old magazines on the coffee table and give it a good swipe with the microfiber cloth as you breeze through the home.
- Put a fresh stock of toilet paper in the bathroom and put away your toothbrushes and paste that live on the sink.
- Run your microfiber around the sink and leave a festive box of tissues behind.
- Lastly throw the dishes in the dishwasher and turn it on. By the time dinner is ready, you’ll have clean (and warm) dishes that are perfect for serving.