Here is a pre-holiday cleaning checklist to help you get your home ready for entertaining, decorating, and baking.
Pre-Holiday Cleaning Checklist
We are officially at the part of the year that flies by so quickly that you barely have time to catch your breath. October through December are a flurry of holiday preparations, food prep, shopping, getting guest rooms ready, and everything else that that comes with the holidays. While I can’t help you with all of it, I can give you a pre-holiday cleaning checklist to help you get your house ready to enjoy the season.
Let’s start in the kitchen since it is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays.
1. Clean/ set up the coffee bar – These days most everyone has a coffee bar setup, but even if you don’t you can freshen up your coffee area (if you are not a coffee drinker rest and put your feet up this day!). Wipe down the coffee pot, fill up any canisters that need to be refilled, dust, and add a little fall touch to the area.
2. Season cast iron and stone cookware – This is a great time to prep your cast iron and stone cookware before you begin the heavier cooking of the holidays.
3. Polish silverware and unpack china – If your holiday dishes are packed away you will want to get them down before you get too busy. It is nice to enjoy them for as long as you can throughout the holiday season.
4. Wash the holiday linens – Handwash that special crocheted table cover that came from Grandma Edith, toss the tablecloth from the kids' table into the washer and get ready for get-togethers.
5. Iron holiday linens – Press those beautiful tablecloths, napkins, runners and other items to get them ready to enjoy.
6. Sanitize the dishwasher – Remove all removable pieces of the dishwasher and wash them in the sink. Put them back and run an empty cycle with baking soda. Finally, run another cycle with vinegar to sanitize.
7. Clean out the pantry – This is a good time toss expired spices, baking supplies, and other items. Add those you need to your shopping list.
8. Polish the table and chairs – Pay extra attention to chair legs and rungs on the back, dust and crumbs gather here.
The Guest Room
Don’t forget to prep the guest room for expected (and unexpected guests) by cleaning it well and adding a few special touches.
9. Wash guest linens – If you have a guest room, strip the sheets and wash them to freshen them up. Slip a dryer sheet in pillow cases and under chair cushions.
10. Add some extra touches of comfort – Add a basket of toiletries to the bathroom, scatter new magazines on the tables, and add a cozy throw to the end of the bed. Maybe a basket of snacks on the bed table would be appreciated?
11. Clean out the cabinets in guest bath – Toss out rarely used or nearly empty products, stock up on toilet paper and hand soap, and put out nice clean fluffy hand towels (the kind that can be used). Fill up the bowl of bath fizzies and put your best towels out.
Last month we gave the oven a deep and thorough cleaning, This month we will focus on the refrigerator.
12. Defrost and clean out freezer – Pull everything out of freezer, place food in a cooler. Defrost and scrub it well. Toss old freezer burnt food items and reorganize as you put the rest back.
13. Scrub the inside of the refrigerator – Before you know it your fridge will be filled with delicious leftovers like turkey so make sure to empty everything out. Arm yourself with a big bowl of hot soapy water and attack those built up spills, remove crisper drawers, etc.
14. Clean off the top of the fridge – This is one area in my home that is always a magnet for clutter. Take everything off the top, rehome or trash it, and wipe it down.
Onto random but often neglected spots in the main living areas…
15. Wash the curtains – Pull down the curtains in the main living areas of the house and launder or drop them off at the dry cleaners to give them a fresh new lease on life.
16. Give carpets a thorough cleaning – Rent a carpet cleaner or hire a service to give your carpeting new life before you begin entertaining.
17. Clean out the front coat closet– Attack the closet in the entryway (or the area you use as a closet in the mudroom).
18. Flip mattresses throughout the house – I like to flip and rotate them at least twice a year to keep the mattress in good comfortable condition, this is a good time to spray them down with a fabric freshener too.
19. Declutter shelves and other surfaces – Before you begin putting out loads of holiday decorations, you might want to pack up some of the items on your mantle and shelves to keep the clutter under control during the holidays.
20. Purge toys in the kids' rooms– Don’t wait until the week before Christmas when life is already chaos. Give the kids a bag, or go in with them, and toss out broken toys, and fill a bag to donate.
21. Wash pet bedding– Toss beds, blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys in a hot wash cycle and air dry. Spray them with a good pet safe fabric freshener.
22. Soak shower heads – Slip a baggie filled with white vinegar over the showerhead, secure it with a rubber band and let it sit for 1 hour. This helps get rid of lime and other buildup to keep them functional for all those hot showers you are going to need to get you through the busy season.
23. Wipe down doorknobs/handles – Take a quick buzz through the house with an antibacterial wipe and hit every doorknob, light switch, and appliance handle. Not only will this freshen up these areas but you are taking a step to help fight off the germs that come with cold and flu season.
24. Pair up socks in the odd sock bin– We all have one, that bin overflowing with socks that lost their mate in some kind of washing machine Bermuda triangle. Pair up the socks you can, and toss out the ones with holes or repurpose them as dust cloths.
Printable Pre-Holiday Cleaning Checklist
You can print the pre-holiday cleaning checklist here or by clicking on the image below.
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