19 Holiday Cleaning Tips That Make Tidying Up Easy
7-Day Holiday Cleaning Plan
The key to successful holiday cleaning is to start early. Plan to kick off your housekeeping tasks several days in advance. On the following slides, we'll break down a 7-day holiday cleaning schedule that makes seasonal cleaning so much easier. By accomplishing a few major tasks each day, all that will be left is a bit of last-minute shine when the big day arrives.
7-Day Holiday Cleaning Plan: Day 1
To kick off your holiday cleaning, walk through your home with a visitor's eye. Make notes of any imperfections you might be used to but guests might notice, such as houseplants with dead leaves. Next, make a plan for turning cleaning for the holidays into a group effort. Gather family members, go over the plan, and assign chores. Remember: many hands make light work.
7-Day Holiday Cleaning Plan: Day 2
7-Day Holiday Cleaning Plan: Day 3
7-Day Holiday Cleaning Plan: Day 4
As it gets closer to the holidays, make sure your entryway is ready to receive guests.
- Straighten coat closet, making room for guests' coats. Add extra hangers if needed.
- Wash or spot-clean area rugs.
7-Day Holiday Cleaning Plan: Day 5
Two days before the event, it's time to deep-clean the kitchen in preparation for holiday cooking.
7-Day Holiday Cleaning Plan: Day 6
Wait until the day before guests arrive to tackle tasks like dusting and sweeping. Your home's surfaces are likely to get dirty again before the event if you do this too early.
7-Day Holiday Cleaning Plan: Day 7
It's almost time to celebrate! Finish up your holiday cleaning with this checklist of day-of touch-ups.
- Clean trash receptacles and add fresh liners.
- Wipe down any dirty areas in the bathroom using household cleaner and paper towels.
- Wipe down bathroom mirrors and counters. Wipe down floors with a damp towel.
- Put toilet bowl cleaner in the toilets and brush.
- Hang fresh towels and put out fresh hand soap.
- Damp-mop the kitchen floor.
- Vacuum carpets and dry-mop wood floors.
- Fluff sofa cushions and pillows.
- Decorate with special touches, such as flowers or candles.
1-Hour Quick Holiday Cleaning Plan
If you typically keep your home very tidy, you might not need to start so far in advance. This quick holiday cleaning checklist only takes an hour to complete and works well for spaces that are already in pretty good shape. Gather family members to help and check off these quick to-dos for last-minute shine.
1-Hour Quick Holiday Cleaning Plan: Bathrooms
If you only have an hour to clean before the holidays, focus on the bathroom guests are most likely to use. Quickly tidy the space by following these steps.
- Hang fresh hand towels, and put out new hand soap.
- Wipe any dirty areas in the bathrooms using household cleaner and paper towels.
- Put toilet bowl cleaner in the toilets and give them a quick brushing.
- Wipe mirrors, countertops, and bathroom floors with a damp towel.
- Take out the garbage, and line trash receptacles with clean liners.
1-Hour Quick Holiday Cleaning Plan: Entryway
Use these holiday cleaning tips for the entryway to give guests a welcoming first impression.
- Sweep front steps, and put out a welcome mat.
- Clean front-door glass.
- Dust wood floors quickly using a dust mop.
1-Hour Quick Holiday Cleaning Plan: Kitchen
These speedy kitchen cleaning tips will have your cooking hub tidy in no time:
- Damp-mop the kitchen floor.
- Wipe down kitchen counters with household cleaner.
- Clean out the refrigerator, discarding leftovers or expired food. Move larger containers to the back of the refrigerator to make room for extra food or beverages.
1-Hour Quick Holiday Cleaning Plan: Living Room
Give your living room a once-over to ensure it looks neat and inviting.
- Tidy stacks of magazines and books.
- Straighten and fluff sofa pillows and cushions.
- Carry a laundry basket throughout the house, picking up clutter as you go. Once filled, put everything in its place or hide the basket.
- Vacuum high-traffic areas.
- Place fresh flowers and light scented candles.
Emergency Holiday Cleaning Tips
Emergency Holiday Cleaning Guide: Spilled Wine
If you're serving wine at your holiday get-together, brush up on these tips for removing wine stains.
- Red wine on carpet: Immediately pour white wine over the red wine spill (white wine neutralizes red wine). Sprinkle the area heavily with table salt and cover with a damp white towel. After the party, press with dry white cloths until they come up clean. If stain remains, use a carpet cleaner to remove it.
- Red wine on tablecloth: Cover the red wine stain with artificial sweetener. Within 24 hours, brush off the sweetener and rinse the tablecloth in cold water. Apply distilled white vinegar on the stain if the material is cotton, a cotton blend, or permanent press. Wash as usual.
- Red wine on clothing: Blot the spill with a clean white towel dampened with club soda, or spray the spot with the stain-removal product Wine Away ($9, The Home Depot).
- White wine: Flush stain with cold water or club soda; blot dry.
Emergency Holiday Cleaning Guide: Condiment Stains
Use these tips to combat condiment stains that might happen around the holiday dinner table.
- Tomato-based stains, such as BBQ sauce, ketchup, or pasta sauce: Dab area with dishwashing liquid, then flush with white vinegar.
- Mustard: Flush stain with white vinegar, then rinse with cool water.
Emergency Holiday Cleaning Guide: Coffee or Tea Stains
If you plan to serve coffee or tea at your holiday gathering, be prepared for spills and splatters. This stain-removal method will help quickly clear up the mark. Flush stain with white vinegar, then wash with cool water.
Emergency Holiday Cleaning Guide: Lipstick Stains on Napkins
When guests depart, separate lipstick-stained napkins from others to avoid transfer of pigments. Remove excess lipstick from napkins with a dull knife. Using a dropper, apply mineral spirits ($7, The Home Depot) to the stain with a brush. Flush area with rubbing alcohol and tap again adding more mineral spirits, repeating until stain is removed. Wash napkins in an enzyme detergent.
Emergency Holiday Cleaning Guide: Dripped Wax on Tablecloth
To clean up candle wax drippings from your holiday centerpiece, place the tablecloth in freezer for an hour. Crack wax and remove excess. Using mineral spirits, remove remaining residue by rubbing the mineral spirits into the wax. Rinse with rubbing alcohol, let dry fully, then wash with an enzyme detergent.