Top 5 Shortcuts to a Clean House for Thanksgiving
Keeping a clean house is always challenging, especially if you have a large family with kids, but this is especially so during the Thanksgiving holidays, when kids are home from school and the house fills up with guests. If you leave the cleaning until the last minute while you are trying to cook, set up, and do everything else, you may very well find yourself in a state of complete overwhelm. Instead of exhausting yourself by power cleaning, why not break down the cleaning tasks into manageable chunks that you can incorporate into your holiday daily round. With the following simple shortcuts, you can have a house that is clean and tidy, and a holiday to remember.
- Start by decluttering every room: In the week leading up to Thanksgiving weekend, start the decluttering process. Relegate anything belonging to children or spouses to their respective rooms, make a donation pile, and get rid of any unnecessary extra items in public rooms (those you will be entertaining in). In the kitchen (where you will need plenty of room to work), take the time to clean out the fridge and clean out the cabinets. Organize your countertops so you have plenty of workspace come the big day.
- Spot check the bathrooms regularly: Prior to the holiday, give your bathrooms a good cleaning and then make a point of maintaining them up to and through the Thanksgiving weekend. Start by every morning when you get up (or every night before bed), giving the counters and toilets a quick wipe. Empty the trash on a daily basis as well, and try to use a scrub brush on the toilets every other day at minimum. Wipe off any mirror smudges, and refresh towels, soap, and toilet paper as needed. Make it your goal to have your bathrooms guest-ready so you aren’t overwhelmed with cleaning at the last minute.
- Clean while you cook: Nothing is more overwhelming to a Thanksgiving host or hostess than a sink full of dishes. Rather than let the mess pile up while you cook, why not do a little bit at a time? There are always wait times in cooking and baking, so use those moments to your advantage. Doing a couple dishes, giving the floors a quick sweep, and wiping down counters periodically will go far to keeping the kitchen mess well under control. You might even invest in an on-the-counter dish rack to free the dishwasher up for larger more challenging pots and pans. Keeping up on the dishes will also ensure you have everything you need at hand when your guests finally do arrive.
- Put together a holiday cleaning container: Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, it’s not uncommon to have friends and family stop in unexpectedly or for people to plan last-minute get-togethers to help polish off the leftovers. Putting together a handy cleaning kit ahead of time can make spot cleaning a snap. Collect everything in a small bucket or caddy so your kit is completely mobile and everything’s together. Things to include are an all-purpose spray cleaner, cleaning wipes for a quick clean, microfiber cleaning cloths, a dusting mitten, a window/mirror cleaning cloth, and carpet refresher. Cover your tracks by lighting a fall scented candle when you start cleaning so that by the time your guests arrive there will be no trace of cleaning solution left.
- Save the vacuuming until last: Freshly vacuumed carpets are the epitome of clean, so if you have little time, focusing on the carpets is a smart move. Running the vacuum in high traffic areas periodically throughout the weekend (even if it’s only for 10 minutes or so) will help you maintain the impression of a clean home all weekend long. If the house is starting to smell musty, throw in some carpet refresher. You can even find some in holiday scents to make your house that much more festive.
To round out your clean home, be sure to add Thanksgiving decorations and fall-themed accoutrements throughout the home. Hang a fall wreath on the door and put out a Thanksgiving doormat, and you will be all set to receive all your guests throughout the weekend.