Expecting guests for the holidays? Get your house in tip-top shape to make them feel welcome, and tame the chaos so that you feel more relaxed too! Discover how with this cleaning and organizing checklist:
Declutter Your Closets
Throughout the year, our storage spaces tend to become catch-alls for all the things we’ve been accumulating. So if you’re expecting guests this holiday season (or you need a hiding spot for your kiddos’ Christmas presents), start by decluttering your mudroom or coat closet and getting rid of broken umbrellas, jackets that no longer fit, and old footwear. If you have enough time and the will to do so, move on to your and your kids’ bedroom closets and sort through all your articles of clothing. Donate items that are still in good shape to your local homeless shelter, or take them to consignment stores if you want to make a little money on the side.
Get Rid of Paper Clutter
If you don’t have a good organizational system for all your important paperwork, now is the time to come up with one. If you have a tendency to dump your mail on the kitchen counter and let it pile up, get into the habit of sorting it right away. Have a trash can close by to dispose of junk mail, and put bills and notices where they belong, preferably in a mail sorter or organizer so nothing gets lost in the shuffle. And think about digitizing files to further reduce paper clutter: free online tools let you create PDFs out of your paper documents, and if you need to make changes or edits, your PDF can be split into separate files for no charge.
Trim Down Your Holiday Decor
As you pull out boxes of ornaments, garlands, and other decor from your attic or garage to prepare your home for the holidays, take time to throw away broken items and everything that you don’t use anymore. If you have a large collection of your kids’ handmade decorations that are starting to fall apart and won’t make it on the Christmas tree, think about taking photographs of those cherished pieces before throwing them away. And keep safety top of mind by checking your tree lights and other items that require electricity, as they could have gotten damaged or frayed while they were in storage. Dispose of anything that looks questionable to keep your house safe.
Have a Game Plan for Guests
Make your holiday guests feel welcome with a clean bathroom and fresh linens if they’re staying overnight. If they’ll be sharing a bathroom with your family, prepare a guest bathroom amenity basket containing all the necessities: bath towel, hand towel, washcloth, and maybe even their own gift soap and shampoo if you want them to really feel pampered! Clean up the counter space beforehand, and in order to minimize clutter, corral your own bathroom essentials that you won’t be sharing in a cupboard under the sink. A great way to do this is with a Small Storage Cube. You and your house guests will have a more relaxing time in this private space when everything looks spacious and organized.
Vacuum Floors and Carpets Regularly
Keeping your floors clean not only makes your house tidier but will also keep you and your family healthier. A good vacuum cleaner will get rid of dirt, pet hair, and crumbs while removing dust mites that can cause allergies, and its attachments will let you clean windows, drapes, and vents in order to reduce indoor allergens like pollen. If you have laminate flooring in your house, a brush roll could scratch and damage it, so select a vacuum cleaner specifically designed for hard floors to protect the finish of the surface you’re cleaning.
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