It’s that time of year again!
The holidays always tend to sneak up on you.
Before you know it, everyone’s on their way to your house and you’re frantically ripping through your closet trying to find that leftover roll of wrapping paper so you can wrap last minute gifts.
Just when you think you’re going to get it all done in time, you hear the doorbell.
Why does Uncle Ned have to be half an hour early for everything?
As you greet your family and try to look like you’ve got it all together, someone inevitably asks to use your bathroom.
And that’s when you die a little bit inside.
Because while you were focusing on the food, where everyone is going to sit, getting the decorations perfect, and wrapping those last minute gifts… you completely forgot to clean your bathroom.
You wonder, “Oh no, what are they even walking into?”
Avoid this last minute panic and shame with a simple solution. Use a holiday cleaning checklist!
Holiday House Cleaning
Cleaning your house for the holidays is generally a bit more involved than your normal weekly cleaning routine.
For some, it can even be a little overwhelming.
Even if you have an idea of what needs to be done, most people will wait until the day before (or even the day of…yikes!) to start their holiday house cleaning.
This is a huge mistake.
I get that it makes sense in theory. Why bother cleaning your house a week ahead of time when it’s just going to be a mess again by the holiday?
You ask such great questions!
Let me start by reminding you of how holidays tend to work. You spend weeks agonizing over what you are going to serve, where everyone will eat, and whether there will be enough seats.
You set up your main living space perfectly and imagine everyone sitting, and laughing, and just having a bang-up time.
Then everyone ends up hanging out in your basement playing Dance Dance Revolution.
So, what I’m saying is that you need to make sure all the rooms in your house are clean enough for company…just in case!
You’re probably thinking, “All the rooms in my house? That’s madness! How would I even have the time to do that?”
Enter the Ultimate Holiday Cleaning Checklist!
Holiday Cleaning Checklist
I love a good checklist, and this one is no exception.
In your free download, I’ll walk you through step-by-step what you need to do the week leading up to, the day before, and even the day of the holiday so that you can spend less time worrying about if you emptied the bathroom garbage and more time enjoying your family!
Here’s a quick overview of your Ultimate Holiday Cleaning Checklist:
The week before…
- Do a walk-through: Walk through your home and make note of any areas that need special attention
- Start upstairs: Deep clean bathrooms, bedrooms, hallways, & staircases
- Move to the main floor: Deep clean foyer, main bathroom, living room, dining room, & kitchen
- Windows & Blinds: Clean all windows/blinds/curtains
- Organize your hall closet: Make room for guest coats & shoes
- Declutter: Get rid of unnecessary items/paperwork
The day before…
- Start upstairs again: Since you did your deep clean last week, just do your normal weekly cleaning in your bedrooms & bathrooms. (Don’t forget to declutter the halls & vacuum the hallways & staircases)
- Head back to the main floor: Dry dust, declutter, & vacuum entire main floor (if you have pets, hold off on vacuuming until the day of the holiday)
- Living room: Deodorize & vacuum furniture as needed
- Dining room: Wipe down the table and chairs. (Vacuum chair cushions if needed.) Prepare your table as much as possible (centerpiece, tablecloth, etc.)
- Kitchen: This is where the bulk of your work will be done today!
- Clean out fridge & wipe down (in & out.) Make as much room inside as possible
- Prepare anything that can be made ahead of time to cut down on messes tomorrow
- Wipe down counters & appliances after preparing dishes
- Wipe down stove & oven (in & out)
- Pull out any dishes/flatware that will be needed for tomorrow
- Main bath: Your normal weekly cleaning routine is fine, but don’t forget these extras!
- Wipe down cabinets & make sure the insides are organized
- Fill the handsoap
- Stock additional hand towels and toilet paper
- Scrub the floor if there are any unpleasant odors
- Wipe down baseboards
- Consider using a plugin air freshener to keep things smelling fresh!
The day of…
You’re almost there! Just a few more steps and you will be more confident than ever when your company arrives.
- Morning walk-through: You’re basically just making sure that nobody has ruined your awesome work from yesterday
- Declutter: Put things away & spot sweep or vacuum as needed
- Bathrooms: Wipe down counters & hang fresh towels
- Kitchen: Finish preparing dishes, clean up as you go, & put a fresh towel out before company arrives
- Ambiance: Use a light dimmer if you have one & light a candle or two
- Final walk-through: This is it….can you see the finish line?!
- Declutter as needed (last time!)
- Spot sweep/vacuum as needed
- Any last minute tweaks
- Pour yourself a drink of whatever relaxes you, mama, because you’ve earned it!
Wrap it up!
So now you have a foolproof way to prepare for the holidays.
You can use all that extra brainpower to think about the menu, gifts, or whatever else your mom brain is working on these days!
If you enjoyed these tips, download the step-by-step guide below!
It’s filled with checklists to guide you through each phase (the week before, the day before, & the day of) as well as additional bonus tips and tricks to help your cleaning (and your holiday) go more smoothly.
I hope this helps you and I wish you and your family a super happy and healthy holiday season.
I would love for you to comment below or e-mail me with your own tips and tricks for a stress-free holiday!
Don’t forget to pin this post so you can use it as a reference!