Holiday Cleaning: When (and How) to Do It

Can you believe the holidays are right around the corner? That means you’ll likely be opening your home to friends and family to celebrate. And of course, with guests expected, you’ll need to do your holiday cleaning. When should you start? What should you clean? And most importantly, can you just outsource that? We’re glad you asked.

Clean Before Guests Arrive

Everyone likes a clean house. Of course, you’ll want to do some holiday cleaning before your friends and family arrive on your doorstep. Where should you focus that cleaning energy? Think about who’s coming, how long they’re staying, and what they’ll see. It’s always a good idea to walk through your home with fresh eyes, as if you’re seeing it for the first time. That will help you know where to focus your efforts.

Day Visitors

If you’re just having people over for dinner or a party, focus your holiday cleaning on the high-traffic areas of your home. These include:

  • Kitchen. Guests naturally gravitate here, so get it clean and organized. Ensure you have space on countertops for food and drink stations. The easier you can make it for people to get in and out, the better.
  • Eating and living areas. If you’re hosting a sit-down meal, you know that guests will be in the kitchen and dining area, but they’ll also rest before and after dinner in your living room. Wipe down or vacuum furniture and put away the clutter.
  • Bathroom. Give the guest bathroom or powder room a good cleaning. You may want to light a candle and add a nightlight, if there’s not one in there already, so guests can see where everything is until they find the switch.
  • Entryway. Obviously, you want your home to feel welcoming. If you ask guests to take off their shoes, put a mat there on which to organize them. Offer storage for jackets as well, if it’s a cool day.

Overnight Guests

When you have company staying for a few days, you will obviously start your holiday cleaning with the areas your day visitors will see, but you can’t stop there. In addition to those areas, clean up:

  • Guest bedroom. Make the room clean and inviting. Have space for your guests to unpack and put away their belongings in drawers as well as some closet space to hang items.
  • Guest bathroom. If you have a bathroom dedicated to overnight guests, give it some attention. Remember to put out soap and shampoo in case your visitors weren’t thinking ahead.
  • Parking. Okay, this isn’t something you necessarily need to add to your holiday cleaning list, but you do want to think about where your overnight visitors will be parking and their route to get inside. If you’re offering them garage space, clean it up. And if you haven’t trimmed the branches over your front walkway, now is the time.

Clean After Guests Leave

After the celebrations end and you have a kitchen full of dirty dishes, the last thing you want to think about is your after holiday cleaning. Take a night to relax and then tackle it the next day. This will usually be your full-house clean, including vacuuming and mopping. Guests can be messy!

Surprising Benefits of Holiday Cleaning

Not only will you be happy to welcome visitors into a clean house, but during cold and flu season (including COVID-19), doing your pre- and post-party holiday cleaning also means you’ll cut down on the spread of germs. Freshening up your home by cleaning and airing it out will get rid of anything that’s lingering or that the kids have brought home. You may also want to assign someone to mid-celebration duty. This person (a teenager is a great choice) will go through the kitchen and bathrooms periodically during the gathering to wipe down faucets and door handles, empty trash and recycling, and refill toilet paper and tissues as needed. Not only will that help diminish the spread of any more germs, it will keep Uncle Joe from being stranded in the guest bathroom with no TP!

Take Holiday Cleaning Off Your Plate

Unless you just love cleaning your own home—twice in short succession, no less—you may want to outsource your holiday cleaning routine. Carnation Home Cleaning can come in before your holiday guests arrive and after they leave to make your home welcoming and clean for your visitors and for you. Contact us for a free estimate and focus on the festivities!