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  • Robert Janks

10 Easy Steps For Getting Your Home Ready for the Holidays

Holy Moley! It’s already October! You’re running out of time and you seem busier than ever. You feel like your house is a wreck, and you have no idea how you’re going to make it “company-worthy”.

Take a deep breath and don’t worry! We’ve got some helpful tips for getting your home ‘holiday ready’, broken down into totally manageable, non-overwhelming steps.

The very best way to begin is by setting aside one hour a day for the next two weeks. Use that hour to work through each of the tasks below and by the end of the two weeks, your home will be ready for the holidays. Start whenever you are ready, and commit to dedicating that one hour a day. Ok, here we go!

1. Do a Quick Declutter

Start with a quick declutter throughout the entire house. Just look around and put away random items that have been left out. Even when your house is clean, extra clutter will always make it look messy.

An easy way to accomplish this is by grabbing a storage bin or two and walking through your home, and removing any decorative or unnecessary items that can be put away for the season. If you want to really maximize your efforts, set aside a bin for items that you could part with and/or don’t need anymore. That way you will have a donate/sell bin all ready to permanently remove from your home. Place the bins you want to keep in the garage, shed, basement or attic where they’re out of the way until it’s time to bring them back out.

Your goal is to try to make sure your flat surfaces are cleared off as much as possible. That way, you’ll have plenty of room for your holiday decorations and all of those yummy holiday snacks and adult beverages.

2. Spot Clean Your Office

There shouldn’t be a lot of traffic in your office, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a once over so you can keep the door slightly ajar. These are good tips to keep up with in general for your home office. If you do these multiple times a year, you won’t end up buried in papers and overwhelmed.

File any papers that are lying around. Your goal should always be to touch your paperwork no more than twice. Try not to put your papers in a pile to file later – just file them as soon as you are done with them. Next, tidy up the flat surfaces and bookshelves. Dust your computers and monitors. Empty the garbage can and shredder.

Spot clean the windows and window coverings and finish up by cleaning the floors.

3. Tidy the Laundry Room and Mud Room

Finish any remaining laundry. Vacuum the exhaust fan cover. Wipe down the exterior surfaces of your cabinets and appliances, and tidy up the cleaning closet and supplies. Empty the garbage can and clean the floors. If you have to ‘hide’ dirty clothes in here, at least put them in hampers or sorting bins. You never know who might open the door to the laundry room while looking for the restroom, so it’s nice to have it at least tidy.

4. Straighten Up the Bedrooms

Unless you’re planning to have overnight guests, your bedrooms shouldn’t need a ton of attention. The most they should be used for is pass-throughs to the bathroom or extra room for storing jackets and purses.

Make sure your clothing and shoes are all put away and all closest doors and dresser drawers are able to close completely. They don’t have to be neat and perfect, just able to close.

Clear the visual clutter off all flat surfaces. Even if you normally keep something in your bedroom all the time, see if you can tuck it away in a nightstand or closet for the holiday season.

Dust everything including lighting fixtures, lamps, etc. Spot clean all windows, glass, and mirrors.

Dust and spot clean window blinds and curtains. Make the bed and fluff the pillows. Clean your floors and call it good.

5. Freshen Up the Dining Room

This room will be one of your most used rooms during the holiday season, so spend a little extra energy here.

Dust all lighting fixture and flat surfaces. Wipe down the table, chairs, hutches, sideboards, etc.

Wash any china, glassware, flatware or serving dishes that have been stored but will likely be used during the holiday season. Clear all the clutter from the surfaces in here, putting away things that will not be used or needed while holiday entertaining.

Finally, clean the floors.

6. Tidy Up the Living Room

Your living room will also get a lot of use, so be thorough here as well.

Dust your entertainment center and television screen. Dust all lampshades and flat surfaces. Be sure to check the tops of heavy drapes for dust!

Wipe down your furniture, clean under any removable cushions, and fluff the cushions and any throw pillows.

Wipe down the tabletops and tidy up any drawers. Clean your remote controls. Wipe down your drink coasters and clean all other furniture surfaces.

Spot clean television, windows, mirrors, and any other glass, then clean the floors.

7. Sanitize the Bathrooms

Obviously, the bathrooms will be just as busy as your kitchen when you have extra guests. You will definitely want them clean, organized, stocked and ready for the workout.

Start by dusting the light fixtures and all flat surfaces. Clean and shine all mirrors and glass.

Vacuum the exhaust fan cover. Scrub the sinks and polish all plumbing fixtures. Scrub the shower and bathtub.

Disinfect the toilet and the walls behind it. Most people tend to forget this, making it one of the dirtiest spots in your home.

Check stock of bathroom tissue and hand soap. Add them to the shopping list as needed. We also highly recommend the use of disposable guest towels. You can find some really nice ones for the holidays, so not only are they practical, but they can be part of the décor too!

Empty the garbage cans and clean your floors.

8. Deep Clean the Kitchen

Besides the bathrooms, the kitchen gets the most use during the holiday season. It’s where the majority of most guests spend their time. Because of that, we recommend a fairly deep clean to get it company ready.

Start by dusting lighting fixtures and cleaning any windows. Then dust and/or wash any window coverings. Now that the easy stuff is out of the way, let’s move on to some tasks that may take a bit more elbow grease.

Stove, Oven, and Microwave

Remove all the food particles and clean your oven. Scrub the racks and don’t forget to clean the door glass.

Clean and polish the stovetop and knobs. Wipe down the vent hood and clean vent screens.

Clean inside of the microwave, then clean and polish the glass and outside surfaces.


Dust the top of the refrigerator. Discard any old or expired food, then disinfect the inside of the refrigerator and freezer.

Empty and wash out the ice maker and water dispenser. Change the water dispenser filter if needed.

Vacuum the coils on the backside of the refrigerator to ensure proper and efficient operation.


Check and clean the dishwasher filter if needed. Run the sanitize cycle or run a cycle with just a bowl full of vinegar, then clean and polish the exterior surface.


Tidy up the pantry and throw away any expired food. While doing this, take stock of all normal holiday ingredients and make note of any you need to restock.

Also check the stock of any paper products that might be needed during the season, especially plastic wrap, foil, storage bags, etc. You may want to grab some of the disposable food containers so you can send your guests home with leftovers.

Cabinets and Drawers

Check your drawers and cabinets for any crumbs and dust that has built up. Vacuum and wash out as necessary.

Dust the tops of cupboards, then wipe down all exterior surfaces.


Scrub and polish your floors.

9. Final Walkthrough

Grab a couple Clorox wipes and sanitize all knobs, door handles, and light switches throughout your entire house. Starting at one end of the house and moving through each room helps make sure you don’t miss anything.

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