Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but the lead up to the festive season can be a little hectic. If you’re opening up your home to friends, family, or neighbours this December, you’ll no doubt be rushed off your feet trying to get your house looking its best, but don’t get so caught up in tidying up that you forget to enjoy the magic of Christmas. Preparing for Christmas doesn’t have to occupy all of your time – here are some easy ways you can make your home ready for Christmas, with a handy checklist to make sure you’re as prepared as can be:
Preparing for Christmas is all a matter of planning. Make a clear schedule with the things you need to achieve spaced out over the week before the guests arrive – this way, it’s far easier to balance the cleaning with other Christmas tasks (like buying last-minute presents), rather than trying to do everything the day before!
How to Prepare for Christmas**: Easy Festive Cleaning Tips**
The best way to see which areas of the house you really need to focus on in the lead up to Christmas is to take a walk through your home as if you were a guest. Which rooms are you likely to spend the most time in? Where will your eyes be drawn? What might you be looking out for? Here are some of the most common areas that need a little extra attention at Christmas time:
Floors and Carpets
Your carpets and floors are going to see a lot of traffic over Christmas, with all those shoes bringing in dirt and grime from outside. However, by giving your floors a thorough clean now and removing any old stains and dirty marks, you should find it much easier to keep on top of floor cleaning over Christmas. Clean carpets and rugs well using a vacuum cleaner, making sure to vacuum the underside of any rugs – it’s easy for a rug to slip and reveal a small treasure trove of hidden dirt. You can also give your carpets a bit of a freshen-up by sprinkling on baking soda before vacuuming, which can help to eliminate any bad odours. If your hardwood floor is unfinished, use a suitable floor wax (always read the label and test floor wax on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility).
Kitchens and Bathrooms
At Christmas, there are two things that are guaranteed to happen: a small queue for the bathroom, and one too many cooks lurking in the kitchen. Between family members all wanting to take a shower at the same time of the morning, and peckish guests eager to see what it is that smells so good in the oven, these are two of the most popular rooms during the festive period, so it’s important to get them looking spotless. In the kitchen, use antibacterial sprays to keep the work surfaces clean, make sure you’re up-to-date with washing your dishes, and be sure to clean out your fridge – once the feast is over, you’ll need plenty of room for leftovers. To get your bathroom Christmas-ready, clean your shower screen with a suitable, high quality bathroom cleaner (or, if you’re in a rush and have no cleaner, vinegar) to get it looking crystal clean, and use a toilet cleaner like Domex to help remove limescale from the bowl.
If you’re putting up Christmas decorations in your home, you may find that they take up a lot of room and that your home suddenly looks very cluttered – this can be a nightmare if you’re expecting to accommodate a lot of guests. During the festive season, see if you can declutter the social areas of your home by removing anything that you don’t think you’ll need over Christmas. Store any fragile ornaments somewhere safe, keep kids’ toys in the their bedrooms rather than in the living room, and try to make sure everything has a place – consider putting up some temporary shelving to clear the floor a little. Place a small bin in each room, so guests always have somewhere to put their rubbish.
It’s Christmas, and if there’s one thing to expect at Christmas, it’s the unexpected. Whether it’s family members popping over unannounced, or guests bringing a ‘plus one’ without letting you know, you can often find yourself hosting a bigger Christmas than you intended. It’s a good idea to keep your spare bedroom, if you have one, ready to receive guests, and to have a pile of spare bedding and bath towels somewhere handy. You may want to give your guest bedding a quick wash if it’s not been used for a while. Using a fabric softener will make sheets seem extra fresh – great for guests.
As always, read the label on any cleaning or laundry products to ensure that you use them safely and effectively – if in doubt, test on small, unnoticeable areas of the surface first before applying liberally.
A Checklist for Preparing for Christmas
Here is a handy checklist to help you prepare for the festive season. Print this out and keep it with you throughout December as your own personal, pocket-sized helper.
Stock your cupboards with good quality cleaning products.
Check your Christmas crockery, and wash or wipe away any dust if necessary.
Make sure your spare bedding is clean and fresh, and stored somewhere accessible.
Place a few small bins around the house for guests to use.
Ensure your Christmas outfits are washed, dried, and stored appropriately.
Empty your fridge of anything past its ‘use by’ date to make more room.