Halloween is past, so we’re in full-blown holiday preparation mode for what’s coming: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, and New Year’s! With all the planning, decorating, shopping, and preliminary activities, it’s hard to wrap your head around the inevitable cleaning that precludes guests in your home. But since we’ve all had a crash course in cleaning because of Covid, here are a few tips and reminders from Tailored Living® for how to have a sparkling clean house with the least amount of effort. So, no more procrastination! Make a timeline to spread out the chores and, by doing something every day, you’ll have a clean and tidy home, just in time for the holidays!
You can focus on family, friends, and fun when you know your home is clean
Vacuum everything you can
Generally, when we think of vacuuming, it’s floors. But your handy-dandy vacuum cleaner with its multiple attachments can do a lot more. Most have attachments designed for fabric cleaning, dusting, and even getting into hard-to-reach places.
- Use vacuums on carpeting and any hard surface flooring like tile, wood, vinyl, and concrete floors.
- The dusting attachment will make quick work of cleaning baseboards, window blinds, shutters, drapes, and lampshades.
- Clean in tight spaces where dirt collects like corners, door tracks, and windowsills with the crevice tool.
- Remove dust, dirt, and pet hair from upholstered chairs and sofas, including beneath the cushions with the upholstery attachment.
- In between vacuuming, use lint rollers to quickly pick up any dust and pet hair from fabric surfaces.
Dust vertical and horizontal surfaces
Every single household surface can collect dust, from tabletops to ceiling fans and knick-knacks to picture frames. Washable microfiber cloths are great for dusting most surfaces and there are also labor-saving customized dusters for unique dusting challenges such as ceiling fans and art collectibles.
- Always dust top to bottom in a room, leaving the floors for last.
- Walls and ceilings can be dusted with the versatile Swiffer or secure a towel over a broom and “sweep” your walls clean.
- Specialty dusters for fragile items let you speed-dust with fibers that grip dust and dirt, keeping displays dust-free.
- Telescoping and extension dusters made for ceiling fans and high-level dusting (like over door frames) keep you safely on the floor.
Find the tools that work best for you and dusting will not be such an unpleasant chore
Wash all washables
Check washing instructions for rugs, curtains, bedding, TV fleece blankets, Snuggies, and furniture covers and machine-wash everything that qualifies. In one afternoon, you can have fresh curtains on the windows and all area rugs and bathmats company ready.
- Any bedding or towels that have been in the linen closet a long time that you’ll be using for guests should be washed just before their arrival to ensure freshness. Or just fluff dry with a spritz of Febreze to freshen them up.
- Pay close attention to water temperature, cycle strength (normal, delicate), and dryer setting or recommended air drying for rugs and curtains to avoid damage.
- Don’t forget the little stinkers; wash and freshen up pet beds, blankets, and washable toys. (Place stuffed toys in lingerie bags to safely wash them.)
Use universal cleaning products as much as you can
Rather than have a different cleaning product for every surface in your home, find multi-use products that streamline your cleaning. Natural DIY solutions like 1:1 parts water and white vinegar can safely be used on many surfaces throughout your home. You can also purchase multi-surface cleaners in spray or handy wipes that accelerate cleaning time.
- Clean and disinfect most countertops (no marble or granite) with a 50/50 white vinegar and water spray that is also safe and effective for cleaning chrome, stainless steel, gold-plated, and bronze plumbing fixtures in kitchens and baths.
- Spray stainless steel appliances with a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution, then wipe dry with the grain to restore shine.
- Clean the refrigerator with equal parts white vinegar and water, wiping down walls, shelves, drawers, and doors, including sealing gaskets. Use vinegar full-strength on the top of the fridge and the stove hood to cut extra-grimy buildup.
- Clean floors with a diluted solution of one-half cup of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water, with an optional teaspoon of mild dish soap. No need to rinse and the vinegar smell will disappear as the floor dries.
- Tile and vinyl showers and tubs come clean with a 50/50 paste of baking soda and water rubbed on and then sprayed with the 1:1 vinegar/water mixture and wiped clean.
- Windows and mirrors sparkle with this DIY solution and lint-free cloths: in a 16 oz. bottle mix 1-1/2 cups water, three tablespoons white vinegar, and two tablespoons rubbing alcohol.
- For more natural cleaning options: Cleaning Hacks To Clean Your House And Let You Get On With Life
Keep cleaning supplies with you as you clean
Keeping your favorite cleaning supplies in a tote or carrier will make it easy to go from room to room as you clean. A well-stocked tote saves time and makes cleaning go quickly with necessary supplies close at hand. You’ll always know what’s running low so you can restock, and cleaning products won’t get lost in the back of cabinets. Everyday/every-room cleaning supplies include:
- Spray window/mirror cleaner or all-surface cleaner
- Wood furniture polish and lint-free dust cloths
- Feather or lamb’s wool long-handled duster
- Spot foam cleaner for rugs and upholstery
- Roll of paper towels
- Rubber gloves
- Magic Eraser to remove scuff marks, crayon, pen, and marker stains from walls and baseboards. Not a cure-all, check out Where You Can (And Can’t) Use Your Magic Eraser Sponges.
Save extra steps and precious time by keeping supplies with you as you clean
Give the garage its own day of cleaning
If you have an enter-at-your-own-risk garage, it’s a good idea to spend some time getting it in order before company comes. Undoubtedly, people will be coming and going through the garage, so it needs to be safe and organized. Clean the walls and ceiling just as you did in-home and sweep the floor. A shop vac is the ideal cleaning tool for quickly getting a messy garage clean (or for cleaning your exterior entryway too). With dust and dirt gone, here are simple tips to make the garage more user-friendly if there’s no time for a complete makeover.
- Increase the lighting if it’s shadowed and dark. Light up with motion sensor lights or plug-in LED lights with no electrician needed.
- If you have garage storage shelves, get everything up off the floor onto the shelves so there is unobstructed walking space.
- Secure any stacked boxes or loose tools to prevent accidents.
- Move winter sports equipment and games front and center so you don’t have to dig for them.
- Wash the garage floor and place rugs at entry doors to eliminate tracked-in dirt.
- Call 866-712-3404 now and make an appointment with Tailored Living for a free garage organization consultation after the holidays.
Treat yourself to a custom garage organization system and your garage will stay guest-ready all year long
Starting now on the non-daily cleaning tasks will enable you to space out the big one-and-done (for a few months) jobs so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you find that some enhanced storage and organization solutions would help to keep your home cleaner and uncluttered, go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you or call 866-712-3404 to schedule a free, in home, or virtual* consultation. Your local designer can help with any area of your home, including closets, pantry, laundry room, home office, or entryway to turn chaos into calm. You’ll love all the options custom design offers from finish styles and colors of cabinetry to closet accessories to personalize your space.
*Virtual consultations may not be available at all locations.