House cleaning isn’t exactly the number-one item on the average person’s list of favorite things to do – so if you’re like most people, there’s a good chance that you tend to procrastinate when it comes to the biggest jobs. You probably find the time for basic things like dusting and vacuuming on the weekends – but you put the bigger tasks off for another day, and they slowly build up.
If you’re the type of person who procrastinates on major housecleaning projects, you’ll have a stressful conundrum on your hands when the holiday season arrives. When you look around your house, clutter is all that you can see. That’s going to sap your interest in decorating your home for the holidays because trying to find room for the decorations among the clutter will only make things look worse.
You need to get your house spruced up for the holidays if you want to enjoy the season to the fullest extent – and if you’ve been letting things slide for a while, you probably feel completely overwhelmed because you’re not even sure how to get started.
You need a game plan – and this article is going to give you one. We’ll start by providing a simple three-step process for getting your house cleaned quickly, and then we’ll continue by providing some actionable advice for getting those steps done.
Here’s the Three-Step Process for Holiday House Cleaning
So, what’s the easy way to get your house cleaned for the holidays? It all comes down to three simple steps. Here they are.
- Clear away the clutter. The biggest reason why your home feels cluttered is probably because there isn’t enough room to store the things you have. In addition to your existing clutter, you’re surely going to accumulate new things during the holidays – so get rid of what you aren’t using.
- Clean your house from top to bottom. Once you’ve removed the unwanted and unneeded items from your home, you’ll find this step much easier.
- Maintain your home. Control musty smells and prevent dust accumulation to keep your house clean and fresh throughout the holidays.
How to Clear Away the Clutter
The first step in getting your home spruced up for the holiday season should always be clearing out the things that you don’t need and aren’t using. You can start by identifying what those things are and making a list of them. After you’ve done that, you can choose the most appropriate ways to sell those items or give them away.
- You can have a garage or yard sale. If you live in a well populated area, this can be a great way to get rid of unwanted items in bulk. It’s also a good way to unload large items – such as furniture and appliances – that are too heavy to ship. The drawback is that people go to garage sales expecting great bargains. You’ll get rid of plenty of items, but you’ll probably earn less than what those items are actually worth.
- You can sell small items online. Online auction sites such as eBay are great for unloading things like collectibles, video games, books and computer components.
- You can sell large items on a local classified ad site like Craigslist. Things like exercise equipment, televisions and desktop computers are difficult to ship and are much easier to sell to local buyers.
- You can give unwanted items to family members or donate them to goodwill if you don’t want to go through the work of selling them.
- You can rent a storage space if you have items that you don’t want to store in your home but aren’t ready to sell them or give them away.
How to Clean Your House from Top to Bottom
Once you’ve cleared out the items that you aren’t using and no longer need, you’ll probably find that your home has already begun to feel airier and more spacious. Hopefully, you’ve made plenty of new space in your attic, basement and closets. Once you’ve used that space to clear away the things cluttering up your living area, it’s time to start cleaning.
- Vacuum your floors thoroughly. Take special care to clean the areas that you usually skip when you’re in a hurry, such as under your furniture and between couch cushions. If you have carpets, this is a great time to rent a steam cleaner.
- Dust your home’s surfaces. If you have wood items, polish them with an appropriate oil or wax.
- Take down and wash curtains and drapery. If you’re a smoker, by the way, this is an excellent time to quit because smoking is by far the biggest contributor to foul smells in the home. Grab some disposable vapes from a company like V2 Cigs UK and make the switch to vaping – and if you do that, consider replacing your drapes instead of cleaning them. It’s extremely difficult to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from fabrics.
- Clean or replace any pet furniture that you may own.
- Wash your walls and ceilings with mild detergent. If you’re a smoker, add white vinegar to your cleaning solution to help remove the smoke smell.
- Clean your home’s ventilation system. Replace any air filters and consider hiring a professional to clean your air conditioner’s coils and ducts.
How to Maintain Your Home Throughout the Holidays
Once you’ve cleared out your unwanted items and given your home a top-to-bottom cleaning, you’ll have a clean slate and will be ready to enjoy a stress-free holiday season. Maintenance is the final step in this process; you want your home to remain a fresh, inviting and clutter-free space throughout the holidays and beyond.
- Put items away at the end of the day instead of leaving them out. If you procrastinate when it comes to picking up around the house, it won’t take much time at all for your environment to become cluttered again – and you’ll find yourself right back where you started.
- Place activated charcoal packets or moisture absorbers in areas likely to harbor musty smells. Some good locations for these items include under sinks, in the basement and in closets.
- Consider buying an air purifier to filter your home’s air. A good air purifier will have an activated charcoal stage, which is good for trapping and removing airborne odors. It’ll also have a HEPA filter for trapping fine particles like pollen and pet dander, which you’ll find very helpful if you suffer from pet-related or seasonal allergies.