Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Holiday Cleaning Schedule

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countdown christmas

{If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series you can find them here.}

Yesterday we started talking about the housekeeping duties that go along with hosting a holiday event at your house.  Today we’re going to focus on all of the wonderful cleaning tasks that happen before we invite these people into our home.

What are you usually doing 30 minutes before the guests arrive?  Frantically cleaning the bathroom or shoving who-knows-what under your bed?  This may come as a shock to some people, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

First, you need to have a daily/weekly/monthly cleaning routine.  {If you don’t have a good cleaning routine I suggest you visit Flylady.  She’s the grand master of cleaning.}  Second, you need to have a schedule for all of those little “extras” that you like to do before hosting an event.

There is no need to stay up the whole night before hand cleaning until you want to run away screaming.  If you make a plan and schedule time for these tasks in the days and weeks ahead of time it makes things so much easier on yourself (and your family)!

Make a list of the things that need to be done.  Prioritize them and schedule them accordingly.  Of course some things may get dirty again by the time the party rolls around, but if you’ve already done the detailed cleaning so a quick swipe should do the job that day.

I host Thanksgiving at our house each year.  The week before Thanksgiving I clean the bathrooms from top to bottom.  Then the day before Thanksgiving I spend about 10 – 15 minutes in there making sure everything is fresh.  On the morning of I’ll make a quick run through to catch anything that may have been missed.  This way I don’t spend a hour the day before (or Thanksgiving morning) frantically trying to get the bathroom clean while I should be finishing up the last minute details of the meal or whatnot.  The same can be done with the rest of the house — the spare bedroom can even be done a few weeks in advance {and if you have overnight guests just spray the bedding the morning of with some lavender linen spray to freshen up the sheets}.

Here is an example of my holiday cleaning schedule.  It will be different than yours, and that’s ok.  Just do whatever works for you.

Three and four weeks before:

  • detailed cleaning of spare bedroom (ceiling, fan, walls, windows, furniture, floor)
  • detailed cleaning of kid’s rooms (ceiling, fan, walls, windows, furniture, declutter toys, floor)
  • detailed cleaning of kitchen (ceiling, walls, wipe down cabinets/drawers, clean out pantry, microwave, clean out fridge/freezer, toaster oven, oven, stove, surfaces, floors)
  • detailed cleaning of office (ceiling, walls, fan, windows, file paperwork, shred, clean off desk, general declutter, tidy schoolwork, furniture, floors)
  • detailed cleaning of master bedroom (ceiling, walls, fan, windows, furniture, floor)

Two weeks before:

  • detailed cleaning of living room (ceiling, fan, walls, windows, mantle, fireplace, furniture, general declutter, floors)
  • detailed cleaning of dining room (ceiling, fan, walls, china cabinet, table and chairs, floors, bar)
  • light cleaning of kitchen (surfaces, fridge, microwave, stove, toaster oven)
  • detailed cleaning of bathrooms (ceiling, walls, mirrors, shower/tub, vanity, toilet, cabinets, floor)

One week before:

  • back deck and front porch (clear of leaves/debris)
  • light cleaning of kid’s rooms (general pick up — this is actually a daily thing for us but I do a more thorough inspection at this point)
  • light cleaning of kitchen, living room, dining room, office, master bedroom
  • dust whole house, thoroughly

Week of or day before:

  • dust whole house, thoroughly
  • vacuum/Sweep/Mop whole house (only hitting high traffic areas and middles of the rooms with the mopping — we have hard wood floors and pets so I dust mop under everything)
  • quick clean of bathrooms (empty trash, clean toilet, wipe down vanity and fixtures)
  • general pick up in master bedroom, kid’s rooms, living room, dining room and office
  • light cleaning of kitchen

Morning of:

  • quick clean of bathrooms
  • quick dust mop around the house
  • empty all trash
  • general tidy

Cleaning on the day before Thanksgiving should take less than an hour because I’ve done all of the grunt work in the previous weeks.  The work on the morning of should take about 15 – 20 minutes.  Unless the kids make the mother of all messes… then it may take a bit longer.  (And that always seems to happen right before guests arrive, doesn’t it?)  But if you have your routine and schedule in place hopefully you’ll have some extra time to deal with any little emergencies that may arise.

Now doesn’t that sound good?

Which brings me to the homework:

Today’s Assignment:  Like yesterday, there is nothing much to do today.  I’d rather you wait a few days until we go over this whole segment on housekeeping before you start writing things down and making lists.  So go ahead and print out the printables if you like, but wait before you start planning things, ok?

Today’s Printables:  CCJ cleaning to dos:  this should be used to just brain dump every little thing that needs to be cleaned so you don’t waste time worrying about it.  And in case you want to generally plan out each week (like I did above) CCJ cleaning calendar may be better suited to your needs.

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3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Welcome | Happily A Homemaker

  2. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Party Planning | Happily A Homemaker

  3. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Binder Prep and Organizing | Happily A Homemaker

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