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Christmas is approaching fast, and with that, emotions start to run high. Along with the excitement and anticipation, there could also be lots of stress and anxiety triggered by the simple thought of the upcoming holiday cleaning and house organisation.

There’s certainly a lot to do, and let’s not kid ourselves – this is going to be a time-consuming project. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be a stressful and exhausting one, too. After all, the holiday is not about competing on who has the cleanest house, but about slowing down for a change, relaxing and enjoying yourself and the company of your loved ones.

So, how do you get the house ready for Christmas without all the hassle? It’s all about good planning, focus and organisation… and a few handy tips from a team of experienced cleaners.

Table of contents:

When should you start cleaning for Christmas?

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In general, beginning the holiday deep cleaning 2 to 3 weeks prior to the festivities should give you more than enough time to get everything done. Still, the size and specifics of your place also play a role here.

Therefore, we encourage you to put a few minutes aside to make a list of all that needs to be done and calculate the approximate time you will need to do it. Having little helpers will make the Christmas house cleaning a more bearable and easy job. So, think of which chores you can keep for yourself and which you can transfer to other family members.

This whole “exercise” will help you better grasp the volume of the work, distribute your time accordingly during this busy month, and not miss on something important.

Don’t know where to begin? We prepared a Christmas cleaning checklist to make things even easier, which you can download for free and hang somewhere convenient!

Check out: Age Appropriate Chores – Get the Kids to Help Around the House

Christmas cleaning checklist

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There is a lot to do and it can certainly feel overwhelming. However, if you find yourself thinking of decorating a little bit first, just to get yourself in a Christmas mood, you better reconsider. Tackling the cleaning and organising first will help prevent damage to ornaments or other pieces of decoration.

Also, during the deep clean, it is possible to discover that repairs need to be made here and there. This could require moving furniture or taking down decorations altogether.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into the details of the big Christmas cleaning!

Locate and eliminate clutter

When was the last time you went on a decluttering spree? If you can’t remember, then it was definitely too long ago. So, this is an excellent way to jumpstart your deep holiday cleaning. However, this could be a few days’ job on its own, so it’s important not to get sidetracked but focus on the main parts of the home.

For this purpose, you can take a larger bag and go around each room, gathering things that seem out of place or directly need to disappear. This could refer to piles of magazines, old books or toys, coat racks in disarray, etc. This way, you will be organising the place, shortening the list of items to clean, as well as freeing valuable space to hang your festive decorations.

You can later go over the bag’s content and decide what to keep, donate or directly to get rid of.

tip

If you have a little bit of extra time on your hands, you can go over your wardrobe, as well. This will help you find clothes to donate, along with the other items you had already collected on your decluttering spree. Another good reason to do this now is to put away the last-season clothes if you still haven’t done it.

Make the bathroom sparkle

Next comes one of the toughest jobs – scrubbing the bathroom. It’s actually better to get such laborious chores out of the way first while you still have all your energy, patience and are more likely to pay attention to the details. After all, the bathroom will be used by family and guests, so it’s important to give it your best work.

Here is how to approach cleaning the bathroom:

  • Inspect all corners and hidden areas for damage by water or mould. Treat mould stains to prevent further spread.
  • Go over the tiles and use extra scrubbing power to whiten the grout.
  • Take down the curtain and wash it (this applies only to washable material, such as linen, check the label for instructions).
  • Make the sink, tub, toilet and shower sparkle.
  • Polish the bathroom tapware.
  • Wipe the mirror.
  • Free up space in the medicine and other cabinets by getting rid of expired and unnecessary items.
  • Prepare extra toiletries for the guests.
  • Freshen up the bathroom mat.

Mould is a common problem in this particular area, due to humidity and poor ventilation. Store-bought mould removers often contain chemicals and could make the bathroom unusable for a couple of hours after spraying because of the strong smell. You can avoid that by using white vinegar and a water mixture (2:1) with just a few drops of tea tree oil to kill the fungus.

By the way, the latter makes an excellent all-purpose cleaner that can make your whole bathroom sparkle, from the chrome taps to the tiles.

As for cleaning the grout, we suggest you try baking soda and water paste or hydrogen peroxide. Bleach also has strong whitening powers, however, it needs to be applied carefully and in small amounts. The window needs to remain open because of the strong chemical smell.

warning

If you locate any leaks, definitely have them checked by a professional right away. There could be a problem with the plumbing, which may intensify during the holidays. Fixing the issue early will give you extra peace of mind and you will also save yourself the stress of setting an appointment with a specialist over the busy holiday season.

Christmas oven cleaning is a must

Next on the list is cleaning and organising the kitchen. Lots to do here too, but your main focus should be the oven. You certainly want the perfect Christmas dinner and accumulated grease and debris could ruin not only the food’s taste but also pose a health hazard. So, the appliance needs to be inspected inside-out, tested (in case it’s a new oven or you haven’t used it in a while) and cleaned.

If the inspection shows the need for repairs, do not postpone it. If all is good, then unplug the appliance and proceed to the deep oven cleaning.

tip

To loosen up stains and make the cleaning easier, you can preheat the oven, leaving a bowl of water and lemon juice inside for a few minutes. Once you turn off the appliance, wait until it cools off, take out the bowl and proceed with the steps below.

  • Make sure that the oven is unplugged.
  • Take all racks, trays and other pieces out.
  • Wipe the interior to collect food and loose grime.
  • Mix baking soda with a small amount of water until a cleaning paste is formed.
  • Spread the paste on the oven’s interior (do not apply on the heating elements!).
  • Leave on for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Pour vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray over the baking soda paste. Leave for a few minutes.
  • Wipe clean all walls and rinse with clean water.

The combination of vinegar and baking soda works quite well on burnt-on grease, and you can treat trays and other elements with it, as well. Now, you can be sure that the Christmas dinner will come out just fine!

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Free up space in the fridge

Another appliance that could also use a good deep cleaning is the fridge, especially if you haven’t done it in a while. This way, you will also free up space for all the fresh food from your Christmas shopping.

So, switch off your appliance and let the fridge and freezer defrost. Take everything out and sort through the products to see what needs to go. Wipe and disinfect the interior with warm water and soap. Now, all that’s left is to get that fridge filled with special treats and all the ingredients for an amazing Christmas dinner.

Learn more about: How to Clean a Fridge Thoroughly Inside and Out

Polish all cabinets and appliances’ surfaces

The kitchen cabinets tend to get messy no matter what. Getting them in order right before the holidays will save you lots of headaches, and you won’t have to worry about who might be peeking inside during this busy time.

Free them up completely, check the expiration date on spices and other products and definitely take a look at the content, as well. Weevils and moths are only part of the pantry bugs that might be hiding in there. Wipe cabinets and cupboards inside out with an all-purpose cleaner.

Give the carpets, furniture and blinds a once-over

Upholstery, regardless of the fabric, can absorb bad smells and liquids and they can stay trapped in the fibres for weeks, even months. If, upon inspection, you notice a missed coffee stain on the carpet or a greasy spot on the couch, then it’s a good idea to give your furnishings a deep clean. Even if there are no visible stains, an unpleasant odour can also be telling.

Not all furnishings can be cleaned the same way, though. The specifics of the fabric plays an important role and incorrect treatment could lead to damage. Not to worry, though, because we will give you a few pointers:

1. Check the label

It can tell you all about the types of material used in the piece and, possibly, how to maintain and clean it. If the instructions have faded or the label is missing, checking the manufacturer’s site or visiting the store can also help. There are often capital letters marked, such as W, S, S-W or X. Each code reveals the right cleaning treatment.

For instance, “W” marks that the piece is washable, while “X” reveals that vacuuming is the most desirable cleaning technique. More about the codes you can learn from our Velour Sofa Cleaning Guide.

2. Decide on a cleaning method

Now, when it comes to carpet and upholstery cleaning methods, there are a few options. If you want a thorough clean of your carpet, sofa or blinds, that can loosen stains, extract dust and debris from within and eliminate odours, then steam cleaning is your best bet. Keep in mind that this is suitable for washable materials only.

Dry cleaning, on the other hand, can help clean delicate furnishings and floor coverings, mostly made of natural materials, such as sisal and jute rugs, or suede sofas, for instance. A special cleaning solvent is used to break down the grime and a minimal amount of water that cannot harm the delicate fabric.

Shampooing is also an option when you want to do a light cleaning. This doesn’t necessarily require special machines. You can work the shampoo into the fabric by hand, using a soft brush. Still, you need to use a product that’s suitable for the material. Also, keep in mind that this will take time and could be a laborious task, especially if you have to cover a lot of furnishings.

3. Allow sufficient drying time

Whether you resort to a professional cleaning service or do the work yourself, remember to let everything dry before using it. This is why it’s good to plan this particular task ahead of time, before your guests arrive.

If you use the steam cleaning method, there could be a drying period of up to 6 hours. With dry cleaning, there is considerably less drying time. Still, this could vary depending on the fabric, conditions in the room, etc.

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Freshen up the mattress and linen for guests

Expecting family and friends for Christmas, who’ll stay overnight? Then, we are sure you want to provide your guests with the best holiday experience. So, paying attention to the smallest detail, when preparing their room, will guarantee their comfort.

Start with the central piece in the room – the bed, and work your way through the rest of the guest bedroom. Here is how:

  • Remove unnecessary items to free space for the guests’ belongings.
  • If the bed hasn’t been used in a while, check the mattress for stains or stale odour.
  • Steam-cleaning the mattress can be a quick solution to the previous issues.
  • Freshen up the carpeting in the room.
  • Air out pillows and blankets, let fresh air in.
  • Make the bed with new linen.
  • Place fresh towels at the foot of the bed.
  • Set a Christmas setting with a bit of decoration.
tip

Just like with the upholstered furnishings, cleaning the mattress will require some drying time.

Wipe down all surfaces and floors

You almost made it to the finish line! Now that the hardest and most laborious tasks are behind you, you can relax a little bit and gather your strength for the final round.

The last thing to do before you can start unpacking your Christmas decoration is to eliminate the dust. It can hide pretty much anywhere, so pay close attention. While shelvings, coffee tables and other surfaces won’t be tough to wipe, things like baseboards, light fixtures and fans might be a bit of a challenge. Clean these carefully.

If your windows are due for a good wash, then add this to your to-do list or, better yet, save some time and get to the fun part of decorating while someone else takes care of your windows.

Freshen up the Christmas decoration

And now, for the most anticipated part – hanging up the festive decoration! Whether old or new, it’s good to do some dusting and polishing. This will not only make the pieces look good but will also help preserve and extend their lifespan. Here are a few cleaning tips for the different types of decoration.

  • Artificial tree – Dust is the biggest enemy of your artificial tree, so it needs to be removed completely before hanging any Christmas ornaments. The best tool for the job is a soft bristle brush. You can do it by hand if your tree is smaller or more fragile. Larger trees can be directly vacuumed with the brush nozzle. Still, do this carefully so the tree is not damaged.
  • Fabric – You can put fabric tree skirts directly in the washing machine. Small ornaments made from fabric, though, are more delicate and could be damaged in a machine. Instead, you can wipe them with a damp cloth dipped in soapy water. Let the pieces dry completely before you hang them on your tree.
  • Glass – Glass ornaments are a classic, and they could be expensive, too. The good news is that as far as cleaning is concerned, they need nothing more than a good wipe. This is best done with a mild glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Polish well to make them sparkle.
  • Styrofoam – Durable but prone to develop mould when exposed to moisture, such Christmas ornaments cannot be treated with spray cleaners. Instead, you can do some light dusting with a soft brush. A make-up brush is often used for this purpose.
  • Clay or dough – If you and the kids love making your own tree ornaments each year, they also need some care to remain intact. What care you may ask? Well, improper storage could lead to mould growth. To remove the fungus, you can gently scrub with a toothbrush dipped in vinegar and water solution. Complete drying is required next. If necessary, you can repaint here and there. Apply varnish to protect the ornament from scratches and further wear and tear.
warning

Christmas ornaments often have a glitter coating, which might be ruined by chemical cleaners or scrubbing. Just like with the styrofoam pieces, the glittering surface can be lightly dusted with a small brush.

Polish the silverware

Last but not least, take out the silver cutlery or any other set you intend to use and polish away.

If you do not use the set often, you may notice dark spots. That’s due to the silver reacting to the sulphur that’s in the air. To remedy that, you can submerge your silverware in a container filled with white vinegar OR with hot water and baking soda solution. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes, then rinse each piece and polish.


Download your FREE Christmas cleaning checklist right here


Congratulations! Now your home is clean and ready to welcome family and friends for the great holiday that is Christmas. Put your party hat on and enjoy yourself because you earned it!

Takeaways

  • Starting your Christmas cleaning plans early will give you flexibility and the chance to organise your time correctly. Usually, 2-3 weeks before the holiday is a good time to begin the process.
  • Make a list of all you have to do and the approximate time each chore might take. Get other family members involved. This is the time for teamwork!
  • If you don’t think you can handle it on your own or you have too much on your plate already, finding a reliable cleaning professional can take the burden off and save you the stress.

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  • Last update: December 6, 2021

Posted in All Articles, Cleaning Guides