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Having flashbacks to the cranberry sauce in your carpet or the mountain of wrapping paper you’ll have to wade through to get to the sofa? Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but let's be honest, it's not stress free – Xmas often brings with it a fair amount of Xmess too! If you want to get ahead of the stress, check out our quick tips for Christmas cleaning below.
4 top Christmas cleaning tips
A checklist isn't the only way to make pre-Christmas cleaning easier. A few handy tips can go a long way to making everything hassle-free (even if it’s inevitable that Dad will fall asleep (again) and offer the living room carpet a generous helping of his mulled wine!). Everyone expects some sort of mess on Christmas, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
1. Plan your pre-Christmas cleaning routine in advance.
Rather than wondering how to get gravy out of a shaggy rug after your Mum’s Christmas dinner has gone spiralling towards the floor, take some time to plan out a routine ahead of time. What will you tackle first? What can you leave to the following day? Prioritise those Xmesses that are food-related and, if left to fester, could produce some nasty smells. Meanwhile, anything wrapping paper related can be tackled later on.
2. Make yourself a Christmas cleaning emergency kit.
No more crying over spilt Eggnog, simply keep your emergency kit handy. Include items such as:
- Plenty Original kitchen roll for mopping up spills and cleaning down sides.
- A feather duster to keep your baubles so shiny you can see your reflection (and the spinach between your teeth)
- An all-purpose cleaner
- White vinegar
- Baking soda which is great for busting nasty odours
3. Accept that mess is part and parcel of the celebrations.
Christmas day is one of the most exciting and chaotic days of the year. Drinks will get spilt when the charades get intense, and gravy will creeeeeep over the edge of your plate. Basically, Xmess is all part and parcel of the magic! If you can’t mop it up straight away with some kitchen roll – focus on enjoying yourself and rally everyone to attack the mess on Boxing Day.
4. Rally together the troops to help.
When it comes to Christmas cleaning, get the whole household involved. Xmess can build up very quickly, but many hands make light work! Getting everyone to pitch in will make Christmas mess disappear in no time. There’s no reason why the host should bear the brunt of all the clean-up, so why not try assigning jobs to people? For example, give the kids the task of rounding up all the wrapping paper – you could even make it into a challenge, offering the winner something sweet!
What to do when? The Christmas cleaning countdown
Below we’ll show you how to have a Christmas clean up a month before the big day, to give you plenty of time to get things ship shape.
One month to Christmas...
Get some pre-Christmas cleaning done.
‘There's plenty of time to make a difference in the weeks leading up to Christmas,’ says The Home Organisation’s Laura Price.
Are there things in the corner of the sitting room which have been there since March? Are the kitchen cupboards exploding? A few important areas to remember, include:
- Dust and clean surfaces, sideboards, TV units and picture frames.
- Vacuum the carpet, in particular where you put up your tree – the pine needles will be enough to deal with when the decorations eventually come down.
- Mop any floors which don't have carpets.
- Move large furniture then give them a clean and the area beneath them too.
- Wash and wipe down your windows, windowsills, mirrors and door handles.
One week to Christmas...
It's almost time to gobble up your festive feast, but before you shop for your turkey and trimmings make sure you prepare your kitchen for the Xmess about to hit it! Make sure to clean, declutter, and sanitise your kitchen. This includes:
- Cleaning out your fridge and freezer. Empty it, check use by dates and clean shelves and drawers.
- Cleaning your oven. This will make sure it’s in tip-top condition to cook your Christmas feast.
- Declutter your cupboards. This will make space for your cranberry sauce and the spiced chutney your uncle brings every year (you can dispose of last year’s too before he notices it!).
Kids’ toys: ‘Get rid of anything that's broken or hasn't been played with for a long time, and clear some space for the new presents,’ advises organising expert Laura.
‘Create a wrapping paper station in your home, so you always know where to find scissors, tape, gift tags and ribbons.'
'It can be a box, a drawer or a shelf, but it helps enormously if you're not hunting for the scissors when you need to quickly wrap a last-minute gift when you're on your way out of the door.’
One day to Christmas...
It’s nearly time to welcome Santa and hordes of guests to your home! Ahead of the big day, consider any smaller cleaning tasks you can get done quickly. Examples could include:
- Cleaning the bathroom. If you’re hosting multiple guests, making sure those communal areas are spotless may be a high priority for you – but there’s no need to be super thorough; simply clean the loo and give the basin a wipe down.
- Make sure your hob is clean as a whistle, as this will save you having to wipe it down in amongst the festivities.
- Give your bin a bit of a spritz. It may soon be home to leftover food and wrapping paper, so we’d recommend giving it a clean to avoid any nasty smells.
When it comes to Christmas cleaning get the whole household involved. Stick someone on candle watch to make sure it doesn’t give your tablecloth a new pattern or any other job you’ve got in mind.
If you want more ideas on making sure you’re Xmess-ready this year, why not check out how to prepare for Christmas dinner in advance?
Christmas is always going to be messy, but it’s all part of the fun. Being well prepared and having everything you need to take care of Xmess quickly will make everything that little bit easier. Now that you’ve got a handle on it, you can look forward to doing it all again next year!
Laura Price is the owner of The Home Organisation, which is a professional home organisation company working across London and the South East.