Clean Your Home For The Holidays in 5 Days

We’re getting closer to holiday events, and if you’re hosting a gathering at your home this year, you’re likely starting to feel the pressure of throwing the perfect party. Undoubtedly, “clean the house” is on your checklist for things to do.

While that task probably isn’t your favorite, you know it has to be done. Here is a whole-house cleaning guide that will help you decide when to start, what supplies to use and which rooms to tackle to get your home ready for any festive event. Let the countdown to a clean home begin!

Plan Before You Clean

You don’t want to start cleaning too early as things start getting dirty really fast, especially if you have kids.

So instead of busting out your cleaning spray and gloves, review your event checklist. Once you have the party day outlined, you can better plan your future cleaning time.

◦     Pick your date, and notify guests. Not everyone will be able to make it, and it’s

       helpful to have an accurate headcount as soon as you can.

◦     Reserve party supplies. You may want to rent a coat rack for your guests coats.

       This will help keep your home tidy during the event.

◦     Hire help. If you’ll be serving drinks at your party, it’s a great idea to hire a

       bartender. That will free up your time as the host, and your guests will

       appreciate the prompt beverage service. A bartender will also ensure you’re

       stocked up on ice and have clean glasses.

◦     Ask for help. If you have good friends coming to the event, see if they can let a

       hand. If they offer assistance, take it! You can start coordinating with them now

       on setup, guest-greeting and postparty cleanup.

◦     Start a playlist. Set the party mood by creating a playlist on your phone or

       favourite music-streaming site, and load it up with your favorites.

Stock Up on Supplies

You can start gathering extra supplies now. You’ll want to consider supplies for the party, cleaning (before and after) and overnight guests.

Top items to stock up on:

◦     Toilet paper. It’s always better to have too much than too little.

◦     Garbage bags

◦     Your most-used cleaning products

◦     Paper towels

◦     Resealable plastic bags for leftover food

◦     Cleaning wipes

◦     Basic toiletries in case an overnight guest forgets anything

Clean Five Areas in Five Days

You don’t want to start cleaning too early. Instead, wait until the week of the event, and then follow this day-by-day plan to help keep you focused. Before you start, enlist the help of family members, and then give them assignments on each day.

Day One

Start with the porch, foyer, entryway and central closets. The tasks to prioritize are:

◦     Clean up and organize any clutter. You want the entry points of your home to be

       easy to navigate and clear for guests if they need storage. 

◦     Wipe down the door, windows, light fixtures and doorknobs. 

◦     Vacuum or sweep, and then mop if needed.

Day Two 

Turn your attention to bedrooms, hallways and staircases.

◦     Dust the tops and bottoms of ceiling fans, light fixtures, vents and all the nooks

       and crannies that usually get ignored.

◦     Always dust before you vacuum. 

◦     Wipe down doorways, furniture and any knickknacks. Vacuum the floor,

       especially under the bed and along the baseboards. 

◦     Lay out fresh linens and towels in the guest room.

Bedroom Cleaning Tips:

◦     Mattress: Use the vacuum hose and attachments to clean the top and 

       sides of your mattress, and to get the dust between your mattress and the bed

       frame. It’s also a great time to rotate the mattress, if needed.

◦     Kid-Friendly Tasks: The bedrooms are also the perfect place to enlist family

       help. Even if your kids can’t dust the ceiling light, they can pick up their toys

       and clothes.

Day Three

Clean the bathrooms guests will be using. 

◦     Pull out all the towels and mats, and run a load of laundry.

◦     Dust the light fixtures and vents.

◦     Disinfect the toilet, tub, shower and other hard bathroom surfaces.

◦     Wipe down cabinets and doorways.

◦     Clean the mirror. A solution of one-quarter cup vinegar, one-half teaspoon of

       dishwashing liquid and 2 cups of water. Place mixture on a paper towel and

       then apply to mirror.

◦     Vacuum or mop. Use a handheld vacuum or vacuum hose to quickly suck up

       any hair or debris near baseboards.

◦     Replace shower liner with clean or new liner.

◦     Return freshly laundered towels and mats.

Bathroom Cleaning Tips:

◦     Hard Water Stains: For stubborn buildup, fill a spray bottle with equal parts

       vinegar and hot water. Spray the solution on the shower and tub walls and

       base, and then let it sit while you do other cleaning. If you have extra-stubborn

       spots, you can soak a paper towel with the solution and place it on the buildup.

◦     Toilet: Add two denture-cleaning tablets to the toilet and allow their fizzing

       reaction to remove stains. If you have little kids, they may enjoy adding the


Day Four 

Now it’s time to focus on the gathering areas of the home, such as the living room and dining room.

◦     Declutter the space so that you have plenty of room for guests.

◦     Dust the tops and bottoms of ceiling fans, light fixtures and vents.

◦     Wipe down doorways, the mantel, furniture, and cabinet exteriors.

◦     Vacuum the floor, furniture, baseboards and under the furniture.

◦     Go over any surfaces with a dryer sheet. This will prevent cling and keep dust

       from collecting.

To keep these areas clean for the next day or two, set ground rules. You could make these areas completely off limits until the party, or set up guidelines, such as no food or no shoes in them.

Day Five 

It’s time to tackle the kitchen. It’s the main hub of activity, so that means it’s almost impossible to keep the room spotless for long. That’s why you want to leave it until last.

◦     Dust the ceiling fan, light fixtures and vents.

◦     Clean All The Appliances: This includes the stove, fridge and microwave.

◦     Freshen up the garbage disposal, by cutting up a lemon or two and running the

       pieces through the disposal. Also, wipe down the rubber piece attached to your

       sink. It collects food and can be the main source of unpleasant smells.

◦     Wipe down the countertop, sink and cabinets.

◦     Clean The Garbage Can: You can do this by taking the can outside, adding some

       dishwashing soap and spraying the inside with the garden hose. Let the power

       of your hose provide the elbow grease.

◦     Vacuum and mop the floor.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips:

◦     Fridge: After cleaning the fridge, line the shelves with cling wrap. Then, after the

       party, you can just remove the cling wrap and won’t have to scrub off any spills.

◦     Microwave: Place a glass bowl filled with diluted vinegar in the microwave. Run

       the microwave on high heat for two to three minutes. The steam will loosen any                 stuck-on food.

◦     Silverware: Remove tarnish from silverware without any elbow grease. Start by

       lining a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Then, mix together 1 tablespoon of

       baking soda and 2 cups of water. Add the mixture to the cookie sheet until it

       nears the top. Add a layer of silverware to the pan. Place in the oven preheated

       to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the silverware every five minutes until the

       tarnish is gone. Use tongs to remove the pieces, as they will be hot.

Host Like a Pro

Now that you’ve planned the party and cleaned the house, it’s time to host your family and friends. On the day of the event, here are a few tricks to have up your sleeve to help the event proceed more smoothly.

◦     Offer to take empty plates and cups if you are free. You know exactly where

       they go, and your guests will appreciate the gesture.

◦     Have fun! It’s your party too, so make sure you enjoy it. If the host isn’t happy,

       it’s hard to make others feel welcomed and happy. Remember, not every

       gathering goes perfectly, and that’s OK. The most important thing is that

       everyone feels welcome.

Cleaning Tips:

◦     Spills: If someone spills wine or grape juice, immediately but calmly put table

       salt on the area. This will stop the stain from soaking in. Then, you can come

       back later and treat the stain with club soda or carpet cleaner.

◦     Dishes: At the end of the night, let the dishes soak overnight; clean them in

       the morning.

◦     Cleanup: Enjoy the party and save the majority of the cleanup for the next day.

       It can be helpful to recycle or throw away disposable plates, cups and other

       trash, and then corral the rest so that you’ll have a starting point in the



Give Your Entryway A Holiday Boost

We all want our entries and front yards to feel welcoming this fall and winter. Getting a new doormat, investing in outdoor lighting or porch furnishings and tending the garden can help boost curb appeal for the holiday season and beyond.

Improve Your Outdoor Lighting

When it gets darker earlier in the evening, a well-lit porch can make a big difference in boosting your mood and your home’s curb appeal. In updating your exterior lighting, think about including multiple light sources: wall sconces and pendant lights or recessed ceiling lights. Choose bold fixture designs that look good — even when unlit — and match your home’s architecture.

Get a Fresh Doormat

Keep your entry looking polished — and clean — with a new doormat for the fall and winter season. If you already have a decorative doormat or outdoor rug next to your front door, don’t hesitate to layer a heavy-duty mat on top to catch moisture, dirt and outdoor debris.

Set a Bench by the Entry

A seat by the front door makes a home look more inviting and can be a useful spot for pulling on boots or setting down a grocery bag while you rummage for keys. If your porch isn’t large enough for a bench, try placing one along the way to the home’s entrance.

Add a Bright Seasonal Accent

Don’t feel as if you need to go all-out on porch decor to get a fall lift. With just one element or two — such as a bright pumpkin on the porch or a wreath on the door — you can get a boost of color and seasonal cheer. If you’re tight on time, look for colorful elements that can bridge fall and winter.

Upgrade Your Porch Furniture

Classic Adirondack chairs, rockers, lounge chairs or a porch swing add a welcoming look to the front porch and inspire getting outside to enjoy the crisp fall air. Choose one based on comfort, style and the available space you have on your porch or front stoop.

Add a Few Long-Lasting Potted Plants

Potted plants can provide welcome color and texture to the fall and winter porch. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance potted plant option, a word of advice: Choose evergreens. Boxwood, dwarf conifers, privet and culinary bay all make excellent choices for potted doorstep plants that will look great for fall and winter.

Spread Fresh Gravel

Gravel on walkways, patios and driveways shifts and sinks over time. Fall is a perfect time to top off gravel to refresh outdoor spaces and keep down mud before winter. Choose the same rock type and grade, particle size, as the existing gravel and top with a 1- to 3-inch layer, filling in low spots as necessary. Rake to smooth.

If you’re installing a new gravel path, driveway or patio this fall, consulting with a pro can help ensure that the surface meets your needs. Gravel, if properly installed, can support the wheels of cars, walkers, wheelbarrows and more.

Mulch Beds

Covering bare dirt with mulch can take an end-of-season garden bed from looking tired to tidy in the span of an afternoon. Select a mulch that matches the style of your garden. There are several types to choose from, including natural bark, wood chips, straw or gravel.

Aim to add 2 to 3 inches of mulch over beds, keeping it away from the trunks of trees and large shrubs. Mulch can suppress weed growth, insulate shallow roots from freeze damage, hide soaker hose and irrigation lines, and prevent water loss from evaporation.

Add a Decorative Door Knocker

The subtle gleam of a new brass door knocker against a dark front door can be a subtle and effective front entry upgrade. Choose a classic shape or go for one — like a brass pine cone, seashell, sailboat or eagle — that gives your home a little extra personality.

Refresh Window Boxes

Window boxes packed with seasonal plantings or strung with lights can boost curb appeal. In mild climates use white cyclamens, ornamental peppers, pansies and trailing variegated ivy. In cold-winter regions, keep the cold-hardy ivy in place as temperatures drop and swap the tender peppers, cyclamens and pansies for a few hardy dwarf conifers or cut conifer branches.


Open House. Open House on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 3:30PM - 4:15PM
Agents Open House
Please visit our Open House at 5816 SPINDRIFT ST in Sechelt.
Open House on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 3:30PM - 4:15PM Agents Open House
Location, location, location. This 3 bedroom rancher is on a quiet cul-de-sac within walking distance to downtown Sechelt. Close to parks, library, recreation centre, public transportation, shopping and restaurants. Sit back and relax on your patio or deck. Perfect for a new home buyer or someone looking to downsize. Call today to book a viewing.

Open House. Open House on Friday, December 17, 2021 3:30PM - 4:15PM
Public Open House
Please visit our Open House at 5816 SPINDRIFT ST in Sechelt.
Open House on Friday, December 17, 2021 3:30PM - 4:15PM Public Open House
Location, location, location. This 3 bedroom rancher is on a quiet cul-de-sac within walking distance to downtown Sechelt. Close to parks, library, recreation centre, public transportation, shopping and restaurants. Sit back and relax on your patio or deck. Perfect for a new home buyer or someone looking to downsize. Call today to book a viewing.

Hostess & Host Gifts For The Holidays

A bouquet of flowers or bottle of wine is always appreciated, but when you want something a little less expected, here are some crowd-pleasing ideas. Keep a few go-to gifts at the ready and you’ll be prepared for any holiday party, potluck or open house that pops up on your schedule.

Colorful Bar Accessory

Help pep up your host’s home bar with a stack of colorful coasters, a new ice bucket or copper Moscow Mule mugs. If you want to go the extra mile, pair your pick with little bottles of fancy tonic and sodas or a tub of Marcona almonds.

Elegant Treat Stand

Bringing a sweet treat as your party contribution? Elevate your homemade or store-bought confection on a dessert stand that your hosts can use long after the party has ended.

Holiday Ornament

A handpicked holiday ornament feels special in a way that other gifts just can’t. Aim to choose an ornament that has something to do with your friendship, locale or a shared passion. And if you’re looking to gussy up any of the other gifts on this list, consider keeping a stash of small ornaments to tie on with ribbon.

Glass Food Storage Containers

Help your hosts handle the party feast leftovers with ease by gifting a set of nesting food storage containers. This utterly practical gift is one that most hosts won’t be expecting — but will be very happy to receive!

Small Vase With Personality

A petite arrangement of flowers in a pretty vase is easier to tote and often more appreciated than an overblown bouquet. Stock up on a few bud vases — filled or empty, they make a great go-to gift.

New Cookbook

An inspiring new cookbook makes a great gift for hosts who love to try new things in the kitchen. Personalize their copy by writing a note inside the book, and tie it with pretty ribbon.

Special Serving Piece

A pretty serving bowl or platter can always be put to good use. Give it on its own, pair it with a set of serving spoons or fill it with seasonal fruit or nuts for a bountiful display.

Kitchen Sink Upgrades

Fancy hand soaps and kitchen towels are little things that your hosts probably don’t treat themselves to often. Oven mitts and potholders are also good options.

Mugs for the Morning

… or after dinner or anytime. A pair of mugs or a cream-and-sugar set makes a sweet offering. If you’d like to round out the collection, add a pound of locally roasted coffee beans or your favorite blend of tea.

Colorful Throw

A cozy throw is irresistible, especially in the cold winter months. Look for one with a special detail that sets it apart: extra-soft texture, rich colors or embellishments like embroidery and tassels.

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