Article originally sourced from Goldstream Gazette
"The holidays can be a chaotic time to say the least and that often means skipping some of your regular routine.
Unfortunately, one of the first things to go is often your cleaning schedule and that can be challenging with all of the unexpected guests that pop by this month.
Here are a few tips to help you get through the holidays with a clean home on a tight schedule.
If you do have time to clean your home thoroughly, start from the top. Give your ceilings, light fixtures and any moldings a quick dust before moving down the walls to other surfaces such as picture frames, tables or chairs. This will allow the dust to settle in the right direction.
TIP: You can hide dirty windows by closing curtains. This will also help draw attention to focal points in a room, such as a fireplace.
Clear clutter from common areas – such as living rooms – and fluff pillows. This task should take about 10 minutes and will give your home a more pulled together look.
Wipe down sinks and counter tops in your bathrooms and kitchen. You can hide a dirty tub with a shower curtain but you can’t hide a dirty sink. That goes for a dirty toilet bowl as well. Giving these surfaces a quick wipe when you have a few free moments will give the impression the room is cleaner than it is.
It can be challenging but making sure the dishwasher is always empty and ready to accept dirty dishes means they won’t be piling up somewhere visible. Emptying the dishwasher is a great task for the kids to help with too.
TIP: Set a large bowl of vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run it through a high-heat cycle. This will help rid any lingering odors and clean the inside of your dishwasher.
While you can hide dirty dishes, you cannot hide most dirty floors. Giving main rooms a quick sweep or if you have time a full vacuum will help make your home look cleaner. If you don’t have time to do the entire house, focus on the kitchen and living room.
If you are planning to host a dinner or another big event, take a few minutes to take out the trash and recycling bins so they are empty and ready to go. Replace towels with fresh ones and make sure all bathrooms and the kitchen have soap. While you’re doing this, double check the paper towels, toilet paper and Kleenex.
If you’re planning a big event and know that guests will not be in a particular room in your home, or an area such as a closet, utilize that space in dire situations to stash unfolded laundry, toys, unsightly clutter or anything else you may not have time to put away properly. Just make sure this isn’t a closet someone will accidentally open when looking for their coat.
You can also dim the lights (it’ll help hide the dust) and light a candle or diffuser to make your home smell clean while giving it an inviting glow.
If all else fails, hire a professional. There are some great local companies, with very affordable rates, that can come in and give your house a good clean from top to bottom right before the holidays."