It’s that magical time of the year again. Snow is falling, the decorations are up, and people all around the world are inviting their family and friends to spend the holidays together.
Unfortunately, your house has dirty laundry all over, reeks of that chicken gravy that you accidentally dropped, along with a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the point.
Cleaning and organizing your home is obviously something you’ll need to take care of before you can even attempt with the decorations.
Often times, you can feel overwhelmed if there are so many things to do. We want to help our fellow busy moms so we reached out to 16 home decor and cleaning experts. We asked them to share their home cleaning tips by answering this question:
Best Tips to Clean and Organize Your Home Quickly Before Holidays?
We received some great tips that we would love to share with you.
Dmitri Kara – Fantastic Cleaners
Keep your focus tight. Clear up the kitchen from any item that’s not supposed to be there, i.e. magazines, vases, cluttered photos, children stuff and etc. Revise the content of your drawers and cabinets. Move anything that won’t come to use this holiday season.
Put your cookware sets to order. Place plates and bowls where there belong and sort forks, spoons and etc. properly. Follow one task at a time and cut distraction at all times. Put everything to order as quick as possible and move on to #3.
You do not have to submerge into details. All you need to do is wipe all surfaces top to bottom (including cobwebs) and take care of vacuuming later. Throw anything that feels like rubbish to the ground.
If you’re short on time, leave what you don’t need on the floor and dump it out at the final step. Fill rubbish in a bag and fast clean it with a laminate floor vacuum cleaner. If you have rugs around, consider professional steam cleaning. Hot-water-extraction is the best way to fight allergens.
Gari Weilbacher – Declutter 2 Delight
Before things get really hectic, create a staging area in your home for what you need to do. Make a DIY Sign and enjoy the space. Gather all your supplies in a decorated box so you always have what you need at your fingertips. You can keep the box ready for next year by packing it away with your decorations.
Don’t let the holidays add to your clutter by dropping everything in the middle of the living room floor when you come home. Gifts? Add them to the pile to be wrapped. Food? Take it straight to the kitchen and put it away. Papers, cards? Open them, recycle what you don’t want and put the holiday cards where you show them – on the mantle, in a basket, whatever works for you and doesn’t add to the clutter.
Can you find one area that makes you feel good in your own home? Spend one evening writing cards, listening to music and thinking of why you do all this. Choose an area that is already lovely and invite gratitude to join you as you wrap or write. Breathe in 1-2-3 breath out 1-2-3. When you are done, set things in order and find an area that needs some loving attention and clutter control. Promise yourself to enjoy the holidays now and make big changes later.
Jonathan Prichard – Mattress Insider
Make a duplicate sticky note for later (see below). As you’re doing this, anything that you come across that should be trash, recycle, donate, or “doesn’t belong” should go into those respective bins.
Some of the stuff you put together during the “General Sort” might already have a home and other items will not. Once you’ve put all your “like” stuff together into categories, brainstorm different zones where you want that stuff to live before you take the time and energy to move it.
For example, office supplies, electronics, etc. You can visualize this by using the duplicate sticky notes I mentioned above. Place the notes on the shelves, cabinets, drawers, etc, where you think your stuff should live.
Once you’ve made a decision, move all your stuff into it’s new “home”. If the “home” of those items is a new, I’d suggest keeping the sticky note visible to help you find those items.
Here is an example:- 5 minutes before you go to bed, locate any items which have been moved from their home and put them back in there home. Everything else put in the trash and recycle. Setup a daily task schedule.
For example, every Monday, you go through your mail inbox. Tuesday is laundry day. Wednesday is when I shred everything. If you think you need to buy something, shop from your “backstock” first before hitting the store. For example, if you need a pen, check your “pen home” before going out and buying more pens.
James Hepple – Staunton And Henry
There’s plenty of advice out there on how to clean an organize your home. And most of us actually have a pretty good idea of how to go about it. You’ll often see advice like getting rid of things you don’t need, sorting things into groups, and then storing them in a logical location, perhaps with the help of some clever storage containers.
This is all good advice, but despite having this knowledge, many of us still struggle with “the how”. We’re creatures of habit, with busy lives, and often the best intentions for cleaning and organizing our home remain just that – intentions! So my top tips are focused on not just what to do, but how to actually make it happen.
This can sound daunting, but once you get started, it can actually be quite pleasurable as a start to see the clutter disappear. You don’t have to be ruthless, but if you haven’t used or worn something, for 18 months, ask yourself honestly if you ever will. And the end result can be quite cathartic as you free yourself of the burden of clutter.
It’s important here to focus more on what and where you use the item for than it’s an actual category. This makes things easier to find and access and the small but important difference this will make in your life is often just the motivation you need to make a habit of it.
This brings me to my last, and most important point – what you know about how to clean and organize your home is only as good as what you actually do with this knowledge. This is where habit-forming can make all the difference. Get into the habit of dealing with clutter that appears quickly and in real time.
It’s much easier to deal with small tasks regularly than confront a build up. Research suggests that it takes 3 months to form new habits, so start small to give yourself some confidence and then stick with it for at least 3 months. You’ll be amazed at the results.
Robbie Nevens – Lamp Twist
If you have family or friends coming over for the winter holidays, chances are that you didn’t have time to arrange everything yet!
We all know the stress this can cause, so here are a few tips that will help you clean your home quickly.
Ask your other family members to help you and give them clear tasks. Even kids like to help from time to time, as long as you give them clear stuff to do.
Clean one room at a time and don’t start another task before finishing it. Read reviews of Bissell Powerforce vacuum if you don’t know how to choose powerful vacuum for your home.
You probably have things that are old and you aren’t using it anymore. Maybe you kept some because you didn’t have time to sort them. Just ask yourself when it’s the last time that you used each item. If it’s more than 6 months, see if you can donate it, sell at a garage sale or just throw it away.
Rachel Rosenthal – Rachel-Company
While it can be tempting to think of how you can transform your entire home for the holidays, it can also be overwhelming and time-consuming. Instead, narrow your focus and tszuj up a few select areas that will have the most traffic, like the kitchen, family room, and guest spaces. Take inventory of what needs to get done, like restocking the fridge or cleaning bed linens and use that list as your to-dos to tackle before guests and the holidays come around.
A very quick way to clean up is to take a high-level look at each area that you are focusing on. Remove items that don’t belong (like kids’ toys at the dining table, gym clothes that are on the mudroom floor, etc.) and put them back in the spot where they belong. A good rule of thumb is to categorize like with like (light bulbs with lightbulbs, umbrellas near the jackets and shoe bins, etc.) to prevent guesswork on where to store–and later relocate–items as needed.
The holiday season often brings on additional home decor, entertaining essentials, and an influx of food and drinks. Before you head out to the store, take a look at what you have on hand (including what’s tucked in the back of the cabinets) before bringing extras and duplicates into your space. You’ll be grateful for the time and money that you save just from the 5-minute sweep!
Kim Montenero – Exquisitely Unremarkable
Here are my top three tips to clean and organize my home quickly before the winter holidays.
Think charitably and get the whole family involved, since many hands make light, and quick, work. Donate anything you don’t love or no longer use. Kids may be reluctant to give away something in the summer, but when they know their treasures are going to someone in need they can be more motivated. The idea that they’re making room for new items arriving very soon can also make the purging easier.
It’s easy to accumulate holiday items, they seem to multiply from one year to another. However, all those trinkets can complicate and lengthen your holiday cleaning tasks, since there are more items dust and work around. Remember, the more things you have, the more things you have to manage. Plus, your special treasures will stand out more when featured on their own.
Too many times, I hear people say they hate decorating for the holidays because it takes too long and the entire house is a mess until it’s all out. Rather than opening all of the decorations and trying to find a place for everything to fit, think about what rooms you are going to decorate and exactly what you want to display before the big decorating day arrives.
This way, when you open those bins, you will be able to strategically grab what you need and place it directly where it belongs. It will keep you more organized and on task and your bins will back in storage in no time flat, leaving more time to enjoy your clean holiday house.
Erin Myers – My Mommy World
Gather up any obvious trash or broken items, magazines you want to get rid of, etc.
Don’t put them in a place where a guest will accidentally open a door and find everything! You can (and should!) take out this clutter later and deal with it when you have more time.
Clear any dishes out of the kitchen sink and wipe down the countertops and table. Wipe down the guest bathroom sink/countertops and toilet and hang up a fresh hand towel. Light a holiday-scented candle and you’re ready for company!
If you’re adding more items to your home, you need to take some away first. Make sure not to put clutter on clutter when the holiday season rolls around. You can use the boxes that you keep your holiday decorations in as temporary holding places for the knick-knacks you’ll want to put back up in January.
I know that when I buy food and snacks for the holiday parties I attend, the bags and Tupperware containers usually end up on the counter for days before I find room for them in the pantry. Make space for all of the treats that you’ll be getting throughout the season so that your kitchen counters stay clutter free.
When the holidays roll around, mail will be at an all-time high. If you let your mail pile up on the kitchen table, that just adds to the stresses of the holidays. Be sure to kick the habit of not sorting the mail and do it daily so it’s manageable. For holiday cards, find a way to display them before they start rolling in, so you know exactly where to put them when you receive them.
Adam Watson – Hollywood Mirrors
Christmas will be over before you know it and if you have a spare room that no one uses dump everything you don’t need in there until Christmas is finished. This should create space and make things clutter free. If you don’t have a spare room maybe use the garage or shed if you have one.
The most used rooms are the kitchen, the dining room, the living room and the downstairs toilet. Give yourself plenty of time by inviting everyone over at 2 pm instead o say 12 o’clock. It buys you a couple of hours to get dinner ready, kids’ presents opened and then a quick clean.
My third tip is a bit unconventional, use paper plates and paper cups on the run up to Christmas day. This way you don’t have to wash them and you can dump them in the bin. Or eat out at a restaurant. The less active you are in the home the less you have to tidy up so stay out.
Dawn D Totty – DAWN D TOTTY DESIGNS
Nothing can make your home scream “Messy” more than a cluttered kitchen countertop! Most of us really only use half of what is scattered about the counter anyhow so keep it clean and simple. Gadgets and utensils you do use every day keep one or two out and place the rest in natural fiber baskets deep enough to camouflage, the baskets will add to the décor as well as allow you to still have easy access to it!
Be organized and prepared prior to festive gatherings such as cocktail parties and holiday dinners by gathering up all of your special dinnerware and holiday decorations before you actually need them. Wash, polish and organize all of your dishes, tablecloths and cloth napkins (iron if necessary).
Fill salt and pepper shakers, stock up on taper candles and do a quick inventory of what needs to be added or replaced from last years events.
Do a quick cleaning of the entire home including all bedding (for overnight guests) neaten up closets to accommodate for guests coats and garments and do a quick wipe down of the refrigerator as it will be well used by you as well as your guests!
Hamna Amjad – Alrug
Here are my 3 top tips to clean and organize your home before the winter holidays.
Take out all your summer clothes from your closet and replacing them with your winter clothes. Sort out casual clothes and formal dresses and neatly organize them. Organizing your clothes by color will help you in putting together an outfit in the mornings.
When fans are not in use in winter months, the dust easily collects on them. And the layer of dust is very prominent when their blades are not in motion.
Get them checked by a professional. Also, make sure the chimney of your fireplace is clean and in good form. Replace old furnace filters and vacuum all the vents.
Jordan Harling – Roman Blinds Direct
Now is the perfect time to declutter. Not only is it a practical and prudent approach to life, but it’s also becoming very fashionable. The Swedish concept of Lagom (which roughly translates as “Just the right amount”) is very trendy at the moment and is looking to increase in popularity over the next few years. So for a more focused, content, and stylish holiday season here’s what you need to do:
Cleaning a house can be a massive undertaking, but strangely it’s one which we want to best in one sitting. We want to conquer it as fast as we can, trying to take on whole house in one afternoon. More often than not though, this just leads to us getting tired after a couple of rooms and taking a well-earned nap on the sofa and maybe eventually giving the other rooms a basic dust afterward. To prevent burnout, take things room by room – focusing on each one as an individual task. Cleaning your house is a massive task, cleaning each of your rooms is a breeze.
With constant bombardments from adverts, social media, and friends telling you to buy as much as you can it’s easy to believe that the accumulation of things is your ultimate goal in life. Take a step back though and consider whether you truly believe that to be the case, or whether you have different aspirations in life. Once you understand your goals, living a more minimal lifestyle is the way to achieve it.
It’s the most difficult thing to do, but it’s the most important. You need to take an objective look at everything you own and ask yourself “Does this serve a purpose? Do I have an emotional attachment to it?” If the answer is no to both of these questions, then you can easily throw the object away. If you said yes, then things become a little more difficult.
Think about the reasons why you said yes and consider whether they are good reasons. Most of the time you’ll find that the reason you give yourself is that you’ve owned the item for a long time. If you don’t throw these things out, you’ll find yourself keeping things just because you’ve kept them before.
Carissa Bonham – Creative Green Living
As you are cleaning up to make room for your decor if you find things you haven’t used in the last six months and don’t have immediate plans to use in the upcoming six months, get rid of it unless it has extreme sentimental value. If it has usable life left, donate it to a charity like the Salvation Army. Don’t keep storing things in your home that you aren’t using and don’t love.
If a company is coming and you feel rushed, grab a laundry basket and throw all the items that don’t belong in the room inside and stash it in a closet. Sweep or vacuum the floor and give surfaces a quick dusting and you are company ready in less than 20 minutes!
The holidays are a stressful time for lots of families because there is so much to DO. Mom is often the one who carries the burden of figuring out gifts, wrapping the gifts, tracking who is going to which party when AND she’s expected to keep the house clean?
For as little as $150 you can have your own “magic cleaning fairies” come in and deep clean, make your bathroom spotless and take out the trash – lifting a huge burden from you and freeing you up to enjoy more of the season with your family instead of harping on your kids for their subpar bathroom cleaning performance.
Nicola Croughan – Blinds Direct
If every member of your family gets involved, your winter decluttering and organizing session will be completed much faster. A great way to get the kids to help is by explaining that the more space they create now, the more treats they’ll be able to enjoy Christmas!
Decluttering your home is a mammoth task, but there’s one technique that makes it super manageable. The 1 Bag Per Day method can take place over the course of a week, where you tackle each room in your home individually and get rid of one bag per day.
Winter is the perfect time to show your charitable nature, so whilst you complete your 1 Bag Per Day mission, be sure to donate some of your items to local charities. Toys, clothes, food, and toiletries that are all in good condition are much-needed at this time of year, and you can help those less fortunate to have an enjoyable Christmas too.
Anna Brockway – Chairish
Taking time to give your home a quick clean up before the holidays it is so important. Not only are you organizing your life, but you’re brightening someone else’s day or helping out someone less fortunate.
Here are my top 3 tips:
Open up your closets and give away unused coats, jackets, and boots. The chilly temperatures mean that these types of items are in high demand in donation centers around the country. Plus, it’s an easy way to tidy up the entryway or make extra room in the closet and mudroom space for you and guests.
Don’t let these stack up and create unnecessary kitchen chaos. Instead, give them a second life by planting bulbs and making them into gifts for friends, teachers, and family. Once they’re out the door, you’ll have tons of free space to hide countertop clutter in a pinch.
The holidays are on the way, which means so are new toys! Spend some time with your kids and set aside toys they have outgrown and donated them so another child can enjoy them. Now you’ll have room to house all the new goodies from Santa and your kids can learn the real value of sharing.
Take some time to go through your linen closet to purge old blankets, towels, sheets, pillows, pillowcases and bathroom rugs and head on over to your local animal shelter. These items are used to line pet cages, provide warm bedding or dry off wet pets. Now you’ve freed up, even more, space for tucking things out of site from the in-laws!
Thank you so much to all the experts that shared with us their home cleaning tips! Now you know how to get the job quickly. Armed with patience, you can make your house look organized and pretty, ready to receive your guests.
If you enjoyed reading this post, do share it on social media. This way we will help more busy women enjoy their holidays without worrying about cleaning.