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Nothing feels better than sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal with friends and family in a clean and cozy home. It just starts the holiday season off right.
For me, however, the clean part is always so much harder than the cozy part–although it is totally worth the effort.
Summer into early fall around our home is a flurry of activity, which often leaves our home looking a bit neglected.
As much as I like to enjoy the downtime between the end of summer and early fall activities before the start of the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s) I know if I use this time to give the home a top to bottom fall cleaning I will thank myself for it during the hustle and bustle of late November and all of December.
How To Create Your Own Plan Of Attack To Clean Your Entire Home Before Thanksgiving
In years past I blogged my way through my Christmas cleaning plan.
However, this year I am going to lay out for you exactly how I create my plan of action to give the house a good top to bottom cleaning before a single Christmas decoration is brought out.
The Little At A Time Christmas Cleaning Plan: 6 to 7 weeks
In years past I have started the first full week of October and ended the week of Thanksgiving, giving me roughly 6 to 7 weeks each year to execute my plan.
This year the division of weeks would look as follows:
Week One—October 3rd through October 9th
Week Two—October 10th through October 16th
Week Three—October 17th through October 23rd
Week Four—October 24th through October 30th
Week Five—October 31 through November 6th
Week Six—November 7th through November 13th
Week Seven—November 14th through November 20th
I would then divide up my home into areas so that each one was hit by the time the week of Thanksgiving rolled around so I could then turn my attention to decorating our home for Christmas.
Week One—Family Room
Week Two—Dinning Room
Week Three—Living Room
Week Five—Back and Front door entrance ways
You will notice I haven’t included storage areas like basements, attics, hall closets, etc. These areas generally get a good go-over at other times of the year, but during my Christmas cleaning I hit just those areas guests frequent.
After I know when and what I work on the how.
Some years this means I work 15 to 30 minutes each day on the area of the week. Other times this means I devote an entire day of the week to cleaning that area. It all depends what works better for me that week.
The Christmas Cleaning Bee Plan: 2 to 3 Saturdays
Now that the children are older the annual Christmas Cleaning routine is getting a overhaul!
Saturday One: November 5th–The attic
Saturday Two: November 12th–Bedrooms
Saturday Three: November 19th–Main floor rooms (kitchen/family room/dining room/living room)
Now don’t freak out–I know that looks like a huge amount of work for one person and it is. I am not going to be doing these areas myself, instead I am throwing three Family cleaning bees.
We will start at 10:00 and end at 4:00 and there will be takeout pizza at the end of the day. Everyone will have an assigned area to clean from top to bottom.
Now you might notice I added in the attic in this plan, which is a storage area. As I said, normally these are done at a different time of year but this year we have a big trip planned that starts right after Christmas and I want the whole home ready for the house sitter to enjoy. Should she need to go into the attic to take care of a household issue I don’t want her to have to step around boxes that were not properly put away.
The Cleaning Tools
I like to make sure we are well stocked with all the cleaners we need for a family cleaning bee at least a few days in advance.
Here is the list of cleaning tools we use at our house:
- All purpose cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Dusting spray
- Tub and Tile Cleaner
- Super Washing Soda (my secret weapon for tough stuck on spots in shower stalls and walls)
- Toilet cleaner
- Dust pan and brush set
- Cleaning gloves
- Mircro fiber wet dry mop
- Cleaning cloths
I like to make sure that we have at least two of each item so that more than one person can be using it at once. Of course, if you are working alone then you only need one of each.
A Few Ways To Make Cleaning More Fun
I LOVE audio books for passing the time when I am cleaning. My kids love them too. We use the Hoopla app. We are able to get a free membership to it through our local library. Libraries also offer One Digital and Overdrive. It depends on your library as to how many of these apps they might offer or if they offer any at all.
If you library doesn’t offer these apps with audio book selections, you could try Audible. They offer a free 2 month trial that allows you one free title per month for two months.
Even though I am cleaning for Christmas way before Christmas, I often like to indulge in some Christmas tunes using Pandora while I do my pre-Christmas cleaning. It helps me stay motivated since a reminder of my goal of a clean home for Christmas is literally being piped into my ears the entire time I clean.
Special Rewards for Hitting Goals
You might have noticed above that I said our family Christmas cleaning days will end with takeout pizza. This isn’t just because we are all tired and don’t want to dirty the kitchen they just cleaned–it is also a reward.
We don’t get takeout pizza that often and usually for special nights like this we skip the cheaper pizza joint for the gourmet one –provided everyone has cleaned hard and had great attitudes about it.
The goal that motivates you might be different–spend a bit of time brainstorming and I am sure you will come up with something.
I would love to hear if you do a similar pre-Christmas cleaning and if so, how? Tell me in the comment section.
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