Believe it or not, the holiday season is barreling down upon us like a freight train. Soon you will be spending every spare minute shopping, wrapping, addressing cards, decorating, baking cookies and rewarding your hard work with an adult beverage or two.
And since your beloved spouse just informed you that your in-laws will also be joining your for the holidays, and staying with you for a week, you can add “get the house in-law clean” to your already long list.
Before you decide to throw in the holiday towel and head to some tropical beach by yourself, take heed: it is possible to get your house ready for holiday guests without losing your cool. Here are a few tips to help.
Get the guest room and bathroom ready now
Your in-laws may be arriving on December 21, but you don’t have to wait until that morning to throw the guest room bedding into the wash. Prepare the guest room now, washing the sheets and blankets in a nice scented detergent and fabric softener. Run the vacuum, dust the dresser and bookcase, and clear any half-empty water bottles and other clutter from the room. Place an (unlit) scented holiday candle on the dresser to add a delightful fragrance to the air and then shut the door so the kids and dogs will stay out. Take the same approach to the bathroom; if you have a dedicated guest bathroom, Real House Moms suggests cleaning it now and then locking it up until your in-laws arrive; this way you can scrub it and forget it. If this is not an option, deep clean the bathroom well ahead of your company’s arrival and then stock up on cleaning wipes to quickly wipe down everything every night before they arrive; this will make getting the bathroom ready on company day super easy.
Finish decorating before they arrive
Once your company arrives, you will (hopefully) want to spend time visiting with them rather than running around looking for the ornaments for the tree, hanging the wreath on the door and putting the lights on the house. Do what you can to finish all of the decorating prior to their arrival, and enlist your spouse and kiddos to help. If the dog bumped the tree last year, causing several ornaments to break or you simply want to add to your collection with some stylish selections, check out the wide selection of Christmas ornaments online. Make yourself a cup of coffee, curl up on the couch and order new Christmas ornaments that will fit your personal style and will be sure to impress your in-laws when they see them hanging on the tree. As a bonus, you won’t have to trudge out in the cold to a crazy busy mall to shop.
Keep two key words in mind: Clear and Clean
As you get closer to the arrival date, Keeper of the Home suggests going room by room with a “clear and clean” mentality. In the kitchen, empty the dishes from the sink and clear the counters as much as you can and wipe them off. In the living room, clear the toys and books off the coffee table and vacuum the rug. The same approach will work for the dining room, family room, kids’ rooms and bathroom — clear off whatever clutter, unused items and stuff that needs to be put away from any flat surface, and then clean the exposed surface and/or floors.