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Holiday Cleaning Preparations

Last Updated: April 8, 2024

Written by Karen Norman

Holiday Cleaning Tips for an Enjoyable Home. 

Clean with ease to help make the season a breeze. 

As the Yuletide approaches, we start to think about holiday cleaning preparations. At Christmastime, we often wonder how to get the home in tip-top shape for the festivities. And even if you are not hosting, guests can turn up unexpectedly. 

You may not want to spend your vacation tackling a big clean, but you’ll certainly want the house looking great for guests. Don’t worry; we have the definitive step-by-step guide on tackling your holiday cleaning now so you can spend the rest of the festive season enjoying downtime with family and friends.

Some Urgency to Holiday Cleaning. 

One of the biggest tips we can suggest is not to leave holiday cleaning to the last minute.

It can be tempting in one sense so that you know your home is at its cleanest for the big day, but invariably, things just get too busy as Christmas day approaches. Then either the rooms you intended to clean don’t get done, or last-minute cleaning consists of jamming things into closets while feeling frustrated.

By breaking up the tasks into manageable chunks and doing the big holiday clean over several days, a couple of weeks out, you won’t get overwhelmed. Remember, a clean and organized space tends to stay that way, leaving you to do just a quick tidy-up and dusting nearer December 25th.

Perhaps the upstairs rooms where your guests stay would be a good place to start. Prior to cleaning, you might want to look ahead at tidying and decluttering each room.

It goes without saying that these tasks are the responsibility of everyone in the household, strong enough to wield a dust cloth. Don’t be shy about dividing these tasks up among family members. The more people involved, the faster it all gets done.

Manageable Holiday Cleaning Tasks.  

Make a list of each area that needs cleaning – wander around the house with a notepad and jot down the things that need sorting and cleaning.

For each area, write down the individual tasks that need doing.

Assign a day to a room.

Before that day, pick up any cleaning or organizational supplies you will need (shelves, hooks, mats, etc.)

Stick to the schedule.

Tackling Holiday Cleaning per Area. 

Front Walkway 

Make a plan to keep this area clean of tracked-in snow and ice. Have your snow shovels out and de-icer on hand. Nothing ruins the holiday spirit like a dangerous slip and fall. Keeping walkways clear of snow and ice should be a priority to keep people safe. Do you have enough de-icer?

Laundry and the Laundry Room

With everyone home and people possibly staying over, ensure this room is clean and organized and that there are ample bins to keep track of the laundry. Pick up a few bins from the dollar store for your guests. Try to keep up with the laundry rather than have baskets overflowing. See our blog on Cleaning and Organizing the Laundry Room.


Is there going to be an extra lot of boots, shoes and coats coming and going this holiday season? Do you need extra areas for muddy wet footwear? Have a good mat to catch slush from boots and enough racks for extra footwear.

And where are you going to hang all those coats? Hooks that hang over the main door or entry closet doors are a fast temporary solution for extra outerwear and bags.

Rubbish and Garbage Bins

We tend to accumulate a lot of garbage during this season. Have a plan for when the bins get full. Wash them out and have extra bags on hand. Have bags ready to go for recycling and clean out the compost bin.

Remember, you don’t want to have packaging on the curb advertising what gifts are in the house, such as electronics or Amazon hauls. Unfortunately, this type of packaging can attract opportunists looking for an easy grab. Keep the it in the garage or basement until garbage pickup day.


Make sure your bedrooms are cleaned and decluttered ahead of time so you and the kids have space for those new toys and gifts. At Christmas, bedrooms can get very messy. So, think about where you might at least temporarily stack those extra items to keep things uncluttered.

If guests are sharing bedrooms, ensure you have enough air mattresses and blankets to go around. Or ask your guests to bring their own bedding if needed. Be prepared for both expected and unexpected overnight guests by getting the Master bedroom, the kids’ bedrooms and the spare bedroom(s) ready.

Living Room

Check out our Living Room Cleaning Tips.

Consider a Carpet Cleaning Service, especially if you have pets. Your guests may be allergic.

Professional Upholstery Cleaning is another option if your furniture looks a little worse for wear. Your upholstery may benefit from a spruce-up. At the very least, vacuum away those crumbs.

Get a sturdy stepstool to dust the bookshelves and top of the blinds. Ensure the area where the tree is set up is cleaned beforehand, especially if using a plugin bar with multiple outlets. Dust and electricity surrounded by a tree and paper-wrapped presents can be a bad mix. Safety first.

Dining Room and Eating Area

Are you having guests for Christmas Dinner? Do you have everything you need in terms of crockery and utensils? Mentally walk through dinner and other meals and ensure you don’t need to buy any extras. Jugs, serving spoons, and extra serving dishes can often get overlooked.

Get a few TV tables or a small collapsible table if needed. Put the office chair and piano bench into service. If you still don’t have enough chairs, head out for some cheap folding chairs that can be stored easily when not being used.

Polish wood and glassware. Or better yet, Check out our Dining Room Cleaning Guidelines. If you are using real silverware for the main event, it may need to be polished ahead of time.

Kitchen, Pantry, Fridge, Microwave and Stove

The heart of the home needs special attention. Not only will there be a slew of meals and snacks being created here, but you will also be creating them in the home’s most popular gathering spot. If you store small appliances on the counter, find a new home for the ones you won’t use until the holidays are over. Do what you can to gain countertop space.

Give the kitchen a good clean and freshen up. Include a deep fridge cleaning,  stove cleaning and microwave cleaning.


In addition to a good bathroom cleaning, this is another place for extra hooks during the holiday season to hold guest towels. Your guests can help you keep the bathrooms clean, too.

Put disinfectant wipes on the counter and ask everyone to wipe the sink and countertop after use. Put an extra bin (with a lid) in each washroom to make it easy for everyone to quickly wipe up their mess and then throw their wipes away.

To avoid embarrassing mishaps, have a clean plunger ready to go in each bathroom. Also, stock up on soap and shampoo/conditioner.

How to deal with the Holiday Clutter.   

Want more tips? Check out this great video from ClutterBug on How to Clean Your Home for the Holidays – Clean with Me.

On the Big Day.   

Now the house is clean and ready for Christmas, don’t overlook sanity savers on the big day!

Have a plan in place to deal with the aftermath of boxes, returns, and wrapping paper. The Organizing Moms Blog has some great ideas. 

Whether you cook a big turkey, roast up a ham, or go vegan with a nut roast, reduce food waste by making fun meals from the leftovers.

A Dang Good Holiday.   

The holidays can be a rushed, stressful time but if you can get the whole family on board to clean and organize beforehand, everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Give yourself a break after the holidays, too and call Dang Good Carpet Cleaning and Furnace Cleaning to take care of your carpets, furnace and ducts, upholstery, windows and more. Wishing you a Carefree Holiday. 

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