We won’t lie: hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a daunting, time-consuming task. There are groceries to buy, settings to place, decorations to hang, a gigantic meal to prepare… and, not to mention, a house to clean. Get your home in tip-top shape before the holiday with these eight home cleaning tips.
- Direct your attention to areas your guests will actually see. This may seem like a great time to ask the kids to clean their rooms, but unless you anticipate having a large crowd and using those areas as play space for the kids, save those rooms for another time. You’re better off focusing your energy on the main living spaces—the foyer, kitchen, dining room, great room, powder room, and lower level—especially if you’re crunched for time.
- Have trouble focusing? Set a timer and work for 30-minute increments, saving time for short breaks in between. Cleaning the house can be a daunting task, even when the entire family is tackling the project, but seems more manageable when work is broken up into short segments. Give yourself a 5-minute break in between to grab a cup of coffee, watch your favorite YouTube video, or set up an upbeat playlist for the next round of cleaning.
- Make room in the fridge for leftovers! Still have Labor Day’s potato salad stashed in the depths of the refrigerator? Time to toss it. Rid your fridge of all dead (and about to be dead) produce, deli meats, and condiments, and make room for Thanksgiving’s delicious leftover turkey, stuffing, and pie.
- Sweep, dust, or vacuum your hardwood floors. Don’t wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, or any liquid cleaning materials, as this can cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation. If you’re using a vacuum, use a hard floor attachment to avoid scratching or dulling the floor’s finish. Find more tips from Shaw Floors.
- Clean granite countertops using a mild dish soap diluted with water. Granite can scratch easily, so clean the surfaces with a mild detergent and cotton cloth or soft sponge. Remember to thoroughly wring out the cloth or sponge—granite is highly absorbent! Always dry the counter after cleaning to protect the surface from water damage and eliminate streaks. Find more tips from Bob Vila.
- Make room for coats, boots, and purses. Don’t forget to clear space in your foyer or mud room for your guests’ belongings. Expecting a large crowd? Save the foyer for boots and bags and use a main-level bedroom for stashing coats, hats, and mittens.
- Spot-clean the kitchen right before guests arrive. You’ve been working hard on dinner, and your kitchen shows it! Clean the kitchen as you prepare dinner, wiping off any used dishes or utensils and sticking them in the dishwasher instead of on the counter. After the dishwasher is loaded and running, enlist your family’s help and quickly wipe down the countertops and sweep the floor before the first guests arrive.
- Start Thanksgiving dinner with an empty dishwasher. Once your pre-dinner dishes are clean and dry, don’t leave them in the dishwasher! Empty the dishwasher before dinner begins and encourage guests to put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher instead of piling plates and glasses in the sink and on the counters. This will help reduce your post-dinner cleanup time.
Do you have any Thanksgiving home cleaning tips to add to our list? Leave them in the comments!