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The Clean-zine, Issue #11 - Holiday Host Prep 101
November 01, 2013


1. Holiday Host Prep 101

2. November House Cleaning Checklist

3. Visiting the Grandparents: A Family Survival Guide

Holiday Host Prep 101

Ohmygosh. You just scraped the rest of the jack o'lantern off the front porch step, and it's already time to plan the Thanksgiving menu. Then you'll be thrust into full holiday madness.

What's a temporally-challenged host to do?

OK. Take a deep breath and let's get organized. We've got seven weeks to get our act together. Fine-tune a few little pesky details now and holiday entertaining will be a piece of cake.

Party People

1. Silver. Get out the silver utensils, serving dishes, and candlesticks and give them a good polishing.

2. China and Crystal. Save time by popping the holiday china and crystal in the dishwasher several days or weeks before the big event. Then you don't have to worry about spots and dust when you're setting the table. Did I say "dishwasher"?

I sure did. Most modern china and crystal is dishwasher safe - as long as you lod carefully so that the pieces don't clank against each other. If you have any reservations about their safety, test wash one piece before filling the racks. Hand-wash heirlooms and pieces trimmed in gold or silver.

3. Holiday Linens. Inspect, clean, and iron your festive tablecloths, runners, napkins, and placemats.

4. Flowers. Plan and order your centerpiece for the dining room table as well as other floral arrangements. (Idea: Drape leftover Halloween pumpkins with autumn leaves and spray paint the whole thing gold for a very simple, elegant centerpiece.)

5. Coat Closet. Empty out your coat closet so it can contain all your guests' coats. Position a coat rack or wicker bins nearby where guests can leave handbags, umbrellas, gloves, etc.

6. Fireplace. Clean the hearth, fireplace screen or door, and tools. Have wood and matches at the ready. Read on for holiday host prep 101 tips.

November House Cleaning Checklist

November Home Checklist: 10 things to include in your home cleaning and preventative maintenance program this month to keep your home well-maintained.

1. Remember Mother Hubbard. Clean the kitchen cabinets inside out. Throw out food your kids will never eat - no matter how hungry. Check food expiration dates while you're there.

2. Drawer Duty. Clean, paper, and reorganize all kitchen drawers. Bring utensils you're likely to need for holiday cooking and baking front and center.

3. A Self-Cleaning Oven? Ha ha. That's a good one. But seriously, clean the oven.

4. Cold Zone. Clean under and behind the fridge. And while you’re in the neighborhood, strip off the six-month’s accumulation of art and notes from the fridge door. Wash it and leave it bare for a change. (Well, at least till Friday.)

5. Water Taste Funny? Change the filter. Continue reading the November Home Checklist here.

Visiting the Grandparents: A Family Survival Guide

You love your mom and dad. The kids love them. They love you and the kids.

So why is visiting them so difficult?

You've got a generational gap going here. Even though your mom and dad adore your kids, they're probably not used to having little ones under foot anymore. If you're around kids much, you forget how much noise they make, how messy they are - and how needy they are.

And that often translates into your feeling uncomfortable in your own parents' home.

Here are some tips for making that trip to Grandma's house a little more pleasant this year:

1. Create a Play Area. If you have infants or toddlers, you have to have some area that's safe for them to roam. That doesn't mean Grandma and Grandpa have to childproof their whole house. But if they could just childproof one room, you could at least put the little one down somewhere safe.

2. Set Parameters (and Perimeters): That said, do not let your children have run of Grandma's house. Even if she insists it's OK. Your parents need their privacy. Set down limits on where the kids can and cannot go. Read the full Grandparents Visit Survival Guide here.

Enjoy the November festivities ahead!

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