holiday house cleaning tips

Moms are the work-horses of the holidays. Sorry, there's just no polite way to say it.

We clean. We shop. We clean. We wrap. We clean. We decorate. We clean. We cook. We clean. We entertain. We clean.

Did I mention cleaning? No wonder we moms turn into the Grinch before the goose is off the table. There's gotta be an easier way ...

Enter the elves. No, Santa's not sending down reinforcements. I'm talking about the "volunteers" stationed year-round in your home. It's time to call in the troops to help with holiday house cleaning. 

Holiday House Cleaning with Our Little Elves

You can make it painless. You just need 1. To have a plan and 2. to delegate - just a little.

Here's what you do:

Christmas Eve: No matter what your holiday traditions are, some things are constant.

The house will be a mess. You have to eat. You want to wear nice (preferably clean) clothes. You want a fire in the fireplace and music.

Assign tasks before the Big Day arrives and let them do a little preparation.

Cooking: Well, that's you. And maybe your mom if she's visiting. Try to work ahead as much as possible. Make your menu, your grocery list, and shop today! Early if possible.

Cook everything you can ahead of time. Make a plan for what goes into the oven when. You may have to borrow the oven of a vacationing neighbor. If that's a possibility, work it out with her now. 

Cleaning: No sense in doing too much too soon. Especially if you're a messy cook like me or if you have kids.

On Wednesday a.m., bright and early, do your last-minute cleaning. Each kid is in charge of his/her own room. Hubbie is in charge of baths and your room. 

You'd better do the living areas. They will never do it to suit you. 

Laundry: Figure out today what clothes everyone is wearing. Rush special dresses to the cleaners. Make sure everything else is spot-free. Put hubby on shoe detail.

Trash: Put a kid in charge. Tell him he must make sweeps twice a day, or he'll turn into a lump of coal. And on Christmas morning, that kid is in charge of stationing trash bags in strategic areas where the unwrapping will commence. 

And he's also in charge of hauling gift boxes out, and other trash out after the festivities are over.

Trees and holiday plants: If you have a tween or teen, put her in charge of keeping the treeChristmas plants, and decorative greenery watered.

Fire: Hubby. He also gets Christmas music and candle detail.

Table setting: Appoint the kids if they're old enough. Make sure the holiday linens are clean and ironed, and the silver is polished.

Dishes: Try to involve the whole family. One kid can gather up dirty linens. Another can scrape plates and bring dishes to the sink.

Another can cart out the trash. (We're probably running out of kids here.) Hubby can repackage leftovers and put them in the fridge. And you, my dear, have dish detail.

But after the dishes, if you've delegated holiday house cleaning properly, you can retire to the family room, put your feet up and enjoy the roaring fire your loving has stoked.

You might like these:

  • An Organized New Year: 7 Resolutions

    A new year offers a fresh chance to better our home and our lives. We've survived the holiday whirlwind; now it's time to plan for an organized new year.

  • How To Organize Holiday Life

    How to organize holiday life so that you and your family can enjoy the season without being crazy busy. Get out your calendar and a pen and paper.

  • Holiday Organizing Ideas for Kids Bedrooms

    These holiday organizing ideas for kids' bedrooms do two great things: they get rid of fallen-from-favor toys and free up space for incoming gifts from Santa.

  • Holiday Kitchen Survival Guide

    Give yourself an early present and reorganize your kitchen so that it's functional for the holidays. These holiday kitchen organizing tips can help.

  • Preparing for Holiday Entertaining

    Preparing for holiday entertaining is as simple as fine-tuning a few little pesky details now so that entertaining will be a piece of cake.

  • Living Christmas Tree Tips

    A living Christmas tree is a great way to lessen the number of trees cut each season, and it provides a lovely evergreen you can plant come January.

  • Tips for Hosting Overnight Guests

    We all love hosting overnight guests, but the holidays can be a tricky time to have them underfoot. Follow these tips to ensure a good time is had by all.

  • Homemade Ornament Ideas

    You'll need a package or two of clear glass Christmas ornaments and several bottles of acrylic paint for these homemade ornament ideas.

  • Holiday Speed Cleaning

    'Tis the season when housekeeping is even more of a challenge. These holiday speed cleaning tips can help you have a company-ready home - stat!

  1. Clean Home
  2. Coming Clean
  3. Holiday House Cleaning With Kids


Have your say about what you just read!