It is almost time for our December holidays, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. They are right at your doorstep waiting to take place with a lot of fun activities. If you are hosting this year’s party, cleaning time should not eat up all your time for preparations. Have your home party-ready with this Easy 7-Day Cleaning plan.

Day 1: Develop a strategy.

The first-day task of holiday cleaning is the evaluation. See what needs to be done and decide when to do it.  Devise a strategy for efficiently accomplishing all chores.

Here are three easy tricks to help you recognize essential cleaning tasks and develop an attainable strategy to accomplish them. With our help,  you will save time as you clean.

1.     Pretend you’re a guest.

During our daily routines, we often overlook clutter and dusty corners. Walk through your house with a visitor’s eye and identify those things that you might not notice but a visitor will.

Stand at the curb and gaze at your front door. Make a note of dirt on the steps, debris on the sidewalk and anything that can block a guest’s entry.

Look at your front door. List anything that needs to be tidied up or repaired – smudged glass in the door, spiderwebs in the corners, filthy door knobs, a broken doorbell, lights that may not be working.

Move on to the entryway. Note anything that guests could see as dirty or unorganized, such as backpacks, mail, and toys.

Proceed to the living area. Jot down anything that can be a distraction like fingerprints on the glass, dead plant leaves, clutter on tables.  While you’re in your central party space, take down anything you’d like to put away for safekeeping like valuable heirlooms or breakable figurines.

Make your way to the kitchen. List areas that are needing particular attention, such as the pantry and fridge. Since you are making a checklist of tasks you need to complete before the party, add cleaning out the refrigerator and countertops, allow space for any dishes that your guests may bring.

Check the bathrooms. Note any clutter or personal items that need to be removed.  Then check your supplies, noting things to replenish such as toilet paper, hand soap, and kleenex.  Do you have band-aids in the medicine cabinet?  Remove any personal prescriptions and store them in another area, for safety, until after the holiday season.

Look at your bedrooms. Is one ready for your guests to deposit their outerwear and purses or bags?  Are the guest rooms ready for overnight guests?  Do those beds have clean linens?

2.     Merge your list.

After the walk-through, arrange the list into achievable tasks by room. Then, to save time number like chores such as  vacuuming so it is done just once or twice for the whole house.  That way you know when you have your vacuum out, which rooms to go to.  Also, since the tasks are organized by by room, you can check off each room when it is completely cleaned.

3.    Assign tasks.

Let your family members help tidy up for the party. If you have young children, first pick the tasks they can do and assign those chores to them. That will free up the adults to do the more difficult chores and repairs.  Then when all the work is divided, the cleanup effort will be easier and it will get done much faster.

Day 2: Brighten up Entryways and Windows.

On the second day, it’s time to get down to the dirty work! If you follow these steps, you will be astonished at much easier it is to clean up for the holidays.

Day two starts by giving your home a brighter look:

Wash your windows in the party rooms. Clean Windows are prettier, even at night.

Clean the glass on the front door.

Get rid of dust and cobwebs, remember to work from the ceiling down to the floor so that nothing you do not have to dust twice.

Give your entryway a fresh, welcoming vibe and sweep your front porch, walkway, and steps.

Toss shower and window curtains into the laundry. Fresh and clean, they will enhance those sparkling windows.

Day 3: Clean the Bathrooms

Impress your guests with a spotless bathroom!. If you take care of the work early, it will need only need to be refreshed on the day of the party.

Scrub the toilets.

Empty the wastebasket.

Clear clutter off the counter, remove anything that should not be there and put them where they are out of sight.

Check your medicine cabinet and make sure you are stocked up with band-aids, and any over the counter meds that your guests may need.  Clean it if it is dirty.

Replenish your supplies.  Refill the hand soap dispenser.  Put an extra roll of toilet paper in the bathroom or under the vanity if you have one.  Replace the hand towels with holiday-themed guest towels.

Day 4: Clear Guest Areas

On the fourth day, make sure that guests have enough room to mingle during the party.

List down all fragile or irreplaceable items. To keep those things safe, either put them on high shelves or tuck them away until after the holidays.

Clear clutter from the living room and add season decor.  Replace the throws and pillows if you need to.

Make room for guests’ outerwear in the coat closet or in a bedroom.

Day 5: Do the kitchen.

Because the kitchen will get be used for all food preparation, storage, and disposal, it needs to be kept very clean..

Clean out the fridge. Throw out expired food and leftovers that outlived their edibility. Make room for any party dishes.

Wipe down the refrigerator afterward, along with other appliances.

Use appropriate household cleaners to wipe cabinets, drawers, handles and the kitchen counter.

Clean the stove and oven.  If it is a gas or electric stove, clean the drip pans.  For gas ranges also remove the grates and clean them, too.

Day 6: Polish the Party Spaces

As the day of the party approaches, you should turn your attention to polishing the rooms where your guests will be spending their time.

Remove any cobwebs.

Dust the ceiling fans and any lampshades that need it.

Replace any burned out bulbs

Wash the chandeliers.

Dust bookshelves, framed photos, and art, and other decorations.

Sweep the entryway.

Select a spot for boots and shoes, using either a rug or plastic mat for them.

Day 7: Do finishing touches on the day before the party day.

Today’s the day! There’s always a few things needed to be finished before guests arrive. Have your family helping out with these easy tasks.

Clean bathroom mirrors.

Apply a toilet bowl cleaner and give it a quick brushing.

Use household cleaners and paper towels to give surfaces a quick shine.

Hang fresh towels in the bathroom if you haven’t already done that

Vacuum carpets and dust mop hard-surface floors.

Empty out trash from containers all throughout the house.

Set up your party area.

Finish food preparation.

You don’t need to do everything alone. If having your family help out isn’t plausible, bring in a professional cleaning service to give you a hand!  Just use this guide to help you prepare your home for the ultimate party or Holiday meal with a house that sparkles!