Cleaning in a Time Crunch

Cleaning in a Time Crunch

Between all the shopping, wrapping, baking and merry making, you probably won't have much time to do any major holiday cleaning. Here are some fast ways to get your house in shape before a party or before guests arrive.


  • Shake out doormat.
  • Sweep outside walkway.
  • Check that light bulbs work.


  • Vacuum common, high traffic areas.
  • Dust anything at eye level and below.
  • Mop the floors in central rooms.


  • Swish the toilet bowl with cleaner.
  • Clean the mirror.
  • Wipe down the sink.


  • Empty one shelf in your cabinets to use for essentials like sugar and extra coffee mugs.
  • Make extra space by removing what you can from the countertops.
  • Toss expired food from the fridge then wipe down the interior walls and shelves.
  • Organize at least one shelf in the pantry where you can stash important items you'll need.
  • Clean your microwave by placing a cup of water and a tablespoon of lemon juice in a microwave safe bowl on high for one minute then wipe out loosened food splatters.
  • Clean the stovetop and sink.
  • Take out the garbage and empty the recycling bin.


  • Launder bedding and have extra pillows ready.
  • Clean under the bed. Vacuum under the cushions of the pull-out sofa.
  • Place current magazines or books on a bedside table with a reading lamp.
  • Have clean bath towels ready and leave out some unused, sample-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion.
  • Ensure you have breakfast ingredients on hand along with coffee, milk and clean mugs.
  • Pull a few items out of the closets to make room for your guests' clothing.
  • Fill a small bedside cooler with a few cold drinks.

About the Author: The holidays are organizing guru Jamie Novak's favorite and busiest time of year. That's why she depends on her Momtourage to get her through. Jamie promises that when she finds a sure way to get all holiday cards in the mail before the New Year she'll let us all know!
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