I don’t know about you, but I do my best to keep my apartment clean. I vacuum, make sure to put away all my dishes, pick up after myself, and dust (OK, this doesn’t happen as much as it should). Heck, I even get on my hands and knees and scrub my floors from time to time.
But, every year without fail, my cleaning habits go out the window during the holidays. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve also let myself go during the month of December (AKA I eat and drink everything that’s put in front of me), but my home becomes a pigsty. And, if I can’t keep my home in check — as someone who doesn’t have children — I can only imagine what the holidays are like for big families.
With kids home from school, family coming in from out of town, and snacks appearing left and right, it only makes sense that homes get a little messy during this time of year. But, if you’re like me and are wanting to keep things spick and span through the holidays, here are some simple tips to follow.
Instead of letting dishes pile up in the sink (hey, we’re all guilty of this), do them right away. Whether you live by yourself or you have a house full of people, make sure the dishes are either being washed or are being put in the dishwasher ASAP. This will prevent your kitchen from looking messy and it will also guarantee you have enough clean dishes to accommodate your household.
It doesn’t matter if you live by yourself, with roommates, a significant other, parents, or children, a chore calendar is a must. Give every person a set amount of chores for the week and write down the days they need to be completed. This will keep everyone in your home accountable and prevent all the work from falling on just one person’s shoulders.
It’s also a good idea to schedule set times for cleaning throughout the week. For example, write in your calendar that you’re going to spend 15 minutes every day cleaning up the house. 15 minutes may not seem like a ton of time, but it will make the world of a difference when the week is over.
If you are planning on having a lot of people under your roof for the holidays, declutter your home beforehand. Get rid of all that extra mail that’s accumulated on your kitchen counter, throw out unnecessary items, and organize each individual room.
Having a clean slate will calm you down and also motivate you to keep the house looking that way throughout December.
Things can go a little haywire during the holiday season, but try to keep your mess contained (if possible). For example, try to only eat in one or two rooms in the house, rather than throughout the home.
Let the kids have a designated space in the house (whether that’s the basement, a playroom, or a bedroom), where they’re allowed to throw their toys all over the place and be a little messy. By containing the areas where disorganization or a mess may occur, it will make it that much easier to clean and organize.