Sparkle & Smile

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Healthy Home

Planning for the Holidays: Quick Tips

November 18, 2014


The holidays are approaching and family and friends are on the move. With three kids and a family who often gathers at my house during the holidays, I know all too well how stressful this time can be for busy moms.

Advance organization, cleaning, and planning can go a long way. When work and daily family commitments don’t leave a lot of extra time, a little preparation will help ensure you enjoy what matters most during this time of the year.

To help, below are seven quick housecleaning tips to kick-start your holiday visitor prep.

Organize and Offer Comfort

  1. De-Clutter

Is your hall closet overflowing with coats from every season? Leave the ones you use every day and move the rest to bedroom closets or other free spaces. Provide extra hangers so guest coats have a place to live. Remove photo frames and knick-knacks that could be easily broken or will be in the way of holiday decorations. As for that pile of magazines, if you haven’t read them in the last month to the recycling bin they go.

  1. Provide Space and Essentials

Make sure there is room in spare room closets or drawers for guests to put their clothes. Does your home office double as your guest room? Pick up a few file boxes to store important papers so they are out of the way. Put together a basket of essentials like a new toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and soap so guests are comfortable and have everything they need.

Clean Highly Visible, But Often Overlooked, Areas

  1. Tabletop Moisture Rings

Someone forget to use a coaster? Rings from a wet glass can be removed using white vinegar, olive oil, and a microfiber cloth. Mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil. Apply with a microfiber cloth moving with the wood grain. Use a second, clean microfiber cloth to shine it up after.

  1. Furniture Shine

This all natural furniture polish works like a charm! Mix 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice into a thin paste. With a microfiber cloth, dab into the paste and rub it into the furniture applying a thin layer. Flip the microfiber cloth over, and polish.

  1. Bathroom Caulk

Clean soap scum build up on bathroom caulk by sprinkling or wiping baking soda on the caulk. Then, fill a clean plastic spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Spray the vinegar over the baking soda. This will create a fizzy reaction that will help remove dirt. Scrub the vinegar and baking soda into the caulking. Rinse the mixture clean with hot water.

Meal Preparation and Kitchen Basics

  1. Food Plan

Having a plan and schedule for meals prevents a whole lot of chaos. Any food restrictions, allergies, or special diet requests to consider for holiday meals and daily snacks? Create a shopping list well in advance to make sure everyone is taken care of. And let’s not forget that it saves you multiple trips to the store!

  1. Cutting Boards and Countertops

While cooking, disinfect cutting boards using all-natural kitchen cleaners like lemon juice. Use only non-porous chopping blocks and cutting boards for food preparation as wood grain can harbor bacteria. Apply disinfectants to countertops and other kitchen surfaces throughout the cooking process. Remember to allow the solution to sit for several minutes before wiping for maximum kill benefit.

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