Preparing your home for the festive season with a Christmas clean

Everybody knows about the good old Spring Clean. From old to young, we’ve all heard about (and probably experienced) that time of the new year when you’re ready to chuck out the clutter and refresh the house. It’s invigorating and enjoyable, and most of us look forward to it.

But there’s a far more important and stressful cleaning tradition that householders don’t like to talk about…

The Christmas Clean

Yes, this exists! But it’s a tradition that’s usually kept quiet because it’s not a time for celebration.

Undertaken at the busiest time of the year, there’s always a ton of shopping to be done, the kids have school plays and parents’ evenings, and your boss is throwing things at you while screaming that everything needs to be finished before you take time off.

And even if you don’t have any of that other stuff to worry about, there is always the looming deadline of the day itself to work towards, plus the threat of a knock at the door from visiting family (who may or may not be expected), PLUS the days are shorter, the nights are drawing in, and it’s usually cold and wet and miserable.

So, what can you do to make this annual clean less of a chore and still end up with a home that’s a winter wonderland?

Divide and conquer

Part of the problem of the Christmas Clean is that is often leads to us being caught like a rabbit in the headlights when faced with balancing the notion of ‘whole house needs cleaning for parties/visitors’ vs ‘when the heck do I have time for any of that?’.

If that’s you, you’re not alone. But there are ways to deal with this other than to hire a cleaner to get the job done hassle-free (although HEY THERE *waves* we can certainly help if you want!).

The best way to deal with this (as with any big, scary job) is to break it down into manageable chunks. By dividing your cleaning tasks up by rooms, you’ll be able to conquer the entire job more easily—and it’s also the perfect way to help spread it over a few days if you need to, rather than trying to do everything in a single day.

Then prioritise each room

We wrote a little piece earlier this year about how to clean your house to get it ready for selling and the same checklist applies for the Christmas Clean. Both examples involve making your home look its best for potential visitors and if you tick the boxes in each room then everyone will be happy with the results. (We’d also like to stress that sticking on a soundtrack full of festive songs, while keeping a glass of mulled wine handy, is a brilliant way of making the whole process even more fun!)

However, the beauty of the Christmas Clean is that it can also be prioritised. If you’re definitely not having guests, then the spare room (which usually ends up being the box room for most people) can be a catch-all for everything you don’t need to be on show. The spare bathroom might not need quite the overhaul that having visitors would require. And you might not have to rethink clearing out furniture from the dining area in order to extend the table.

Take five minutes to have a think about what’s needed, what decorations you’d like up (which again might require some moving of furniture), and the likelihood of visitors dropping in on you, and then plan from there.

Preparing storage for all that recycling

One tip that’s specific to this time of year, although it might not figure high on your current list of priorities, is to carve out some space in the attic, under the stairs, or even a section of the shed. Trust us: this will be a life-saver for future-you.

Why? Because with all those boxes and gift-wrap to recycle—and all that extra food being consumed—your bins are going to fill up pretty fast. Which means you either need to accept you’ll be spending the holiday with towers of paper, cardboard and food cartons around you, or you can prepare ahead of time in order to bag them and store them out of sight until the next bin collection day.

This is even more essential if you’re having visitors to stay, as it’ll keep the main living areas tidy no matter how chaotic (and hopefully fun) your Christmas turns out to be!


Can’t even think about the dreaded Christmas Clean?


Maria Millgate