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Do friends and family flock to your home during holidays? Get it ready in good time.
Overhaul for the Holidays
Do friends and family flock to your home during holidays? Get it ready in good time.

It seems like yesterday that you had months to prepare for your holidays. But day-to-day life likely got in the way. Now the clock is ticking and the multitude of tasks—cleaning, de-cluttering and possibly decorating the house (not to mention shopping for extra groceries and presents)—may seem daunting. The key is to not get overwhelmed: don’t look for ultimate solutions, just interim ones to bolster the tidy factor. To that end, Rubbermaid can help get your entire home clean and ready in time.

Everyone wants their home to sparkle its brightest for the holidays. Instead of trying to tackle the job all at once, it’s best to do it in stages and by room. Start with the light-traffic areas like the guest room, leaving the heavy-traffic and entertaining areas until closer to the holiday, so they’re still in tip-top shape. Wherever you need to clean hard floors (whether it is hardwood, tile, vinyl or laminate), use the Reveal Spray Mop for a quick, easy clean (you’ll need to save your energy). With the Reveal Microfiber Wet Mopping Pad you'll pick up 50% more dirt and dust than the leading spray mop. And best of all: you can use any cleaner you want.

Common rooms
It helps if your cleaning project takes place in a relatively clutter-reduced setting. A few weeks before your doorbell starts chiming non-stop, label some Rubbermaid containers and fill them as you sort through your home for clothing, toys and other goods that you no longer need or don’t need right now. (It’s the perfect time of year to contribute since it’s typically when charities need donations most.) If you have young ones—the real clutter culprits who can turn a tidy room upside-down in mere minutes—get them involved too in helping keep messes at bay. Pre-holiday playtime for the kids should always include a cleanup component—making a game out of putting away their toys is one popular solution.

Kitchen catch-all
The kitchen usually bears the brunt of your household clutter, which can be awkward since guests (especially at parties) tend to gravitate there. Now’s not the time to reorganize your cupboards and drawers, but all visible areas—shelving, tables, counters, pass-bars, etc.—should be kept free of letters, bills, newspapers and other daily detritus. A small Rubbermaid clear container can be used to keep all your loose paperwork out of the way until after the holidays when they truly need to get sorted.

Preparing for the holidays typically means lots of cooking and baking, which require supplies such as flour and sugar. Buying bulk and keeping these necessities stored in airtight Rubbermaid Premier or Easy Find Lids containers helps avoid those panicked runs to the grocery store. You can also get a jump on meals by preparing any make-ahead dishes in advance. You’ll have more of a chance to socialize when guests do arrive. And if they’re made to feel at home (as they should) your guests will be encouraged to help themselves to food and drinks. Thus, cleaning out the fridge, freezer and pantry beforehand is also a necessity.

Welcome in
A week or so before guests arrive is a good time to tackle cleaning those high traffic areas: main floor washroom, kitchen, living and dining room and hallways. If there will be very young children visiting, make sure the recreation room and basement are in good shape, too. Your guests will feel the warmest welcome when they know there’s room for them. So, just prior to their arrival get some large Rubbermaid containers and label them for coats and footwear. Create more space in the main hall closet for your guests’ outerwear by loading the containers with the gear that’s currently clogging up your main entrance. Stow the containers in the basement, garage or attic until they can be sorted after the holiday. Like the gathering of toys, clothing and other items you’ve already amassed elsewhere, it could kick-off a rather effective New Year’s purge. And, for now, you’ll be happy to open your door to the holidays.