We’re well into the swing of the holiday season, and many of us are looking forward to safely gathering with family and friends to celebrate the season. Getting ready to welcome guests for holiday dinners or extended visits can seem like an intimidating chore.
Whether you’re hosting a large event or a more intimate gathering, there is no substitute for planning ahead. There will inevitably be some tasks like cooking, laying out fresh towels in guest bathrooms, and cleaning up as you cook, that will need to wait until the day of the event, but most of the hard work can happen ahead of time, leaving your precious last few hours for the most important tasks.
Using the top-to-bottom method for cleaning makes the process easier. Start by dusting and spot-cleaning ceilings, crown moldings, and ceiling fans, and work your way downward, wiping walls and dusting and brushing or vacuuming furniture. Working from the ceiling downward ensures that any dust that is displaced into the air falls onto lower surfaces before you dust, sweep, or vacuum these areas, ensuring that all your hard work mopping the floors isn’t undone by dust from other surfaces.
Almost every room can be cleaned at least a few days ahead of time, ensuring you can focus your party-day attention on the most important tasks. For example, I find that cleaning the kitchen first makes party planning easier, as I’m able to store food and supplies in a clean, sanitized environment, and I don’t need to worry about trying to empty or clean the refrigerator around items that I’ve already stocked for the party.
Cleaning ahead ensures that the cleaning tasks that are left to be done on the day of your event are minimal. Floors that have been mopped can be swept and bathrooms that have been deep-cleaned can get a quick spot cleaning.
In addition, getting an early start can help you tackle challenges early. If you take your extra seating out of storage only to find out it’s been damaged, you’ll have the opportunity to make other arrangements before you’re worrying about guests arriving.
Decide What Needs To Be Done And What Can Be Skipped
One of the most frequently overlooked areas of party planning is how your space will be used. In truth, many of us spend a lot of time cleaning areas that won’t be used or could easily just be closed off to guests. Thinking about what the “flow” of your event will be — where your guests will be likely to gather, what will interest them, and what you’d like to keep them away from — are all key aspects of planning a successful event.
For example, if you’re planning an intimate dinner party, it’s unlikely that your guests will venture far away from the dining room, living area, and kitchen, so focusing your attention on making sure those areas are welcoming and comfortable will serve you better than deep cleaning the areas your guests will be unlikely to use. This will also give you an opportunity to move furniture that might impede guest movement, and to make sure you’re using your space to its best advantage. Taking care when planning out the flow of your event will also make sure you’ve thought through every aspect of your guests’ experience, ensuring that your guests aren’t ever left thinking about what to do or where to go next.
Make A List And Layer Your Tasks
As you’re getting ready to play host, there are invariably too many things to do and too little time. This is where task layering can be a big help. Make a list of everything you need to do, and spend some thought on how to attend to each item in the most efficient way possible. For example, load dishes into the dishwasher before you scrub the countertops and floors. The dishes will be out of your way, and you’ll be able to focus your whole attention on the task at hand. Similarly, you can spray bathroom surfaces and let the cleanser do the work while you attend to a task in another room. By the time you return, you’ll need much less elbow grease to get the bathroom sparkling.
To successfully get through everything you’ll need to do without getting distracted, you’re going to need a list. How you set up your list is up to you — you can create a handwritten list, a set of bullet points in your phone’s notes app, or use a purpose-built app for list building like Todoist or Things. Whatever form your list takes, the more detailed you make it, the better. In addition to the satisfaction of crossing off items as you accomplish them, adding in detail helps you focus on one thing at a time and maximizes your productivity. Making your list when you’re able to be calm and focused ensures that nothing gets inadvertently left out, and using your list makes sure that you’re able to focus on the task at hand without worrying that you’ll have to do something else.
Consider Hiring A Professional!
Above all, hosting a holiday party is supposed to be fun! Hiring a professional cleaning service to ensure your home is in tip-top shape for your party is a great way to ensure that you’re able to focus on the parts of your holiday gathering that are most fun for you, including spending time with friends and loved ones. And, hiring a pro to tackle the post-party cleanup can be a great way to give yourself a break and know that you don’t need to worry about deep cleaning your home again after the guests leave.
Need Some Help Getting Ready For The Holidays?
Looking for help deep cleaning your Chicago home? In need of routine housekeeping, a deep clean, or service before or after a special event? Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service is here to help!
Let Sweeping Dimensions clean your Chicago-area home from top to bottom!
With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products.
We’re so confident that you’ll love our service that we offer the Sweeping Dimensions guarantee! If our cleaning services should ever fail to meet your expectations, you can call us within 24 hours of your cleaning and we will send out a supervised crew to correct anything that needs attention.
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