Don those aprons ladies, there’s dirty work to be done!
Yep, it’s time for the annual pre-Christmas clean up.
Preparing your house for Christmas is one of the best ways that you can prepare your family for the holiday season and ensure that everyone in your household gets a great big ol’ dose of holiday cheer. Over the next 10 days we are going to be cleaning, de-cluttering, preparing and decorating in readiness for December.
Beautiful decorations and twinkling lights will show to best advantage if everything is scrubbed and sparkling. Once the house is decorated for the holidays it is too hard to access some areas to clean (well that’s my excuse – you can use it if you like). So this is just like a Spring clean except it’s the pre-Christmas clean up. If you are moving furniture around to accommodate Christmas trees and the like, it’s probably a good time to actually move the furniture and sofas to clean underneath.
De-clutter - Take some time over the next 10 days to clear out any old toys to make room for the new ones. Now is the time to also tame the clutter in living areas and in the kitchen. You will need lots of cleared space for preparing food and entertaining, so get all the stuff put away. The cooking and baking will be much more enjoyable when you have lots of room to work and don’t have to stop to constantly shuffle stuff around.
The same goes for entryways where things just seem to accumulate, especially in busy households with children in and out.
Bathrooms - A good cleaning is due here as well. If you are having extra company over the Christmas period, be sure you have enough hand towels and towels for overnight guests.
Kitchen - Often, Christmas is the only time we use certain items, such as large cooking utensils, good tableware and such. Be sure you have enough for everyone you anticipate. Extra glasses come in handy this time of year as well. Give everything a quick wash, dry, and stack out of the way.
Clean out the refrigerator. At Christmas time the fridge gets a real work out and you need all the space you can get. Discard bowls of leftovers, out of date items, and anything else that will make space for holiday foods. Is this not the one time of year when you truly appreciate an extra fridge in the garage!!
Give your oven a thorough clean in preparation for serving up a Christmas feast and defrost the freezer to make space for the Christmas food.
Stock up on baking ingredients, especially flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Don’t forget to check your spice rack. Get out recipes you intend to use, and make a list of needed ingredients.
Next, take a walk around your home and decide what rooms should be decorated. Some people like to add holiday touches to each room. Others prefer to keep things simple and confine the decoration to just a few rooms.
Bring your decorations out of storage a few days before they are needed and take the time to check the lights all work & there are no broken decorations. You can also give the decorations a light clean to make them sparkle on the tree.
Artificial trees and wreaths
Many people these days choose an artificial tree for the focus of their holiday décor. It makes sense financially, and it's better for the environment. However, after 11 months of sitting in storage, the tree may have accumulated an unappealing amount of dust, dirt and debris. To avoid introducing unhealthy allergens into your home, kick off the holiday festivities with a new tradition ~ the annual cleaning of the tree.
1. Before you begin cleaning, put the tree up and fluff the branches. Then if cleaning indoors, wrap an old bed sheet around the bottom of the tree to contain any dirt and debris that may come loose as a result of the cleaning process. For those of us in Australia/NZ in summer conditions, you can do as I do and do the de-dusting outside.
Here’s a tip: hubby will tell you he can carry the tree fully assembled inside for you when finished….. I’m here to tell you that ‘NO he can’t’. Or at least, not without scratching the plaster, knocking over ornaments and leaving a path of destruction through the house!
Once you've put the sheet in place and you're sure the tree is secure, place a stepladder near the base.
Change the nozzle on your vacuum cleaner, replacing the standard attachment with the upholstery brush. Holding the brush approximately 2 – 5 cm away from the tree's needles, vacuum the tree. Begin at the top, working your way around the uppermost section and then move down to next set of branches. When you have vacuumed the branches, turn your attention to the trunk and base. Once you have cleaned the trunk, turn off the vacuum and carefully remove the sheet from beneath the tree. Take the sheet outside and shake it vigorously to remove any clinging debris and then launder as usual.
2. Place 1 tbsp. of shampoo in the bottom of a 9 litre bucket and fill it with warm water. Moisten a lint-free cloth, such as an old T-shirt and wring out any excess liquid. (Please do not use a towel – trust me, it gets caught on the wire branches). Apply the damp cloth to the tree branches, gently washing away any dirt or dust. Start at the top of the tree and work in a circular motion, moving progressively lower until you have reached the bottom branches.
Wreaths and greenery garlands can be cleaned in the same way.
Tip: If you have asthma, are sick or have a breathing problem you may want to consider a dust mask for when you clean the tree.
Now your house is fresh, clean and ready to decorate next week.
Here’s a fun question for today: Where do you hide your presents?
It’s something we all do, but rarely talk about. Over the years I’ve tried various tactics to stay ahead of those prying eyes. For many years I had the perfect hiding place right out in the open that never got discovered. My husband travelled regularly for work so we always stored several suitcases, stacked inside each other, in our walk-in wardrobe. Come Christmas, we’d take the extra suitcases out and hide in the roof cavity and then fill the largest case with pressies and lock the suit case. Anyone snooping would expect the suitcase was weighted down with the other cases. Even if someone got too inquisitive, that case was locked!!
Now that I have teenagers I have an even better system... but I can’t tell you that secret!!! [giggle].
On Wednesday 10th November, Clare from Clare’s Craftroom guest posted here at Simply Christmas’ and shared with us the tutorial for this gorgeous Christmas Bucket. Clare very generously gifted this bucket to one of the commenter's who answered the mystery question which Clare left on her blog. The winner, drawn by Random Number Generator is…
Brianna from Rolling in Fabric
My Friday Giveaway is this set of four handmade vintage gift tags.
Each Friday I draw from my list of followers someone to receive a small handmade Christmas gift, today’s winner is…
Pootle Flumps blog - UK
Congratulations to our winners this week.
Happy cleaning everyone,
Hugs ~ Kerryanne