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holiday house cleaning tips

7 Super Legit Holiday House Cleaning Tips

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The most wonderful (and stressful) time of the year is upon us but this year, let’s stay a step ahead of the craziness with seven powerful holiday cleaning tips that actually work! 

From the moment you greet your guests at the door to the time they leave, not only will they feel comfortable and cozy in your clean house, even you’ll be impressed by how you got it going on this holiday season! 


Have you ever cleaned or decorated your house only to be disappointed by the fact that for some reason it still looks dirty?  Unkept? Disorganized?  Not magical whatsoever?  You’re not alone and the culprit sabotaging your house cleaning efforts is right in front of your face:  clutter. 


  • Getting rid of as much clutter as possible is key to having a house that sparkles with cleanliness and I really got my life together magic year-round!  Grab a trash bag, pick a room & get to work. Just 15 minutes a day per room will make a huge difference!
  • Decluttering before and during the holidays helps to ensure you have space for all the stuff you’ll receive as gifts in addition to your own impulse shopping!  (We all splurge friend!)
  • Start in the main areas of your home, with items that are out in the open and then work your way into drawers, cabinets and then other areas of the house.  

PRO TIP:  A good rule of thumb to follow when decluttering your house is, out with the old and in with the new!  Anything that no longer serves a purpose, is broken or no longer brings you happiness needs to be tossed out!  Focus on the main areas of the home first and then work your way to bedrooms. 

If you want to learn the secrets to cleaning your entire house fast, you should check out my post: how to clean your entire house in 2 hours! It’s a game changer!


From receiving gifts & holiday shopping (or impulse buying – guilty as charged), we often end up with way more stuff than we need or even have room for over the holidays.   

That stuff typically ends up all over the house and eventually, you look around wondering “where in the world did all this crap come from?!  And where am I going to put it all???” 

Stay ready for last-minute guests as well as keep your house nice & tidy by keeping all of your random purchases in one designated location.


  • Choose one safe place in the house where all of your new purchases that need to be gifted away, put away or returned to the store can wait.  If you have small children, make sure it’s safe from their curious fingers!
  • Some places that make good landing zones include closets and partially or unused rooms in the house.  Unused formal dining areas are a fantastic landing zone option.    
  • In addition to having a drop zone for purchases, go ahead & create a nicely appointed spot for your keys, purse, mail and all the other random things you like to throw down as soon as you walk into the house.  This is a gamechanger that everyone needs year-round. 


You already know regularly cleaning over the holidays is a must but if you are short on time (and have guests coming over with literally no warno), the one thing you can do to make the biggest impact on your house is clean your floors! 

Why is that?  Because believe it or not, nothing screams clean like freshly vacuumed carpets and immaculate floors!  It really livens up the whole house, like seriously. 


  • There’s a lot of bad information about mopping hardwood floors so just know that most homes have finished hardwood floors which means it is perfectly safe to mop your floors. 
  • Wring the mop out well because too much water will lead to streaks.  Instead, plan to mop the floor twice with a damp mop to ensure it gets a good cleaning.
  • Skip the “polish” at all costs!  They don’t typically mix well with most cleaners and become huge headaches down the road.  If you want your floors to be shiny, buy shiny floors or have them professionally finished. 

PRO TIP:  Corners, corners, corners!  Do not forget to clean out the corners of your floors.  Your eyes are naturally drawn to corners due to the intersecting of the lines which means, dirty corners are eye sores!  And we can’t have that!


If you skipped taking a shower for a week and wore the same clothes every day, do you really think spraying a little perfume on will keep everyone from smelling how musty you are?  Of course not! 

If you think you’re fooling anyone into thinking your house is clean by spritzing a delectable scent into the air, well – you’re not. 


  • Ditch the dry towels and dusting spray.  A damp towel and your favorite all-purpose cleaner are all you need to clean furniture!   Just be sure to buff the surface with a dry towel after cleaning. 
  • Wipe off your upholstered furniture on a weekly basis to keep odors from settling and to stay on top of stains.  Just mix water and your favorite detergent or cleaning agent, dip a towel into the mixture, wring it out and get to wiping!  
  • Do not forget to wipe doors and ceiling fans with your favorite all-purpose cleaner.  You’ll be surprised at the scentsational difference it’ll make throughout the house. 

 PRO TIP:  To make your house smell good, the first and most effective way is to simply clean it!  But you gotta do it right!  Wiping all of the surfaces in your house with a wet towel and all-purpose cleaner will ensure everything is actually clean, deodorized and holiday party ready!

You may want to check out my very popular Daily, Weekly & Monthly Cleaning Schedule With A Simple Morning Routine (built into the schedule).


With the holidays comes lots of delectable foods which also means lots of long, awkward trips to the bathroom to deal with indigestion and bubble guts.  Yikes! Having to do the #2 at someone’s house can be embarrassing but you can make your guest feel at home by spending a little extra time in the bathroom.  


  • Poopouri!  It’s basically potpourri in a small spray bottle that hides the stink.  Put a bottle in your bathroom by the toilet and your guests will forever sing your praises! 
  • Toilet bombs are a fun, entertaining way to clean the toilet.  Just put some in a bowl by the toilet and your guests can drop these bombs if they have evidence that needs to be cleared away. *wink * wink
  • A toilet bowl brush and cleaner may be just what someone needs to handle embarrassing streaks.  Just make sure that they can be easily found in the bathroom. 
  • Make sure there is a trash can in the bathroom.  And be sure that there is a liner in the trash can so there aren’t yucky messes to clean up later.
  • Keep paper towel & an all-purpose cleaner or cleaning wipes under the sink.  Again, people are often eager to clean up after themselves so help them help you!   

PRO TIP: If you do this right, you will also spare yourself from having to clean unsightly messes in the bathroom after everyone leaves.  And that’s why this tip is genius!


Fly-away glitter, broken snowflakes, and renegade pine needles can have your floors and surfaces looking a bit messy.  But never fear, a few simple tips will make it easy to keep things fresh and clean while ensuring your holiday vibe stays on full blast.


  • For tight spots and surfaces with messy decorations, use a lint roller to quickly remove small flecks of randomness that may be taking away from your vibe. 
  • For low hanging decorations that are on the floor, take your time and lift them up to safety so that you don’t accidentally suck your decorations up when vacuuming!
  • Be proactive by actively caring for your live décor.  This includes watering, dusting and checking them for problem areas.   

PRO TIP:  Don’t let decorations stop you from cleaning!  Just go around them.  A dirty house with a lot of decorations simply looks like a holiday mess!

READ | How To Have A Clean House For Life.  It’s a huge list of simple ideas & habits you can start using literally today to help you have a house that virtually stays clean forever!


Nothing spells holiday disaster like a stinky house so if you’re short on time and you know your house does not smell good, here are a few awesome hacks to make your house smell magical!

I’m always going to say that if your house stinks, the first course of business is to clean it!  But of course, if you’ve cleaned and it still stinks, it’s also a good time to put on your investigator hat! 


  • There is absolutely something magical (and powerful) about the smell of coffee and it is an excellent odor eliminator, even if it is just temporary.  Brew some!
  • Candles or melted wax has a way of gently warming the air with lite, yet cozy aromas.  What I love about candles is that they also create an inviting ambiance and really set the mood.
  • If it’s a urine smell you can’t get rid of, try an enzyme cleaner.  Enzyme cleaners will always win in this department because they actually break down the molecules causing the odor. Vinegar works too!
  • Odor eliminators are a great secret weapon to keep in your home!  You can go the DIY route with baking soda or check out some cool options on amazon like charcoal odor absorbers.
  • Open a few windows to let fresh air in and bad odors out!  I actually open my windows on a daily basis because I hate stuffy air – especially during cold months.

PRO TIP:  Look around the house and check weird places to see if you can figure out where the odor(s) may be coming from.  Places and things to look for include the garbage disposal, toilets, rotten food in a cabinet or even plants. 

Bonus Holiday Cleaning Tips!

I just couldn’t let you leave without sharing just a few more cleaning tips! Consider your house beyond holiday-ready with these bad boys:

  • Outside of the house needs love too! Make sure the doormat, door, porch & walkway are welcoming by making sure they are clear of debris & leaves.
  • Sit where your guests will sit so that you can see what they will see. Notice dust bunnies, crumbs and random objects under furniture?
  • Ceiling fans tend to get dustier during the colder months so be sure to give them a quick wipe.
  • Make sure the dishwasher is empty before guests arrive. This will make cleanup a lot easier for you afterward.
  • Let your guests know they should leave their shoes at the front door. This will SAVE your floors — especially carpets. Just be sure to keep the floor clean and free of spills. Wet socks suck!
  • Keep stain remover handy. Especially if you plan to have a party. Need I say more?
  • Give the sofa some TLC! Wipe it off using a little water and detergent and vacuum the cushions to bring them back to life.
  • Light a few sweet-smelling candles to really set the mood. Aside from them making your house smell good, nothing spells warm, welcoming and cozy like candles!
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