Holiday Cleaning Timeline: The Best Times To Do Each Chore

Get ahead of your holiday to-do list with this handy cleaning checklist and timeline.

The holidays will be here before you know it, and that means it’s time for big parties, big families and big laughs to fill your house. Too often, it can also mean big stress, especially if you’re the host.

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But instead of scrambling to get last minute housework done, follow our holiday cleaning timeline. When the day of your holiday party arrives, all you’ll need to do is add the finishing touches and celebrate.

Download a printable version of our holiday cleaning timeline

Gather your cleaning supplies

Deep cleaning isn’t as daunting if you use cleaning products that can get the job done quickly and effectively. In addition to cleaning tools like sponges, microfiber cloths and paper towels, stock up on cleaning supplies like:

  • A hardworking multi-purpose cleaner: Our Home Made Simple Multi-purpose Spray, available in lemon, lavender and rosemary scents, works hard to clean messes big and small — but without the stuff you don’t want, like phosphates, dyes or parabens.
  • A reliable laundry detergent: From machine-washable curtains to bed linens to bath towels for guests, our Home Made Simple Laundry Detergent, gets every load clean and works great in cold water.
  • A hard floor cleaner: Swiffer Sweeper Dry Heavy Duty Sweeping Cloths remove dust, dirt and debris from hard floor surfaces and work on virtually every hard floor type.
  • Dusting tools: We recommend the Swiffer 360 Dusters Heavy Duty Extendable Handle Starter Kit. With its specially coated fibers, it traps and locks dust and won’t let it go.
  • A grime remover: Versatile in the kitchen, bathroom and more, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser has two times stronger cleaning performance than the leading all-purpose bleach spray, so it can remove your home’s toughest messes like magic. (Plus, it’s great for removing scuffs and marks from baseboards!)

Holiday cleaning timeline

2 months before: deep clean seldom-used rooms

Deep cleaning doesn’t have to be dreadful. First, tackle the rooms you use only occasionally, like the formal dining room and the foyer. You might not use these spaces often, but your guests will — and they’ll be impressed by how sparkling clean they are!

  • Wash curtains and window treatments to remove dust and stale odors. When rehanging, try steaming them with a clothing steamer to remove wrinkles.
  • Dust from top to bottom. Dust ceiling corners, fan blades, chandeliers and crown molding first. Then move on to shelves and furniture surfaces, knick-knacks, lampshades and windowsills.
  • __ Vacuum carpets and clean hard floors.__ Don’t forget the corners!
  • Remove marks from baseboards. No need to paint over scuffed baseboards! Mr. Clean Magic Erasers easily remove marks, scuffs and grime.

1 month before: deep clean the guest room

With clean, crisp sheets and a cozy room, overnight guests will feel right at home. Since you likely don’t use the guest room yourself, you can finish this task a month before your guests arrive and have one less thing to worry about.

  • Clear out clutter. If you use your guest room as a storage room during the rest of the year, find other spots for clutter and other items before you start cleaning.
  • Refresh the bed linens. Wash sheets and blankets in unscented Home Made Simple Laundry Detergent, which doesn’t have dyes or perfumes and is gentle on skin. You may not know your guests’ allergies or scent preferences, so washing bedding and sheets with an unscented detergent will help them sleep comfortably.
  • Provide a storage space. Make sure your guests have a spot to hang or store their clothing, especially if they’ll be staying more than one night.

1 week before: deep clean the bathroom

Your guests will likely see the bathroom at some point during the party, so make sure its spic and span. We recommend deep cleaning the bathroom about one week before the holiday party. You can always do a less intense clean the day before.

  • Scrub the toilet, sink, shower and bathtub.
  • Clean the mirror. Nobody likes seeing their reflection in a grimy mirror.
  • Clean the floor. Make sure to dust and mop behind the toilet, too!
  • Stock up on bathroom supplies. Don’t leave your guests stranded without toilet paper or hand soap. Keep several extra rolls of toilet paper within easy reach, and purchase the refill bottle of Home Made Simple Foaming Hand Soap so you don’t run out mid-party.

1 week before: deep clean the kitchen

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, so make it look like a place you’d want to celebrate in.

  • Wipe down countertops and backsplashes with Home Made Simple Multi-purpose Cleaner. This is likely a task you’ll want to do daily until the event.
  • Clean out the fridge. Make room for party food and beverages by tossing expired food and products. Wipe down each shelf, and hand wash removable plastic drawers.
  • Clean your oven and stovetop. If you have gas-stove burners, make sure to remove the burners to clean the grime underneath.
  • Dust cabinets. Make sure to dust the tops of the cabinets as well as the doors!
  • Clean the floors. Dust and mop, and don’t neglect the baseboards and corners.

1 week before: deep clean the living room

Just like you deep cleaned your seldom-used rooms, turn your attention to the living room, where your guests will spend time and socialize after dinner.

  • Wash curtains and window treatments
  • Dust from top to bottom
  • Vacuum carpets and clean hard floors
  • Remove marks from baseboards

1 day before: spot check and refresh

The day is nearly here! Since you finished the deep cleaning in the weeks leading up to the event, you only need to spot clean now:

  • Quickly dust hard surfaces in rooms where your guests will hang out.
  • Wipe down countertops and the stovetop.
  • Clean the bathroom sink and toilet one last time.
  • Quickly vacuum or dust the floors.
  • Spray Febreze ONE in every room to eliminate stale or lingering odors and leave behind a fresh, light scent.
  • Lastly, if you use fine china, bring it out! The holidays are the time to show it off.

As you clean, don’t be afraid to bring out family heirlooms and meaningful decorations to make the celebration one to remember. The most important chore of all? Relaxing and enjoying this precious time with loved ones. Happy holidays!

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