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Your one-week Christmas cleaning countdown

Have a critical mother-in-law or neurotic friend coming over this holiday season? Terrified your home’s cleanliness won’t pass inspection? Then follow this one-week Christmas cleaning countdown to get your home spic and span in a timely manner.

Young woman smiling holding cleaning bucket after finishing her house chores

7 Days left: Dusting

Dust can build up in your home all too easily — and it often builds up most in unexpected places. Because dusting your house from top to bottom can take awhile, it’s best to do this job at the beginning of the week leading up to when family and friends will be arriving. That way if you aren’t able to do it all in one day, you can finish it off the next day. Focus on the areas that don’t get your attention very much, such as wall trims and the tops and backs of shelves, tables, counters and appliances. The last thing you want is for your guest to pick up a book and have a cloud of dust emerge, so make sure you get each and every nook and cranny.

broom6 Days left: Floors

Once cleaned, most floors will stay pretty tidy for at least a week, so you can get this job done earlier in the week as well. Sweep, mop and vacuum all the floors in your home. Be sure to get under and behind all the furniture and appliances. Some spaces, such as the kitchen and entryway, may need small touch-ups the day before everyone arrives, just so they’re totally spic and span.

5 Days left: Bathrooms

No matter how clean the rest of your house is, a messy bathroom will leave your guests with an icky feeling. So take the day to fully scrub every bathroom in your home. Wipe down bathtubs, showers, walls, toilets and sinks. Run hand towels, shower mats and fabric shower curtains through the washing machine. And to give washrooms the perfect finishing touch, shine the mirrors, and make sure each one is fully stocked with soap and hand moisturizer. If guests are staying over, stock the bathrooms they’ll be using with toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and body wash just in case they forget to bring their own.

4 Days left: Kitchen

The kitchen gets a lot of use over the holidays, so make sure you start off with it fully scrubbed down. Before you do all the grocery shopping for the holidays, take care of any spills or odd smells that might be going on in the fridge. Seize the opportunity to clean out the oven before it gets put to work. And of course, fully wipe down all the counters, cupboards and appliances. Also, if your cupboards have gotten a little disorganized lately, put everything in a convenient location so your guests can find everything they need.

3 Days left: Entryway

The entryway of your home experiences a huge amount of traffic, and that can lead to unexpected messes and a whole lot of clutter. Take the time to move any shoes, coats and accessories that don’t need to be immediately accessible to the storage closet. This will create a cleaner look and also make room for guests to hang up their outerwear.

2 Days left: Guest rooms

If family or friends will be sleeping over, this is the day to get their rooms all set up. Change the sheets, plump the pillows and, if they’re staying for a few days, clear out a drawer or two so they can store their belongings.

1 Day left: Tidy

By this time all the areas in your home have been dusted, scrubbed and wiped, so all that’s left is to make sure everything is neat and tidy. If anything is out of place, put it in its place so guests won’t trip over a stray object or have trouble finding a misplaced item.

Family and friends arrive!

The big day has arrived, and all you have to do is breathe a sigh of relief! Everything’s clean and ready to go, so you can welcome your guests with confidence.

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