5 places to clean before holiday guests arrive
Last weekend, I hosted my first holiday guests: my family, from Nova Scotia, who were seeing my house for the first time. I spent the week, dusting, scrubbing, tidying and re-arranging furniture until I was so wiped that the final tasks on my lists - scrubbing a few more baseboards, finishing my partially-painted bathroom and a few Christmas-type errands - had to be dropped, and I'm still catching up on sleep from my mad domestic diva dash.
And, you know what, my parents didn't care about what hadn't been done. I probably could have taken it way easier, perhaps skipping some painting or the organizing of my spare utensil drawer, leaving me way more relaxed for their arrival. Next time, I'm giving myself permission to have things less than perfect!
That said, however, if you're going the relaxed hostess route, there are still a few spots often overlooked in the holiday cleaning spree that shouldn't be forgotten:
1. Light switches. They're conveniently placed at eye level, so a grimy one will be staring your guests right in the face. Plus, they're generally a light colour, so all those fingerprints really show. And they're touched so frequently that just thinking about the potential germs living in there has me reaching for a cleaning cloth ...
2. Doorknobs and frames. Like light switches, they're used frequently and don't always get the cleaning TLC they deserve. At our house, a lot of conversations happen in the doorways, particularly the ones to our kitchen and mud room, so the oversight is obvious when you're standing there chatting with someone.
3. Windowsills. You know all those Christmas tchotkes or decorative items carefully placed in the window? You're drawing attention to the sill - which, if you're like me, doesn't always get a wipe down when the rest of my shelving is getting a clean sweep. And, like the light switches and doorframes, they're often light colours, which means even the tiniest speck of dust really shows. (It's certainly an argument for jumping on the black trim trend bandwagon, isn't it?)
4. Mud room/entryway. It's easy for these spaces to get overwhelmed with coats, boots and other winter garb, so plan ahead and make space well before guests arrive to prevent muddy boots and snowy coats from landing on your living room chair. Plus, with all that traffic, make sure to give the floor frequent sweepings to keep the dirt from getting tracked through the house.
5. Bathroom mirror. You've probably wiped down the sink and the toilet, maybe even laundered your shower curtains and bath mats, and put out fresh towels. But even if you've only wiped it down yesterday, the mirror could probably use a second look before guests arrive - they seem to be a magnet for toothpaste spatters and other grime, which can make the whole space feel less than gleaming.
What would you add to the list?