Posted: Nov 09, 2012 9:00 AM
 
As the holidays begin, so do unexpected visitors, impromptu dinner parties and all-out bashes! Manage the house cleaning without feeling like Cinderella from now until New Year's Day.

The big day

We hate to break it to you but you're going to have to commit to one big cleaning day a week. This will include cleaning surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming floors, washing the windows, polishing furniture and picking up random toys from underfoot.

You don't have to go it alone, however. Enlist the help of your family members and put each of them in charge of their own things and their own rooms.

Now, take a deep breath. The rest of it is easy.

Wipe surfaces

With the help of antibacterial wipes, you can easily clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces on the daily without breaking into a full-on cleaning routine. Or use a multi-surface cleaner that can take care of messes all over the home.

Clear the clutter

One of the easiest ways to maintain a clean appearance in your home is to get rid of excess clutter. Put away (or throw away) things that you don't need in plain sight or that you don't use at all. In the kitchen, for example, keep your coffee maker out but put away the blender, Cuisinart and toaster oven until you need them.

Don't leave the room empty handed

Make a new rule in your home: Don't leave the room without taking something with you.

With a houseful of kids, a room can go from spotless to destroyed in 2 seconds flat. But if you handle the little messes as they come, it makes for easy tidying.

Make a new rule in your home: Don't leave the room without taking something with you. If your little one dragged his blankets from his bed to make a fort in the family room, insist he drag them back when he heads off to play in his room. As you walk through the TV room to the kitchen, pick up random cups and snack plates that your teens have left behind.

Sweep after meals

If you're anything like me and my family, much of any meal ends up on the floor. Immediately after each meal, take care of the dishes at hand then clean the floor affected by Project Dinner Time.

Get organized

A mess often occurs simply because there is no place for it to go (my desk is a glaring example of this). Get organized with hampers for dirty clothes, bins for toys, shelves for books and any other organizational items that will give each item in your home a place to reside… other than the floor.

Remember that your guests have come to see you, not to judge the cleanliness of your home.

Relax!

Most importantly, don't become obsessed with making your house look perfect for every unexpected visitor. Remember that your guests have come to see you, not to judge the cleanliness of your home. So relax and enjoy your guests all season long.

More on keeping clean

Save time or save money
5 Steps to declutter your home
Cleaning up the toys and learning to let go

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