Add a Little Polish: Holiday Cleaning Countdown

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I’ve never been a big fan of the song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” that is until I created this version for cleaning. I call it my 12 Days to Christmas … Clean. This is a simple schedule to help you have your home sparkling and ready for the holidays. Plan to start your 12-day countdown during the first week of December. You’ll have everything ready for entertaining with very little stress.

12 china dishes: Make sure you have all your dishes ready before the big day.  If you have special china, get it out of storage and wash it by hand. Also, wash all your crystal and put it in a dust free cabinet.  Now all you have to do set the table.

11 chairs for sitting: Dust and polish your dining room table and chairs. Include any spare chairs you may need to get everyone around the table. You don’t want to pull out the extra chairs and see cobwebs around the legs.

10 panes of glass: Most Christmas dinners are in the middle of the afternoon, which means light will be pouring through your windows. Make sure they are clean and streak free so you’re not embarrassed at the table.

Nine crystal globes: Once the sun goes down, your dining room lights will come on. Pop the glass globes of your light fixture in the dishwasher.  If you don’t have glass globes, wipe the light bulbs with a damp microfiber cloth while the lights are off.

Eight light switches: Light switches are known as one of the “germiest” places in the home. Do your guests a big favor and disinfect all your light switches – especially in the guest bathroom.

Seven pieces of silver: Just like your china, you want to get your silver polished before things get stressful. A quick tip is to polish your silver with tooth polish and wrap it in plastic until dinnertime on Christmas Day.

Six small appliances: Your guests will probably try to help you while you’re in the kitchen cooking. Whether it’s brewing coffee or helping you stir the gravy, They are going see all your small kitchen appliances. Spend a few minutes and give those small appliances a good scrub.

Five floors vacuumed (or washed): Five days before the big day, give your floors a very through vacuuming. While you’re vacuuming, move the furniture, dust the baseboards and spend time washing your hard floors. Since it’s only five days before the holiday, you’ll only have to give them a quick pass with a vacuum or microfiber mop the day of your event.

Four shelves in the frig: Someone is definitely going to be in your refrigerator during your dinner so clean those refrigerator shelves. Wash them with hot water and a few drops of dish soap. Don’t bother removing them unless you have lots of time.

Three essentials for a holiday clean: Buy nicely scented dish soap and some new scrubbing sponges so you are ready when your friends want to help with the dishes.  Beautifully scented dish soap will make doing the dishes almost fun.

Two candlesticks in the dishwasher: Crystal candleholders can be washed in the dishwasher. They’ll come out sparkling and it will only take a minute of your time.

One oven cleaned and ready for baking: You want to make sure your oven is clean inside and out. You can tell a lot about a housekeeper by checking the inside of their oven. If you have a self-cleaning oven – use it. If your stove is not self-cleaning, you can use a combination of baking soda and white vinegar to remove buildup.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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