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I don’t know what happened but I literally blinked and BAM, it’s Thanksgiving week! I still haven’t finished eating my kid’s Halloween candy, and already it’s time to plan for turkey day. Seriously, where does the time go? This is our family’s 13th time hosting the big day (whoa), so you’d think I’d have it down by now. I definitely don’t, not even close actually! With mere days left to prep, I am in full-force planning mode. It may sound like plenty of time, but truth is, I still have a family to manage and feed, a job to go to, and a house to run. To make sure that the house is guest-ready for Thanksgiving, I will need to clean the evening before. I work really well under pressure, so setting aside 1 hour before I go to bed the night prior works best for me. This way, the family has less time to ‘undo’ my clean up, and on the big day, I can focus on cooking the bird and everything else, knowing that my house is spic and span, and ready to host the holiday. Today at Target I finished buying groceries and other odds and ends I need, and while I was at it I picked up glass and floor cleaner, cinnamon scented candles, and some Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Rollers. These will help me get my place ready in no time.
How To Clean the House in 1 hour
How do I get my whole house gleaming in just one hour you ask? Well, let’s break down what I mean by ‘whole house’. Will I be scrubbing tubs? Likely not, as I don’t think any of my guests will be using them. My house has 2 stories, so I mostly tackle the first floor as this is where the action will be. If you have a one story home, you can focus on the living spaces, eating areas, and the restroom.
Let’s get started!
Grab the linens from the guest bathroom (towels, mats, etc.), and toss them in the wash. This is also a good time to wash kitchen towels, and oven mitts, cloth napkins, etc.
Take the empty laundry basket and tour the entire area collecting everything that does not belong. Toys, mail, shoes, you know, anything that indicates that the house is ‘lived in’. Your guests don’t want to see that. Tuck the basket behind a bed or in a closet where it cannot be found.
Clean All Flat Surfaces
Walk around the space and wipe down all flat surfaces with a damp cloth or paper towel. Tables, counters, mantels, etc. Take your glass cleaner and clean all windows in the area where you plan to entertain, and anything else that is glass. I have several lamps with clear glass bases, but I will also include wiping down the t.v. monitor, and all mirrors.
Don’t Forget the Guest Bathroom
This is crucial, after all it’s where most of our messes are made, and where your guests are almost guaranteed to visit at least once if not more. Add toilet cleaner into the bowl, and let it sit while you wipe down the sink and mirrors. Quickly brush the toilet bowl and top it off with a little bit of bleach so that it’s extra clean by morning.
I have wood tile on my first floor, so I use a floor vac to go over the entire area. This works quickly and efficiently. This step is quickly followed up by a fast mop of the area. No buckets, just go over the floors swiftly with a wet/dry mop, don’t forget to include the bathroom and hallways. Obviously you’d skip this if you have carpeted floors.
If you have a pet like I do, this will be imperative. My dog Abby is awesome. HOWEVER, she has thick white hair that has made me lose my cool from time to time (confession). Her hair is everywhere! The good news is all it takes is a quick roll of my lint roller to make it look like we are a pet-free home. Even if you don’t own a pet, removing lint is still important. Imagine what your guests’ black pants will look like after they sit on a couch or chair that has lint, or even human hair on it? Eeeww. I love the Scotch-Brite Lint Roller because it can do more than just pick up lint or pet hair – it picks up crumbs, and in my case, sand and dirt from the baseball field, and even hard to remove glitter without having to drag out the large vacuum cleaner. This is why this is part of my speed-clean plan!
Yes, that is my kid sitting in my Target shopping cart as I shop for last minute supplies. At 8 1/2 he is way too big to sit in any part of the cart but this is the only way I could keep him from darting off to the toys area. Mama had no time for that, I was on a mission.
Find Scotch-Brite Lint Rollers, in the household cleaners section at Target, in the Lint Care aisle.
Click here to take advantage of the Target Cartwheel Offer: 15% Off Scotch-Brite 50% Stickier Lint Roller from 11/20-11/26
Empty the Dishwasher
This is a given. You will likely use the dishwasher quite a bit at Thanksgiving, so make sure it’s ready to work!
Make sure your kid’s rooms are picked up
I’ve learned the hard way that although you may or may not designate bedrooms as ‘off-limits’, when you are busy in the kitchen, it’s easy to lose sight of the kiddos. Especially if the weather doesn’t cooperate. They could wind up inside, likely playing video games or with toys in their rooms. This is fine with me because I know that the beds are made and their spaces look decent, any messes in there will be new ones 🙂 This is also a very good spot to use the lint roller!
Back to Laundry
Lastly, don’t forget to toss your towels, etc. into the dryer. Leave them in there drying overnight and head to bed. You will need some good shut-eye for the big day! Just remember to set out the guest bath towels and mats first thing in the a.m.
Getting your home guest ready for Thanksgiving or any other event doesn’t have to be stressful. Give yourself 1 hour (maybe even less) and follow the steps outlined above to get through it quickly and easily. After all, who has time to worry about anything else when you have bellies to feed?!
Happy Thanksgiving my friends!