The Lazy Gal’s Guide to Cleaning the House Before the Holidays
No scrubbing required
You’re looking forward to a lot of things about the holidays: catching up with Nana, bingeing on pie, having an excuse to wear sparkly lipstick. But you’re not looking forward to all the cleaning that has to happen before that. Don’t worry: Here are 14 super-easy ways to get your place in shape before your relatives descend
1. Put clean linens on the spare bed now, even if you’re not expecting overnight guests. (You never know if Aunt Ida will have one too many and need a place to crash.)
2. Save yourself time later by using this trash bag trick in the kitchen and bathrooms.
3. Employ an automatic shower cleaner to keep soap scum at bay.
4. You know those chenille slipper-socks you received as a gift/party favor/freebie? They’re magnets for dust, so reenacting that scene from Risky Business is practically as good as Swiffering.
5. Don’t bother scrubbing gas-stove burners: Just place them in a plastic bag with a little ammonia, let them sit overnight and then watch the grease wipe right off.
6. Tidy up during commercial breaks. You have two minutes until This Is Us comes back, so challenge yourself to tackle at least one small task each time (looking at you, stack of mail on the table). You'll make at least a little dent by the time the show is over.
7. Dust or mop while listening to your latest podcast (or audiobook). A little entertainment goes a long way.
8. Stick a charcoal air freshener in your fridge to absorb any lingering odors.
9. Ditto for anywhere else (a musty closet or your cat’s litter-box corner) that could stand to smell a little better.
10. Consider reusable oven liners your savior against the turkey drippings, pie crumbs and other inevitable messes.
11. Run a Magic Eraser over any surfaces that are looking a little dingy for maximum payoff with minimal effort.
12. Put any clutter—like toiletries—out of sight. And don’t worry about organizing it: Nobody’s going to be digging through random drawers or nosing through the hall closet.
13. The day people are arriving, set out fresh flowers. They instantly make a less-than-immaculate space feel welcoming and put together—and add a hit of fragrance to boot.
14. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Your family is there to spend time together, eat mashed potatoes and collectively roll their eyes at your dad’s cheesy jokes—not to notice those tiny spots on the bathroom mirror.