Pre-Holiday Deep Clean
The Holiday season is officially on and that means company! While I like to keep it tidy all year round, I’ll admit to a little extra sprucing when we’re having people over! Before I get sucked into the vortex of shopping and party prep, I like to do a mini deep clean, hitting those hidden places I often forget throughout the year.
When it comes to cleaning, it’s often an out of sight, out of mind situation. We tend to ignore what's beyond our plane of sight but when these areas are clean, you don’t necessarily “see” it but you definitely feel it! Here’s my forgotten spaces checklist to get you Ready to Receive:
DOOR AND PICTURE FRAME
I try to do the frames about once every month or so, but honestly, even every couple of months is fine. It’s more about lowering the dust and dander count and keeping things fresh.
Maybe it’s the Santa Ana winds, but we get some dusty frames in Los Angeles. I try to grab that slim attachment on the vacuum but mostly, I just use a paper towel or old sock I’m about to toss and go to town. Once the dirt and dust is gone, I spritz them with glass cleaner to really make them sparkle. You don’t notice how dirty your windows are until you wash them; the light that comes through is incredible!
While you’ve got the ladder out, you might as well clean the light fixtures and dust ceiling fans. An orphan sock or disposable duster with an extendable handle is my go-to. Stand back and marvel at how much brighter that flush mount light is when it’s free from layers of dust and dead bugs!
VENTS AND AIR FILTERS
You know that burning dust smell you get when you turn on the heating for the first time? I actually used to love that smell as a kid growing up in California because it signaled that the Holidays were coming. What that smell REALLY IS though, is old dust warming up. You’re inhaling dust and skin particles that have accumulated all year. Get rid of it by vacuuming out the ducting, washing the filters and cleaning the vents before you fire up the heater full time again. Ah...that’s better!
HIGH TOUCH AREAS
This is especially important during cold and flu season. Spray your light switches, doorknobs, remotes, fridge and cabinet handles to keep the bacteria count at bay.
THE UPSIDE DOWN
If you’ve ever looked under the sofa or behind your bed, you know it’s a dust bunny farm down there. It’s not just the look of it, but it's also the fact that I'm inhaling all that dust and dust mite poo that motivates me to clean it on the reg. Don’t forget to vacuum or dust the undersides of the furniture too. That’s big cobweb territory!
Admittedly, I do this last because I’m a big dropper in the kitchen. But, clean floors, like clean windows, are more about the feeling of overall cleanliness. The general rule of thumb with floors is: sweep (or vacuum) first, then damp mop. I use a floor cleaner with a trigger and a generic, unscented wet wipe on a Swiffer because I’m a lazy neatnik.
These are pretty easy, highly visible and usually ignored. Just spray an old washcloth and wipe them down. It makes a big difference to the look (and the air quality) of your rooms.
VACUUM CLEANER BAGS
You can’t clean house with dirty tools. We like to completely take apart and wash the Dyson canister and filters about once every season. I just hand wash it in the sink with dish soap, dry it and click it back together.
Of course we clean the bathroom daily, but before guests come over I actually give the porcelain throne a good scrub. I hate those gross toilet brushes that sit in poo water all the time, so I keep a dedicated bucket and brush under the sink instead. I spray the whole thing inside and out, let it sit for a bit and then scrub the bejeezus out of it. I finish by spraying the outside tank, handle and seat and then wipe it clean with toilet paper. Done!