This holiday cleaning tips post is brought to you by Swiffer® as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.
With the holidays pretty much here, I can’t be the only one who’s entertaining at home. And with everyone – and I do mean everyone – home essentially 24/7, the little messes I cleaned up during the day have suddenly multiplied. My “free time” that I use to clean has evaporated since I am either preparing for the holidays or hanging with my family. And suddenly the world is conspiring to make things harder to keep clean just when I need a clean home for guests. Yep, holiday cleaning tips are in demand. Now.
Fortunately, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to make it a little bit easier for me. And I’m going to pretend that I don’t have a huge toy sitting on the arm of my couch or that my coffee table is covered in random detritus or that my stove has coffee splashes from my husband. Momentarily, all those will be gone. Definitely before anyone arrives to celebrate Christmas Eve with us.
My favorite holiday cleaning tips
My first secret to keeping things clean over the holidays is to clean as I go. When I’m cooking or baking, I put away my ingredients as I finish using them. I’ll wipe down the counters as soon as I finish with them. By the time I’m finished with whatever I’m making, the majority of the work is already complete, and it isn’t so painful to do.
The same holds true when I’m wrapping presents. I tend to do that sitting on the floor. When I finish, I put away the wrapping paper, scissors, and tape – even knowing that I’ll need them again in the near future. Having clean surfaces keeps my mind more sane, which allows me to get more done. At the same time, I’ll use the excuse of scraps of paper on the floor to go ahead and vacuum and clean the floor, which doesn’t take all that much time when I do just a bit here and there, yet it somehow all gets done.
The real secret weapon in my arsenal is the rest of my family. At 8 and 10 years old, the wee ones are more than capable of pitching in. They have daily chores that they need to do, but beyond that, they can do the extra things I need them to do. There’s no reason they can’t run the vacuum or help wash the kitchen table. They know how to clean the litterbox and straighten surfaces to put items where they belong. And best of all? They actually think that running the Swiffer SteamBoost Mop is fun.
So maybe it’s a little Tom Sawyer-ish of me, but Little Miss’s favorite job is to take our Swiffer cloths and dust all the horizontal surfaces. Mister Man thinks it’s a hoot to see what he has and hasn’t cleaned yet – he loves seeing progress – and is all over the mopping and washing of surfaces. We put on some music, set the kitchen timer (because we need to know there’s an end in sight), and everyone starts their jobs.
It’s a group effort, and so long as everyone is actually working hard and not goofing around, when the timer goes off, we finish the section we’re working on and are done for the day. We’ll do more tomorrow, but breaking it up into pieces makes it less onerous for the wee ones, but we’re still able to get it all done.
I love the fact that they know how to clean so that when they’re older, it will be second nature and they won’t be so overwhelmed. I’ve also noticed that when they’re responsible for helping to pick up the messes, they’re less likely to make them. I don’t find crumbs from lunch sitting on the kitchen table because they know things have to be cleaned. Books end up back on the bookshelf instead of discarded on the stairs or on a bed.
So that SteamBoost Steam Mop? It’s a nifty little gadget. It utilizes steampads that come in various scents that you attach to the bottom of a steam mop. Simply fill the reservoir with water from the tap, plug it in, and in 30 seconds, it’s ready to go. The cord is long enough that you can clean a room without needing to find a new plug, and it’s light enough to carry around the house to use wherever you need. There is just one lever to squeeze that releases the steam – which helps power off so much more dirt and grime – making it easy for the wee ones to use easily and safely. The steam quickly dries behind you, and the floor has been deep cleaned with a light scent left behind – though not one strong enough that it bothers me, and I’m very sensitive to smells.