Christmas cleaning tips from Shirley
Impress your guests and present your home decluttered and sparkling clean this Christmas season, with some top tips from our cleaning queen, Shirley!
“While it can be tempting, in the excitement of the season, to dig out the decorations and use them to mask the mess, getting your deep clean out of the way before the big day is a really good idea!” says Shirley. “If you don’t make a start now, the task will be twice as time-consuming once Christmas Day has been and gone!
“I usually start with the biggest task first - preparing the living room for my Christmas tree! Before grabbing the decs from the attic, I’ll give the living room a really good clean, moving or lifting furniture to get into every nook and cranny, cleaning all the soft furnishings so that they look their best for my guests, and cleaning the windows so that everyone can see my beautiful Christmas tree.
“Once the living room is sorted, I can crack on with dusting off the decorations and making the place feel really festive! I also like to dust down the hearth so that Father Christmas doesn’t end up covered in muck when he’s delivering the presents!
“Once that’s out of the way, I like to turn my attention to the kitchen. The big day basically centres around food, so I like to make sure my kitchen - where the food will be stored and prepared - is nice and clean and tidy. This includes cleaning out the cupboards and the fridge/freezer to make sure there’s plenty of room for the party food, wiping down all of the surfaces, and deep cleaning the oven.
“We also use our posh dinnerware on Christmas Day, so I’ll spend some time cleaning all the plates, dishes, silverware and glassware to make sure it’s all ready to use on the day. If you notice stains on your glassware, fill your sink with small water and add a bit of bleach, leaving your glassware to soak for around half an hour. If this doesn’t sort it, you can make a paste using baking soda mixed with a drop of water, and apply this directly to the stain, rubbing it in a circular motion. You can do this a few times if you’ve got a stain that’s particularly persistent, and once it’s done, make sure you give your glasses a good rinse.
“Next, it’s time to tackle the upstairs! We will usually have family members staying with us over the Christmas period, so I like to get the spare room ready for them well in advance, just so that I can tick something off my list early! I’ll spend a few hours vacuuming the floor, cleaning around the furniture, and washing and pressing the bedding to make sure the room is visitor ready. Just before they’re due to arrive, I like to light a Christmassy scented candle in the room, just to make it extra cosy. I’ll also wash and iron extra blankets and towels, and leave them on the bed in case they’re needed.
“The bathroom is one of the rooms that I spend a lot of time cleaning in the run-up to Christmas, as I want to make sure it’s nice and fresh ready for my guests. I’ll clean the shower, bath, basin and toilet with multi-purpose sprays, tackling toothpaste stains and water marks with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.
“When it comes to setting the scene for the feast, I like to try and set the table before we head to bed on Christmas Eve, as this will mean there’s one less thing for me to do on Christmas Day. I’ll polish the silverware, dig out the tablecloths and Christmas-themed placemats, and unbox the Christmas crackers, ready for my guests to pull when we all sit down to eat.
“Once it’s all done, I’ll pour myself a glass of wine, put my feet up, and put a Christmas film on to enjoy with my family.”
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