Don’t fancy wasting your precious days off scouring and scrubbing before the family arrive at Christmas? Here are some top tips for getting the house spick and span for festive get-togethers with as little stress as possible.
Get a head start
Late autumn is a great time to begin the annual declutter. That way, you won’t have it all to do in the run up to the big day.
So, take a deep breath, gather your cleaning tools, and take the plunge on a blustery November weekend. With the deep clean done and dusted, you’ll just be left with easy cleaning top-ups in December – and trust us, it’ll feel worth it!
Clear out your kitchen cupboards
Mince pies, Christmas pud, stuffing, cranberry sauce, extra booze… it could be a bit of a squeeze trying to fit in all those Christmas goodies into a kitchen that’s already rammed full.
It might be an idea to go through your cupboards and have a clear-out during your November blitz of the house. You never know, you might find some sprinkles lurking at the back of a cabinet which could save you buying more for this year’s gingerbread.
Prep your fridge
In the run up to Christmas dinner your fridge can look like festive Jenga – with shelves rearranged for the turkey to fit, trifles and puddings crammed around a cheese selection and a variety of sauces and creams…plus the usual fridge fillings.
You don’t want your guests seeing your fridge in a state. Plan ahead and give it a deep clean in advance to leave it organised come the big day.
Most new fridge freezers have anti-bacterial door seals, and are frost-free so you won’t have to clear away any ice or grime from inside your fridge. But you can still clean any build-up of food and drinks spills.
Take out any removable parts for a warm soapy water wash down, and go to town with baking soda and water paste (2tbsp soda and ~100ml water) on the inside.
For instructions, take a look at this handy how-to page.
Empty and defrost your freezer
It might lead to eating some slightly ‘creative meals’, but it’s worth clearing out those random items left at the back of your freezer. Fish fingers with leftover chilli anyone?
If it sounds like a laborious task, look on the bright-side – you’ll save money that week. And your freezer will be prepared for the Christmas deluge.
Try a charity shop run of kids’ toys, clothes and books
Don’t leave it until Boxing Day before you realise there’s nowhere for your kids’ shiny new toys to go. Attack the toy box and make extra space in the weeks leading up to Christmas by donating any unused playthings to charity.
It’s a great way to get kids into the giving mood of the season while also benefitting others. Plus, they’ll probably be more willing to part with their old toys if they know they’ve got new treats coming soon from Santa.
Clean your oven on the cheap and chemical-free
Did you know a clean oven makes your food taste better? And you don’t have to fork out for foul-smelling oven cleaning products to make your oven sparkle.
The latest ovens have all sorts of new cleaning technologies to make oven-cleaning as easy as pressing a button. If your oven has a pyrolytic cleaning function, for example, just watch that grime turn into ash ready to be swept away in seconds.
If your oven is quite old, you may have to clean it the old-fashioned way, with some good old scrubbing. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Just follow these simple steps:
- Mix up 1/3 cup of salt and one cup of baking soda, add water to make a paste
- Lather up the oven – spreading your paste on the walls, door and bottom – then soak overnight
- Soak the shelves in hot soapy water and wipe off in the morning
- Stubborn grease that won’t budge? A lemon juice and salt combo can be effective
- Awkward nooks and crannies you can’t reach? Introduce your old toothbrush to a new line of work
- Glass oven doors come up a treat after a wipe with a damp wash cloth
Cut sink grime with lemons and limes
Has your stainless-steel sink seen better times? You can make it shine for Christmas.
Here’s a quick and easy tip – dip half of a lemon or lime in a bowl of baking soda and then use the fruit to scrub away. Rinse down and stand back to admire your handiwork.
Split the rubbish and recycling duties amongst your family
After all that hard work getting everything in order, on Christmas Day the living room can quickly become a sea of wrapping paper.
The solution – be prepared to let your family tidy up as you go along. Have a bag for recycling and general rubbish circulating during the mayhem, so that when the unwrapping frenzy is over all you’ll have to do is pop the bags into the bins outside, and sit down with the family for some Christmas telly.
Tackle the dreaded washing up head on
It can be manic with so many family members around at Christmas, but you can use this to your advantage when it comes to washing up.
Marshal an army of helpers and allocate tasks – a few to clear the table, a couple of dishwasher stackers and two to wash, dry and put away all the glasses. While they’re busy, soak all the greasy oven dishes in hot soapy water – for really burnt-on grease, add bio laundry detergent and soak them overnight.
You might even have some helpers left over to do a round of tea!
Make your Christmas preparations a doddle and spend more time with your family with our kitchen appliances
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