By Erica McCarthy

Published on November 11, 2015

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The holidays are upon us, and while cleaning might seem like the last item on your list, it doesn’t have to be a chore. Today we’ve rounded up 10 cleaning hacks for getting your space in tip top shape. 

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dust and declutter

Forget ‘spring’ cleaning, the holidays are a perfect time to do away with things you no longer need. If purging unnecessary items isn’t a viable option, corral the clutter into stowed-away bins to help free your mind and your space. Don’t forget to dust blinds, windows, and windowsills to make room for more festive accents like metallic pinecones and jingle bell wreaths. 

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tackle the garage

The poor garage will forever be a catchall for everything you need but aren’t willing to part with, but maybe it’s time to give it some (much needed) love this holiday season? This one requires effort, but instead of letting things pile up, purge the garage of unnecessary items, allowing yourself the flexibility to start the new year off on the right foot. This is also the perfect time to locate and organize snow shovels, snow blowers, etc–before the weather arrives. 

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organize the tupperware

Holiday entertaining means leftovers, so you’ll want to take control of your tupperware before the real madness begins. Read more hacks on tupperware storage here

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shine until squeaky clean

Dedicate a few hours on a Saturday morning to deep cleaning the appliances you’ve put on the back burner since last year’s soiree. Tackle the fridge first by cleaning off one shelf at a time and doing away with old jams, dressings, and sauces. Then, move onto the freezer and check expiration dates of items–getting rid of items as you come across them. Lastly, clean the stove (don’t worry, it’s not as laborious as it sounds); grab an oven-cleaning solution and let it do the work for you. 

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go through glassware

Bar carts have gained serious popularity in the past few years, but the only thing more depressing than a lackluster bar cart is dusty glassware. Be sure to run your cups and dishes through the dishwasher to ensure there’s no a chance of dust floating around in your guests’ cocktails. 

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keep it clean

A quick and dirty hack for cleaning the bathroom before it gets gnarly is to slowly clean it bit-by-bit, every day. Spray down the shower after each use and keep a stock of disinfectant wipes under the sink to shine your bathroom up with ease. Add some festive pine in a vase and be sure to swap out your used hand towels for fresh ones on the regular. 

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wash and dry all guest linens

If you have the luxury of a washer and dryer in-unit (or even if you don’t), be sure to capitalize on cleaning linens, blankets, and towels BEFORE guests arrive. Even if they’ve been stowed away all year long, toss them in the dryer for a fresh revamp.

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check in on cooking pans

Black Friday is the perfect time to replenish pans, dishes, and skillets that are past their prime. There’s no better time to trade in your pots and pans than during the holidays—you don’t want tired, ineffective cookware ruining your holiday hosting! 

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sweep and mop

One of the last things to do before your guests arrive is to mop the floor. Be sure to do so the morning your guests arrive; the scent of a freshly cleaned floor will linger in your space, while you’ll feel accomplished having a pristine place to show off to your family and friends. A little cleaning hack: start at the back of the house and work your way toward the front. You’ll save yourself any mishaps of falling on the clean floors and allow the solution to penetrate into the wood.

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set the mood

One of the most thoughtful finishing touches to make your space holiday-ready is to light candles in the bathroom, living room, and have incense burning in one of the bedrooms. Make sure all the scents complement–not compete–with one other to give your space a warm, peaceful, and inviting atmosphere.