Thanksgiving Cleaning List

As I prepare for 11 people to come for Thanksgiving dinner I start a list of things to do.  If I don’t,  I forget the simplest things like putting fresh toilet paper in every bathroom.  I thought a check list might be good for you too. This is not a deep cleaning list.  This is just the simple stuff that make Turkey Day go smoother.

Table clothes if need should be cleaned and ironed.

Little kids coming? Put things that are fragile and sentimental out of the way in a closet.

Wash serving dishes, special china  and wine glasses that you don’t use very day.

Clean out the frig as much as you can because you are going to need the room.

If you cook with larger pots and pans that are stored somewhere other than the kitchen find them beforehand and wash them.

If you need to go find the leaves that expand a table do that the day before Thanksgiving-they might need to be wiped down.

Think about where people will put their coats-do you need to clear closet space or are they just going on a bed in a bedroom?

If you have the luxury of space you can set the table(s) the day before.

Vacuum the day before.

Try to have the dishwasher empty the day before Thanksgiving.

Put the recycles out so you can have an empty bin in the house.

Empty the garbage cans (including the bathrooms!) so you at least start with empty cans.

Extra chairs and small tables should be brought into the dining room especially if they are coming form the cellar or garage. They might need to be wiped down.

If you like to send people home with leftovers plan the containers to be used ahead of time.

The day before Thanksgiving replace all toilet paper rolls in bathrooms so they are full.

If you want a fire iin the fireplace set it up the day before.

Wipe down the mirrors, sinks and clean the toilets.

Thanksgiving Day put fresh towels in the bathrooms.

Close the doors of rooms you would like people to stay out of.



Declutter before the Holidays

This year as you start to put up the holiday decorations take the time to evaluate them.  Some are tired and old.  Some you just REALLY don’t like anymore. Some are broken, and you meant to fix them. Some you have kept out of guilt because someone gave them to you.

Broken throw out and the rest, pack up and donate. Donate before Christmas, an someone else can use something you longer want right away.

wreathIf you just do the outside and tree, and you like to have items throughout the home, consider packing up the stuff that is currently out.  Give the Christmas decoations a full beautiful showing. I have a girlfriend who adores Christmas and this is what she does.  Her home is not cluttered because everything else is in a box in the attic and will come back out after January 1st.

Fall Clean Up

rake leavesFall is a wonderful time to smell the air and walk noisily through the leaves that congregate into small piles. If you walk your dog every day you have the perfect opportunity to swish through those leaves. Fall is also a time for nesting. It is when we start to prepare the home for the winter months so between the soccer games and pumpkin picking we rake leaves, we prune trees, we mulch young plants and we store away the hammock.

hammockI wash everything before I store it-even the hammock gets a soap down with some nice organic soap, and then I hose it off. Once air dried, I roll it and store it in the cellar.  I also wash all the screens in the windows, and on that final day when I know we are not getting another wonderful warm day, I take off all the screens, and I store them in the cellar as well.  You would be amazed at how much dirt is on screens. Washed, you will be able to see more outside and let more light into your home.  When they come down for the winter it is a gift because you can see everything outside so much better. And in the dark winter months I want as much light in the house as I can get! If you read up on it, you actually gain some solar warmth as well, and it keeps snow from resting between the screen and your double-pane windows which could cause some damage.  And of course if you have single-pane windows you are replacing your screens with the storm windows.

I wash the patio furniture. I cover the furniture. I put the storage boxes I use for cushions and games in the cellar. I rearrange the smoker and the grill because we cook on them all winter. I make a nice spot for the small log pile that will become  a staple out there as we like to use the fireplace.

acornsSo about the nesting part…it is not just the outside. It is finding the boots and mittens and winter coats.  It is digging out winter sweaters and scarves and if you have kids, it is about what fits and what needs to be donated.  The mudroom or front hall changes it’s arrangement as we account for more wetness than we experience in the summer most of the time. The leaves outside are forever making their way in through my front door and tiny acorns must get in the sneaker treads because I find them all over the house.  I am taking my shoes off when I get in, but they find their way into all kinds of nooks anyway.

I like to think about where I am putting the holiday decorations this year. Is there enough space? Will I be having guest for Thanksgiving or Christmas?  Is the guest room a place to put stuff that I will get to later or is it ready and waiting at a moment’s notice for someone to sleep in?

As you sort and take stock of your home before winter sets in, Call 2 Haul is available in the Lehigh Valley, and now Carbon an Schuylkill Counties.  We can take away whatever you cannot use anymore. We recycle and donate whenever possible.  Some times it is easier to just make a giant pile of stuff in the garage or yard and have us come get it.