The 10-Minute Holiday Cleanup

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a… dust bunny?

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, keeping your space ready for Santa’s annual inspection can seem like a tall order. But not every cleaning job requires hours of work. This solid ten-minute cleanup will ensure your home is ready to entertain over the holidays.

First, grab a laundry basket and gather up your clutter. This includes anything you don’t want guests to see. (We’re looking at you, Elf on the Shelf.) Focus on clearing out common areas, like the front entrance, kitchen, living and dining room and bathrooms. Throw in anything and everything that doesn’t belong, toss it in a closet and sort through it later.

Next, wipe down surfaces, focusing on the bathroom and kitchen. Use quick disinfectant wipes to leave surfaces shiny and clean. If you’re pressed for time, don’t worry about moving things around. If you’re really pressed for time, cover the surfaces with holiday-themed decorations. (We’re looking at you, Elf on the Shelf.)

Give the bathroom a once-over. Nothing fancy: pour some Pinesol into the toilet bowl, wipe down the mirrors, clean the sink and lay out fresh towels. Polish it off with some candy cane-scented pot pourri to give your WC a festive touch.

Sweep, sweep, sweep. You want your floors to pass the “step test”: Can you walk across the floor in your stocking feet without picking anything up in them? Good enough.

Finally, vacuum your carpets. Don’t concern yourself with the nooks and crannies; the key is to make those comforting “vacuuming lines” on the carpet, to show guests that you care about cleanliness – or at least pretend to.