Christmas: sure, it keeps getting earlier! She’s back – just in time for the Christmas countdown. Wily Irish Mammy paused her cleaning frenzy to pass on her grand holiday cleaning plan. While you have been focussing on guest numbers, the office party, present shopping and so on, Wily Irish Mammy has been in her war-room, mobilising tactics for her yearly campaign against germs and mess.
Christmas decorations retrieved; a tree on standby; a Christmas ham on order; everything seems ready to go; but before any Christmas craic (laughter and banter) prevails, Wily Irish Mammy says your gaff (accommodation) must sparkle.
Tips for Christmas cheer
- Call early to schedule carpet cleaning, window washing or other professional cleaning services. Add visits to your holiday calendar.
- Every week throughout the year, you should have already tackled one or two deep-cleaning chores from your master list.
- If you have stuck to your plan you should have minimum maintenance to carry you through the busy holiday season.
- Two weeks before your busy Christmas period, do a big clean to prepare for the coming season then resume minimum maintenance until the New Year.
- Tackle your Christmas clean room-by-room as it will be less daunting and before you get the tinsel out, kill the clutter. Throw away items that are rank (mouldy) or broken, replace if your guests need them and be ruthless.
The biggest job is always the kitchen
Start above counters, on one side of the room, and work in one direction then when you’re done, tackle cabinets below the counter.
Take absolutely everything out of your kitchen cupboards and then use equal parts white vinegar (a natural disinfectant) and warm water, give them a thorough wipe down both inside and out. Use a microfibre cloth to wipe clean and a second cloth to buff dry.
Don’t forget to wipe down empty shelves and drawers too, and re-line them, if need be.
Once the contents of your cupboards are laid out on the benchtop, consider what you need to keep, what you can get rid of and what needs updating.
Remove any duplicate items and store.
Throw away any food store items (spices, etc.) if they are over six months old or if past the expiration date.
You could draw a plan of where everything will go in the kitchen as it can help you work out better ways to store the items.
Clean appliances inside and out including: refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker. Perhaps rinse vinegar through any appliances that you can, followed by several rounds of water
Use a toothbrush to get rid of gritty dirt in the sink facet, clean drains, and waste disposal.
Pour a kettle of boiling hot water down your drain, throw down about 1/2 cup baking soda and allow it to sit for a few minutes, then pour a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of very hot water on top of the baking soda. Cover with a drain plug and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Flush one more time with boiling water.
Repeat for waste disposal but add citrus peels to keep them smelling fresh.
When this is done, you will probably want to dust any appropriate items, vacuum from ceiling to floor, including vents/ducts, clean windows, sweep, and the last job is to wash the kitchen floor.
This is a good time to clean and reseal the grout of any tiles.
Get festive ready in other areas
Do not forget your entrance: always make a good impression and it will have a knock-on effect throughout your property.
Remove all dust and cobwebs, clean the paintwork and your front door and windows, finish off by adding a welcoming Christmas wreath.
Be smart with Christmas lighting, highlight focal points inside and outside and use them to distract from the areas that are a little tired.
For dining rooms or outdoor eating areas, after cleaning thoroughly you can use festive displays of greenery, twigs, fruits nuts or flowers to disguise any less-than-perfect areas.
Scents can also help to create the perfect Christmas mood and scents like cinnamon and cloves are popular at this time of year.
Wily Irish Mammy says take note: nothing is as easy as it looks. Everything takes longer than you expect. And, if anything can go wrong, it will at the worst possible moment!
And, finally, she wishes you all a massive (great) Christmas, especially all you hard working housekeepers and cleaners may you have good times, good friends, good health, and the luck of the Irish in all that you do.
An Irish Christmas blessing:
The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you
Love and God’s peace to you
Send Wily Irish Mammy your housekeeping queries, questions or tips to keep her on her toes and at the top of her cleaning game!