Turkey day will soon be here and dinner hosts are already in a tizzy. In addition to developing the menu, food shopping, and preparing for overnight guests from out of town, they must worry about cleaning the house. Some of them throw up the white flag and call one of the local cleaning services, while others soldier on, determined to do it on their own. Here is a sample cleaning checklist for everyone choosing to go it alone.
Cleaning the kitchen first will have it sparkling and ready to store the newly purchased groceries. Declutter and wipe down the countertops and the fronts of cabinets. To free up space, discard outdated items lingering in the refrigerator. Give the Thanksgiving plates, glasses, utensils, and serving dishes a washing in the dishwasher or enlist family members to help with handwashing. Sweep and mop the kitchen floor and wash rugs, potholders, and dishtowels.
Move on to the living areas, cleaning up all the clutter and dusting all surfaces. Perform a thorough floor, upholstery, and carpet cleaning. Bring winter blankets and throw pillows out of the closet and arrange them. Clean out the fireplace or call the chimney sweep so the area is ready for a roaring fire on Thanksgiving.
Declutter the powder room and guest bathroom and clean the sink, toilet, tub, and floors. Wash towels and rugs and restock any needed supplies. Put the clean towels on display and accent the area with a scented candle to light on Thanksgiving. Then, give the guest room a thorough dusting and floor or carpet cleaning. Put clean sheets on the bed and make sure there are enough covers to keep overnight guests warm when sleeping.
Head to the front of the home and sweep and mop the entryway. Place a fall or Thanksgiving wreath on the front door and clean windows in the foyer. Sweep debris off the porch and lay down a Thanksgiving mat. Add a few containers of mums decorated with fall-themed bows. Have the kids rake the leaves from the yard and place these in bags for recycling.
Move into the dining room and give it a good dusting and floor cleaning. Put the Thanksgiving tablecloth on the table and add a nice seasonal centerpiece. By this time, you should be feeling like an employee of one of the cleaning services you did not call, so sit down with a book and a hot beverage and relax for a while!