5 easy cleaning tips to get your home holiday-ready

(BPT) – Do you love hosting during the holidays, but not the cleaning? If so, you’re probably looking for ways to make your preparations go more smoothly so you can get to the fun stuff — like enjoying the festivities with your friends and family. Fortunately, you can make your home look presentable in less time with a few tried-and-true techniques that focus on making your home look more inviting.

To create a more welcoming, open — and clean — space that’s ready to set the stage for your holiday celebrations, try these approaches.

1. Do a quick clutter dump

Have a half hour or so to spare? You can do a lot in a short amount of time with this cleaning hack: To quickly clear a room of clutter, grab a trash bag and a basket that are both easy to carry, then walk through rooms where you plan to host your next get-together. Pick up anything that needs to be thrown out to put in your trash bag, or if it’s out of place, to put in your basket.

When the trash bag is full, bring it out to your trash container right away. If it’s not full, empty smaller trash containers around the house to fill it up before taking it out. Don’t wait till your basket is completely filled to take a break. When your basket is about half full (and still easy to carry), bring those items to the rooms where they belong. Stray dishes? In the kitchen. Dirty socks? The laundry hamper. You get the idea.

Need helpers? This is an easy game for kids to play — just give them a small basket and have them hunt for toys and other items that can go in their rooms.

2. Look for excess furniture

Step back and take a good look at your living room or other main entertaining areas. Is there space enough for people to move around without too much difficulty? Or do you have too many side tables, ottomans or other small furniture pieces interrupting the room’s flow? Remove them — temporarily, anyway — well before your holiday party to make it easier for people to gather.

Bonus: With less in the room, this is also a great opportunity to rearrange things, if you can see a better way to place your large furniture.

3. Use the best tools for the job

To make cleaning even easier, and even enjoyable, use equipment that’s designed to be simple, effective and convenient. For example, the Casabella® Clean Water Spin Mop makes cleaning your floors a breeze, with a dual bucket system separating the clean and dirty water, and double handles that combine to form one — and a comfortable grip for easy carrying from room to room. Using this mop is so simple that it’s fun, with an easy-to-use pedal that spins the mop in the bucket to remove dirty water. Its built-in cleaning solution ratio cup helps you get the ratio right, every time, and the dirty water pour spout makes for easy disposal. Best yet, the easily detachable, reusable mop head is machine washable.

Find this and other handy household tools at Casabella.com.

4. Let your floors set the tone

Speaking of mopping, you’ve probably noticed that a clean floor makes any room seem instantly brighter and fresher. Be sure to take out small rugs or anything that might be a tripping hazard before cleaning and having guests over. The good news is that your vacuuming, sweeping and mopping will be a lot easier after you’ve gotten some of that clutter out of the way, so get ready to attack your floors with gusto!

Pro tip: To help keep your floors clean ahead of the party, make sure you have large, sturdy doormats, inside and out, and that everyone in the house uses them.

5. What’s on the surface?

Before you can dust any of your tables, counters, shelves or desks, you need to remove excess items. If your initial clutter dump left things behind, like mementos or other things you like to display in your living areas, consider moving at least some of them to a higher shelf, or store them for a while, to allow room for people to set down glasses or plates — and for you to be able to clean surfaces with ease.

Designate one or two areas per room for displaying treasured items that make good conversation starters, then box up the rest to sort out another day.

Using these tips, you’ll be able to get your home ready for the holiday in no time, with a smile on your face!