This is a sponsored post from The Libman Company. However, all opinions are 100% my own.
It’s that time again, mama. Time to deck those halls. Unfortunately, you look up and realize the halls are filled with cobwebs and the baseboards haven’t been cleaned in months.
The holiday season can be pretty magical, at least for me. I’ve always been a lover of all things Thanksgiving and Christmas. Growing up in upstate NY meant chilled air and snow fall which just made the whole season feel traditional. As I got older, the holidays are still just as magical, but stressful. And let’s be honest, we make them stressful. We overcomplicate the things that need to be done, obligate ourselves to people and events that we should have said no to and let the homemaking that can already feel like a burden become even more messy.
Bah humbug to all that.
We can’t always control what the holidays are going to throw at us, but you can control how you maintain your home during the season. Unfortunately, dirt doesn’t take a beach vacation. I wish. Maybe it would come back more mellow and relaxed if it did.
Here are some of my tried and true methods for simplifying the holiday cleaning chaos so you can enjoy the season with family.
Use the right tools
I am a broken record here. I say it all the time, but if you want to simplify cleaning any time of the year, use the right tools. Don’t waste your time using a vacuum that barely sucks up the dog hair. That will only make the cleaning process last longer and you won’t be satisfied with the results anyway. Quality over quantity, for sure. Fill your home with the tools that work. I’m a lover of all things Libman, and their floor care products blow everyone else away. Their newest addition to the line-up is The Spin Mop, which is basically the most fun way to clean up your sticky floors after a day of baking. There’s even a lever to change the height of the handle based on your preferences (psst..this means your kids can use it…) Take a look at this video of how to use the spin mop and why it’s the right tool for the job.
While we’re talking about floors, if you have the pleasure (or burden depending on how you look at it) of wood floors throughout your house, invest in a good dust mop. The Freedom Dust Mop from Libman is perfect for the job. Not only will constant vacuuming on your wood floors scratch and ruin them, it takes a long time and never does the job right. Dry dusting your floors is easier than sweeping, can be done by anyone and keeps your floors free from dirt and pet hair.
On a non-related cleaning tool note, I love using Google docs to keep track of what needs to be done, especially around cleaning. If you’re wondering how to get started with your cleaning routine, open up a Google doc (all it takes is a gmail account and it’s free!) and start typing. Even if it isn’t thoroughly organized, it’s a great starting place. Rather than a pen and paper, your Google doc autosaves and is available wherever you go with an app.
And find different uses for your tools, too!
I am a sucker for repurposing where you can and house cleaning is no different. There are thousands of gadgets and gizmos for sale that claim to do a very specific job in your home (the baseboard cleaning product I have seen is a prime example) and while I love a good, useful tool, you’d be amazed at how many tools you already have can be used in multiple ways. Why get the ladder and cleaning rags out to clean the walls when you can use a Freedom Dust Mop from Libman? Yes, you can mop your walls.
You can easily slip on a clean dust mop head and go to town on the walls. The handle is long enough to get up pretty high (shout out to all of the short ladies in the audience, like me)
The Spin Mop works really well as a cobweb remover. Get it up high into the corners, or even the baseboards. Reaching up and down is laborious and straining on your body, so use these great tools in more than one way to simplify the whole cleaning process.
Or how about using a stiff scrub brush to remove pet hair from the couch? Yep! You can use a clean scrubbing brush, like the The Big Scrub Brush from Libman to remove cat and dog hair from your upholstery. The bristles help loosen the hair from the fibers and clump it up for easy removal. You can even use the scrub brush in the car to remove pet hair (we all know you love to take your pets for rides…) or to remove really stubborn stains, probably left by a child dripping chocolate milk.
Put a holiday cleaning routine in place
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how important cleaning routines are. I mean, I have a mini course on that very topic. I believe a huge part of what makes cleaning so complicated is the lack of a good routine, but the holiday season can throw even the most thought-out schedule into chaos. Spend a few minutes and create a more holiday-friendly cleaning schedule. Maybe you vacuum a few more times a week thanks to the pine needles and skip the dusting upstairs. Or concentrate on the entry ways that will inevitably become mucked up daily with mud and salt, but leave the formal dining room to sit since you don’t plan to use it for anything other than gift wrapping. It’s ok to switch things around the accomodate your life rather than trying to switch around your life to accommodate your cleaning schedule.
Delegate it out
Who put you in charge of doing everything, anyway? Mama, delegate that stuff out! Whether it is in the form of chores to your kids, more divided work between you and your spouse or you treat yourself to a holiday cleaning from a professional, you can simplify what you’re doing by doing less of it yourself. If you haven’t yet started with a chore routine for your children, you don’t have to jump in right now. Just start small. Can they refill the water in the Christmas tree stand? Clean up after holiday baking? Put their own clothes away? If you’re having trouble getting your kids to help without feeling like you’re nagging, check out my post here.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or ask for an early Christmas present in the form of a cleaning service. The more you can delegate out to others, the more you can enjoy your time. It’s going to take letting go of control, but the control is what is keeping things complicated.
Do one, thorough deep cleaning.
I know, I know. You’re going to hate me for even suggesting this. Who wants to spend their time in the month of December deep cleaning, but hear me out. This month especially seems to be full of outside obligations, parties, trips, parades, shopping and get-togethers. You may even have a guest or two coming to stay with you. Finding the time every week to go through your normal clean-up routine may not fit into your busy holiday schedule. Instead, I say go for broke, spend a few hours once this month and thoroughly clean the areas you know will need to be used. Guest bathrooms, the flooring under furniture, the refrigerator and oven, decluttering, whatever you can do all at once to alleviate the stress of doing it later in bits and pieces.
Relax and let things go
Elsa knew what she was talking about. Let it go. You won’t be able to do everything, and no one except you expects you to. You’re an amazing mama doing amazing things and you deserve a season of relaxation. Prioritize, even with the cleaning, and let everything else go for a few weeks. Your job is to be happy and healthy, and provide that kind of atmosphere for your kiddos. The rest will fall into place.
Even if you are a "Cleaning doesn't suck that bad" kinda mom, keeping a running tally of all the things that need to be cleaned in the house can be a daunting task! Sign up below to join The Mother Like a Boss Vault and gain free access to home management printables, worksheets, mini courses, audio lessons and more! This vault is your key to all things #homemakerish and it's totally free.