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Holiday Cleaning Lists and Keeping Organized

window sill with plants and teapot
Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash

Can you believe we are already in November? I always feel like this is the time of year when the calendar seems to move at warp speed. This is the time of year when most of us do the majority of entertaining for the year. And at the time of year when we have more frequent guests, more frequent parties and more frequent obligations, in general, we need to get organized. I realize this is a “celebration” website, but how are you going to be in the mood for celebrating anything if your home and life are feeling chaotic?

I want to help you feel confident that things are under control, so in this post I am going to give you my tips on staying organized over the holidays. I’m sure you have your own way of doing things, but I can tell you that I always feel organized over the holidays (kind of “hyper-organized”), so I hope that you’ll at least try a few new things to see if they work for you. First things first, I’m sure you have a calendar, and most people now keep their schedules on an app on their phone. I like to actually write things down and see everything out on paper so that I can’t miss anything

Many years ago, when my youngest was in preschool, I had one of those things happen that makes you feel like a failure as a mom. At the time, I had a 3 year old, a 6 year old and an 8 year old and I was working about 30 hours a week, from home. See how I’m already preparing you with my excuses? It was the week before Christmas and my life was chaotic, and I had just picked my son from preschool. He got in the car and I asked how his morning was, and he said, “Mommy, why weren’t you there to hear us sing our Christmas songs? The other mommies were there and I looked for you.” How pathetic is it that tears are coming to my eyes right now, 17 years after the fact? Get over it, Teresa. But that “mom guilt” can really linger!

november and december 2021 calendar pages
November & December 2021 pages to print out
list of holiday activities
Sample list of holiday activities to print out

Link to November/December Calendar Pages

Link to Holiday Calendar List

Link to Cleaning Lists

The first thing I want to do is offer you a free printable of a November and December calendar, so you have a place to write all of your holiday reminders. I will also include a printable list of everything I can think of that you might want to schedule over the holidays. Just take a look at the things that might apply to you and ignore the rest. Hopefully this will help prevent any little mishaps like my preschool debacle. These things aren’t meant to be comprehensive lists. My suggestion is to really write everything down that you intend to accomplish. If you don’t get around to them, just cross them off later, but at least you will be able to look at a calendar that has your intended activities. Note to all of my non-traditional or non-Christian friends and readers: I’m sorry that I’m not including any of the Jewish traditions or traditions from the many other religions that have celebrations during this time. My goal is to do some research and create a post about some of the holidays that I should know more about.

cleaning lists
daily/weekly/monthly cleaning lists

During the holidays, we have many guests coming through the house. Some are dinner guests, some are party guests and some guests are visiting for a few days. Regardless, we always want our houses looking clean and organized. I’m going to give you a few lists of cleaning schedules that you can print out, in case you’re like me and you work best with a list in front of you. I have three cleaning lists to help keep you on top of things: Daily, Weekly, Monthly. I don’t want to insult you by insinuating that you don’t already know what you need to clean in your own house. I simply wanted to just get your lists started so that you can customize them to your own life. For instance, I have laundry listed on each day because when I used to be doing laundry for the five people in my house, it was less overwhelming to do one load per day instead of trying to do all of the sorting, washing, folding and putting away in one day. Obviously, do whatever works best for you.

Along with the usual cleaning, when guests are coming over, I like to add some extra touches. I’m really into things smelling nice, so I will spray some fabric freshener around the furniture and drapes. I light some great scented candles. In my schedule of near future blog posts and videos, I will show you how to make homemade soy candles, room spray, bath salts and much more.

When I’m having people over for dinner, I try to put little bunches of fresh flowers around the house. You can use some from your own yard or pick up a bunch or two of carnations from the grocery store. They are pretty, smell nice and are usually very inexpensive. When I’m cleaning the house, weather permitting, I prefer to open windows in most of the rooms, just to air things out. Now that I think about it, maybe I’m so obsessed over making things smell good because I raised three boys and usually have two to three dogs living with us. Yeah, that’s probably not a coincidence.

There are also a lot of things I try to do to make our guest room nice for overnight guests. One of the things I do is make a little gift basket with some things they may have forgotten and some things just to make their stay cozier. I will go into more details on getting a guestroom ready in the future, but usually included are hand lotion, lip balm, some small packs of over-the-counter meds like Tylenol and an antacid. I also usually put a few magazines and maybe a book or two that I think they might enjoy.

I hope some of these tips help you stay on top of things over the holidays. I have so many fun blogs and videos coming over the next few weeks, and I’m excited to share them all with you. I apologize for not having a video come out for the first time, last week. I had a medical issue come up, which is pretty much the only reason I won’t stick to my schedule. Everything is fine with me now. So, this week will be a fun video tutorial on making your own soy candles at home! I hope you will watch.

Enjoy your week ahead, and I hope you find some fun things to celebrate!

Xoxo Teresa

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