A Thanksgiving Cleaning Checklist

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Not only does Thanksgiving require hours of cooking, you have to clean the house for guests too! You’ll be too busy to clean every corner, closet, and bedroom.  Plan ahead and tackle big projects first, then focus on cleaning the rooms that your guests are going to see and spend time in. Here is our thanksgiving cleaning checklist:

Two Weeks Ahead: Tackle any organizational tasks or things that will stay relatively clean for 2 weeks

  • Clean the refrigerator to make room for Thanksgiving food.  Be ruthless!  You’ll need the space.
  • Clean out a coat closet if you plan on hanging guest’s coats there
  • Do any outdoor chores: raking leaves, etc.
  • Wash any serving dishes or utensils that haven’t don’t get used regularly
  • If you are using special china or glassware, wash and polish
  • If you have any cluttered areas you don’t want guests to see, organize them now

One-Week Ahead: This is the time to do a really deep cleaning so that the house will be just need a quick touchup the day before

  • Thoroughly dust, paying extra attention to window sills and other places guests might lean and talk
  • Vacuum, and sweep: See our Floor Cleaning Guide for help
  • Use a brush attachment on the sofa and other upholstered furniture.  Have a microfiber couch?  Clean it up.
  • Clean windows in dinning room, kitchen, living room and any glass in the front door
  • Wash and iron any tablecloths and napkins that have been stored for a while
  • Deep clean bathrooms guests will be using- sink, toilet, shower, tub, mirrors, and floors.  Don’t forget to dust!
  • Thoroughly clean the oven and stovetop and exhaust fan- you’ll want to have a clean range for all the cooking you’ll be doing

The Day Before Thanksgiving: Touchup Time

  • Touch up the bathrooms- wipe mirrors, the top of the toilet, an the faucet
  • Touch up dusting, vacuuming and sweeping- it shouldn’t be too bad since you did it a week ago
  • Run and empty the dishwasher
  • Set the table- if you don’t need to use the dinner table for cooking preparation, set it the day before so it will look nice for arriving guests and you’ll have one less thing to do
  • Put out any candles or decorations

Thanksgiving Day:

  • Put out fresh towels in bathrooms
  • Take out the trash before guests arrive- it will be full after all the cooking
  • Wipe down the stove
  • Clear away countertops- guests congregate in the kitchen

While Thanksgiving is a lot of work, it is also very rewarding to spend time with friends and family in a festive atmosphere.  Taking the time to clean ahead of time will help you enjoy the cooking and socializing without being stressed or embarrassed about your housekeeping.  Need some tips on cleaning?  See our top 6 affordable cleaning solutions and 6 ways to make cleaning fun.