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Keeping a Squeaky Clean Home Before, During & After Your Thanksgiving Feast

The picture perfect scene of the Thanksgiving Family dinner looks something along the lines of ten to twelve smiling faces, mounds of food cascading over the mahogany dining table, and a warm ambiance glowing in the background to reflect the love and good memories being shared.

It’s a beautiful picture, yes, but it’s sad to say that most meals don’t run this course.

There’s no hiding that cooking a twelve-pound bird complete with stuffing, potatoes, and all other fixings is a stressful mess. If we aren’t careful, some of us won’t be counting our blessings on the day of thanks, but rather the stains in the carpet and the mountain of dishes.

However, the holidays can still be a joyous time, especially if you know how to keep your guests satisfied and your home organized. Luckily, we have the tricks and tips so that you can have both the smiling faces and spotless sanctuary this Thanksgiving.

Before

The first step in keeping your home clean during the holidays is making sure your dwelling is ship shape before the guests even arrive. After all, the less mess there is to start with the less mess there is to clean up in the end. Therefore, take the time to organize and inspect your home a few days prior. It’ll make cleanup simpler and look lovelier for your guests.

Here is our “list of things” to do before the holiday begins:

Clean out the fridge and freezerThanksgiving requires a lot of food, and a lot of chow means a lot of kitchen space to put everything. In order to save yourself the hassle of a last-minute freezer fighting, go through both the freezer and the refrigerator to downsize. Get rid of anything not regularly needed, throw out expired food, and condense so that you leave yourself a few free shelves to store the new cuisine. Now, you’ll have room to safely stow the Thanksgiving ham and Grandma’s Jello Casserole with space remaining for leftovers.

Empty the trashI live in a house of four people, and we still need to empty the garbage nearly every other day. With the number of people centupled on Thanksgiving, you’ll need as much garbage space as possible. If anything, make sure your current trash receptacles are emptied before guests arrive, so you can anticipate the impending mess. It wouldn’t hurt to gather a few more waste bins either in order to offset the increased rate of disposal.

Thoroughly dustDo a detailed scan of the house and make sure everything is shipshape, and appreciate the cleanliness your home is currently in, because it won’t look so pretty for too long. Do laundry, dust, and clean the bathrooms before your guests arrive; it’ll make your home look more inviting, but it will also free yourself to have more social time with visitors. Not to mention, the last thing you want to do after overseeing a Thanksgiving Feast is do anymore manual labor, so save yourself the future trouble and do what you can beforehand.

Close off unwanted roomsA closed door typically means no access, or at least warrants a knock. It’s a rule that many people have accepted and follow regularly, so take advantage! Your guests, though they are welcome in your home, don’t need to see every inch of your premise. Feel free to shut doors where you don’t want people to enter in order to keep those rooms off limits and anti-cluttered.

Plan ahead: I can’t stress this enough! Knowing exactly what and how much of each dish will be present at the feast will help you organize your refrigerator a lot better. You won’t end up having to squeeze the pumpkin pie over the defrosting turkey. Having a set schedule for using the oven and stove will help the dinner prep run a lot smoother and faster. It will also ensure you will have enough time to cook everything instead of rushing at the last minute to get everything cooked and not leaving you with a huge mess.

During

Company is starting to flood in by the minute, and between greeting and eating, you somehow have to keep your home organized and presentable. But there’s just one of you! How are you, alone, supposed to maintain a job fit for a team? Start recruiting! There’s no shame in asking for a little help during the party, and most will offer anyhow. I’m not saying assign everyone a mop when they walk through the door, but there are still ways to get others involved nicely in order to save you stress during Thanksgiving.

Here are our tips on keeping your home clean during the feast:

Pot luck: We’ve all done potlucks for church events and team rallies. They are fun and easy, so why not adopt this method to Thanksgiving! When inviting your guests to join your feast, ask them to bring a dish. It’ll broaden your menu, give everyone a new taste of an old tradition, and save you the headache of cooking and cleaning everything.

Label: The key to organization is making sure everything is in its place. Therefore, make it known where everything goes. Make a sign above the sink with a dirty and clean side so guests know where to put their dishes. Label the garbage and recycle bins to avoid confusion. Mark where everyone is to find food, drinks, and kitchenware to make the guessing work, and chaos, down to a minimum. By grouping items together and stating what and where they are, guests can serve themselves easily which will allow you to accomplish other tasks or simply enjoy the day as well.

Clean as you go: Cooking a big meal means a big mess sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep on top of it. Clean and wash as you go. Very rarely do you have to hover over every simmering pot every second; while the potatoes are boiling and the turkey is baking, do some dishes. (Better yet, delegate your kids to do them!) It’ll free up kitchen space and reduce the mess instantly without having to use up extra time.

Make friends and grab some helping hands: Good friends and family are going to be there for each other, which means that you can absolutely ask a trusted companion to help with a task. Kindly request your brother to take the trash out when its full, leave your best friend in charge of napkin restock, and grab your mother and ask her to be on the lookout for spills.

These are all easy enough tasks that someone can do freely while still mingling with the crowd, and yet not having these chores to do yourself will liberate some time for you as well. Don’t be afraid to assert yourself and ask for some help. It will be offered and given.

thanksgiving
(Source: NBC)

After

Congratulations! It was another successful Thanksgiving meal! The guests are starting to dwindle down as the bellies become more and more full. However, just because the task of eating has been accomplished, doesn’t mean the holiday is over yet. There is still cleaning to be done! Hopefully you were able to do some dusting and dish washing beforehand, but you still may be left with a mound of messes. What do you do? You are full and sleepy with turkey, and the last thing you want to do is work.

Have no fear! Here is what we recommend for the last leg of the race: cleaning up after the feast:

Assembly line: Ok, so a home isn’t a factory ran business, but it still shelters a large group of people how are gathered together to complete a similar task. On Thanksgiving, the task is eating. After the meal is done, however, the goal of most is to be thankful and help. Let them! Gather some people and assembly line the dishes: one to scrape and stack, one to wash, the other to dry. Have someone gather all waste bags and throw them out and have another wipe down the tables. It’ll be a bonding moment for all to share, speed up the cleaning process, and burn threw a few of those calories we all just ate.

Professional cleaning crew: Simply can’t make it on your own or can’t recruit helping hands within your family? Call a professional cleaning service! They will gladly lend the extra help to scrub and shine after the turkey bash so that you can rest knowing your holiday went by with success.


Holidays are the pinnacle of excitement, love, and family, but that doesn’t always mean that these days look as picturesque as our calendar cover. Thanksgiving means family, and family sometimes means a lot of mess that has to be cleaned up. However, don’t let the chores stop you from having the most enjoyable vacation possible.

Hopefully, with these tips, you can fully harness your Thanksgiving feast and feel in control from start to finish. If you still need some assistance, or have any further questions about keeping your home clean this Thanksgiving, please feel free to contact us at My Cleaning Lady or call 909-829-5882.

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