We're getting REAALLLLY close here people…. as of today we only have 10 days left until Christmas! Yikes! I am sure that you are feeling (as I do) that there is still so much to be done! I still have holiday goodies to bake, homemade gifts to assemble, and at this moment, not a single Christmas present has been wrapped! But you know me, I am a Mom with a plan. Tonight I plan to open a nice bottle of Port, serve some cheese, and corral my husband into a gift-wrap-a-thon! This weekend I will be a baking machine! And come Sunday afternoon, I will be a whirlwind of cellophane and ribbon! But the one thing that I am having a really touch time keeping up with (well- other than the diet and exercise thing… sigh…) is the household cleaning. I've put a little thought into this today, found some motivation to get myself started… and I am beginning to get my house under control! So I thought I would share my cleaning tips with you:
Holiday Cleaning Tips:
- It would be so nice to tell you to just forget all about keeping up with the cleaning while you focus on everything else you need to do in the next 10 days. But unless you are planning on fleeing town for the holidays and having a cleaning crew come in to tidy up while you are gone….. you are going to hate yourself if you let the house go. Because at some point, you are going to have family or friends come by, and you are going to send yourself into an exhausted cleaning frenzy trying to get it all done at once! So plan a few smaller tasks each day over the next 10 days in order to break it down into manageable pieces!
- These dry winter months seem to be an especially dusty time in our household. We often have a fire burning in the fireplace on weekends, we are running humidifiers in the kids' bedrooms to battle back their runny noses and coughs, and all kinds of dirt seems to be getting tracked into the house by both the humans and the dog! So dusting and vacuuming is non-negotiable right now in our house…. just to keep up! And having the kids remove their shoes when they come in the door doesn't hurt either!
- Stay on top of the clutter- and get your kids to help you! I am so dead-tired at the end of the day- it would be so easy to just ignore the pile of mail on the countertop, the school papers that have come home and require some sort of action (sign this permission slip, initial that test grade, etc), not to mention the toys, art supplies, and legos that have been taken out and not returned to their proper home. Solution? Every night after dinner, declare that it is time for everyone to help out and put things away where they belong- for 15 minutes- all hands on deck! While the kids put away the toys and art supplies, you can focus on clearing out the paperwork. You will feel much better in the morning to walk into a de-cluttered kitchen!
When I married into this family, I not only grabbed up the world's greatest husband…. but I also was lucky enough to become a part of a large extended family of truly wonderful people. And one of my very favorite members of my “family-in-law” is Steve's Aunt Patsy (his Mom's sister). First of all, Aunt Patsy is rockin' cool because she is a retired computer programmer. A woman-computer-programmer. She was working in tech before it was even “a thing”. You just gotta love that. And secondly, Aunt Patsy is one of the most talented and creative women I know. She is an incredibly gifted painter- and loves to create home decor and share her talents with her family members at Christmas.
Over the years, I have been the lucky recipient of her work… and every Christmas I look forward to seeing what Aunt Patsy has created this year. Now, not every gift is holiday-themed… but of course this time of year is when I have the chance to pull out the full Aunt Patsy holiday collection… which I would like to share with you here:
Above our cabinets in the kitchen, I have displayed three of her wooden platters and sign pieces. They were given to me at three separate times, but I think that they work so well together that I like to display them as a group!
This is a gorgeous lazy Susan with a poinsettia theme that we use on our kitchen table. (If I could just get the kids to stop spinning it while we are eating!)
This adorable wooden sign hangs on a closet door that a has a lock way up high….. I wonder why we keep this door locked during the holidays? Hmm…..
This beautiful box with the snowy church scene holds cinnamon scented potpourri with pinecones. I can't keep my daughters out of it! They love to take off the lid and enjoy the delicious scent!
And finally we get to my very favorite pieces…. her hand painted holiday ornaments. She makes one for each member of our family!
I am sharing my holiday home decor and cleaning tips for the chance to win prizes from The SITS Girls and Great Cleaners.