Use this list of what to clean in December as your simple guide to what jobs need to be tackled this month around the house.
OK, so right now you’re probably thinking, “What? Clean in December? I’m just trying to keep from losing my head right now. I really don’t have time for anything other than all the holiday stuff. And I’m not even 100% sure how I’m going to get that all done right now.” And to you I say “Exactly, my friend. Exactly.” Whether you started your Christmas planning and preparations early, or whether you’re jumping into it last-minute, there’s something about this season that makes you feel like all the festivities and hoopla that come with it need your undivided attention. So let’s do that. Let’s give it our undivided attention. This is the one time of year where I really don’t think it’s necessary to chip away at any big deep cleaning tasks, or any tasks that will help you prepare for what’s ahead. Or any tasks that will help you clean up from the prior month’s mess. In cleaning, as in life, December is the time to live in the moment. 🙂
That being said, there are a few little things that you can do that might actually get you a little more in the spirit of the season, actually make your workload lighter, and you might even enjoy them too. So let’s do those. Here’s my list of things that are perfect to clean at exactly this time of year.
Your Simple List What to Clean in December
Read through this explanation of what to clean this month and why, then scroll to the bottom to print out the checklist. Post it on your fridge or file it away in your home keeping binder so you can check off what you get done!
There’s nothing that dulls the sparkle of a beautifully-decorated home quite like the layer of dust that will inevitably show up on your Christmas decor once you’ve had it set up for a week or so. If you’re like me and you tend to decorate a little on the early side, consider this your friendly reminder to dust both your regular dustable surfaces and your Christmas decor pieces as well.
Polish Glassware and Utensils
I’m not talking about all of your everyday stuff. Remember – this is not a month for deep-cleaning. Do take the time to polish any special glassware, eating utensils, and serving utensils that you’ll want to use for any special dinners that you’ll be hosting. That extra bit of sparkle is worth the effort and it’s actually a pretty relaxing task once you get into it – which you could probably use right about now. You may remember that this is also one of the tasks that I recommend doing in the final moments just before guests arrive, but there’s nothing wrong with getting it done even a few weeks ahead of time if you can keep everything dust-free.
Clean Your Christmas Decor Bins
If you already have your decor up, take a moment to wipe out the bins where you store your decor while they’re empty. Chances are that there’s a good layer of dust, sparkles, and pinecone fragments at the bottom of them from years of use.
Purge Old Christmas Decor That You Don’t Use
Do you still have stuff left in your bins after you’re done setting up your decor? Is it the same stuff that was leftover in there last year as well? There are probably a few items that you’re holding on to that you could get rid of right now. These could be broken items, things that are no longer your style, or things that you just don’t have a place for. Now is a great time to gain some clarity on what you really do need to keep and what you can donate or throw in the trash.
Clean Your Jewelry
If ever there was a time to sparkle, it’s now. Take a few moments and clean the jewelry that you want to wear during the holiday season. You can find my easy jewelry cleaning method here.
Vacuum Under Your Tree (again)
You’ve probably done this a few times already, but let’s not kid ourselves; it probably needs to be done again. Whether you have a real tree or a faux one, it’s probably been shedding some debris and it’ll probably bug you if you don’t take care of it.
Water Your Real Tree
If you have a real tree, it probably needs to be watered again. And again. And again. And again. Just thought you could use one more reminder. I know I always can!
This was our real tree from a few years ago when Jack was just one year old and I felt like I had no time for Christmas decorating, so we just kept it really simple. I’m not sure why, but it’s still one of my all-time favourites. 🙂
Wipe Down Your Table and Your Counters Frequently
Clean, freshly-wiped counters and tables are like a perfectly-made bed: They just make the whole room seem clean. You’ll get a tiny boost of satisfaction from making the room look cleaner so quickly and you’ll probably also start to subconsciously keep your table and counters clear of clutter as well.
Clean Serving Dishes
Double check that any serving dishes that you want to use are perfectly clean and don’t have any bits of food or any staining that could be an unpleasant surprise on the day of a special dinner. While you’re at it, plan which exact recipes will go in which serving dishes and label them with sticky notes if you’re in the mood to feel like an organizing genius.
Clean Out Your Handbag
This may be the last thing on your mind right now, but a tidy, organized handbag really does make holiday shopping so much less stressful. The less wallet fumbling and key searching that you have to do, the better.
Click here to print off your checklist!
Don’t forget to pin this to save it for next year as well!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.