10 Things to Clean Now Before the Holiday Season Gets Going

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

So you’re hosting an upcoming holiday. That means you either …

  1. Want to.
  2. Drew the short straw.
  3. Were told you were hosting by your mother.

No matter the reason, think of us as your online support system. We’re here to help you not only make a meal that people will still be talking about next year, but also ensure that you look like the consummate hostess. So no running around harried and sweating the whole day looking for extra seating and missing silverware. You can do this! It’s a mindset and really will be fun if you decide it will be.

Because it’s still early November, you have plenty of time to get ready. Take advantage of any free time you have now and clean these 10 often-forgotten-until-the-last-minute items.

1. Massive serving platters

You know the ones. The ones that are so large that you can’t even fit them into your kitchen cabinets. You’re going to need them for something, so you may as well pull them out and dust them off now. Plus, you can see if you need to pick up any extra platters at the store.

2. Folding chairs

These necessary items can take a beating in your basement, garage, crawlspace, or wherever it is you stash them. Wipe them down with a damp cloth; you might even want to leave them out in the sun to get rid of any mustiness. Also, it never hurts to make sure they actually unfold and sit without wobbling. Give the joints a squirt of WD-40 if needed.

(Image credit: Kitchn Video)

3. The good silverware

If you’re going this route (no judgements if you’re not!), that is. If you actually have good silverware and want to use it, now is the time to polish it up and make sure you have enough for everyone attending.

4. Those cloth napkins you never use

Check to make sure they’re fresh, clean, and pressed (or at least not super wrinkled). Oh, and if they’re haunted by random stains from meals past, you might not want to use them.

5. Table extensions

Find them, dust them off, and figure out — yet again — how to put those darn table leaves in. Do it now and you’ll also be able to figure out if any furniture needs to be moved around to accommodate the table’s new square-footage.

6. Coolers for drinks

Just in case they’re still a little icky from summer picnics or cookouts, give them a scrub and rinse so they’re ready to hold all of the extra beverages you wish you could fit into your fridge. The beauty is that, day of, they encourage guests to help themselves.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

7. Guest room linens

So you’ve already got clean sheets on the bed, but if it’s been a while since your guest room has been occupied, make sure the sheets smell fresh and clean. Wash them again or spritz them with your favorite linen spray.

8. To-go containers

Do a container count and make sure you’ve got enough to hold all of your leftovers. If they’re not looking their cleanest, get rid of stains with a bit of baking soda and vinegar. Rinse and wash again before using.

9. All the decorative things

Napkin rings, faux pumpkins, your favorite candlesticks — basically anything you might need for table décor (that may have been sitting in storage for the last year) — will most likely need a good dusting.

(Image credit: Gina Eykemans)

10. The fridge and freezer

Clear room for all of the deliciousness that is coming or, in the short term, the ingredients! Get rid of random leftovers and anything that’s expired. Wipe down the shelves and in the drawers. Trust us — it just feels better to put food into a clean fridge.

Whew! Now don’t you feel so much more prepared? All these little things add up to so much less work on the big day. Let the countdown to the holidays continue!