Monday, October 31, 2011

Living On A Dime - Holiday Cleaning - Preparing Now For The Holidays

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Holiday Cleaning - Preparing Now For The Holidays
by Jill Cooper

Halloween is over, which means it is now officially time to kick it into gear to get ready for the holidays and to get your house ready for company. It really helps to get your house in order now because if unexpected company comes you won't get caught off guard. Then you can concentrate on baking, finding gifts and organizing activities without having to worry about deep cleaning your house again until after the New Year.
Hopefully by now you have been inspired to start getting things done a little at a time so this won't be too big of a job. Here are a few things to work on:
  • Get your closets in order. Put summer clothes away and take winter clothes out, tossing as you go.
  • Don't forget your linen closets. Get your guest towels, sheets and extra blankets aired out and put the linens in a handy spot so they are easy to grab when you need them.
  • If you have a guest room, get it cleaned and prepare everything for your first guests.
  • Get your holiday linens prepared. Wash them if necessary and make sure they're ready to go.
  • Hopefully you have cleaned your pantry. Now you need to make sure it is stocked with everything you need for your holiday recipes, for some quick and easy to fix snacks and dinners for unexpected company or food to take to social events.
  • Make sure your fridge and freezer are in order. The refrigerator and freezer are going to work overtime for you over the next couple of months so make sure they're cleaned, organized and prepared.
  • I don't worry about cleaning my oven at this time. I use it so much for baking that it's silly for me to clean it right before having a baking fest. I usually wait and give it a good cleaning after the holidays. If it's really bad or you have company coming and it looks awful you may want to go ahead and clean it anyway.
  • This week and next week is the time to do any deep cleaning that you don't want to have to mess with again until after the holidays-- things like washing your windows, deep cleaning rugs and carpets and dusting mirrors, picture frames, lampshades or ceiling fans.
If you have been keeping up with your cleaning you may not have to do any of these. Basically just clean your house enough for company. Then you'll know it's done and you will be prepared for the unexpected.
Part of the stress that comes at the holidays is the result of not being prepared, especially for the unexpected things that always seem to come up. Think of it like being prepared for a disaster. If I have a wood burning stove, firewood, lots of candles, blankets and food prepared, I am not too stressed if we lose power from an ice storm. If I wasn't at all prepared, I would be in a total panic if an ice storm hit.
If you are prepared, you have something you can whip up for company in just a few minutes or if the kids need treats for school, you have dough frozen and ready to be baked in the freezer. I'm not saying that I have everything prepared like Martha Stewart but I do try to have everything together enough so that I'm reasonably prepared for the unexpected. My idea of the perfect woman is a cross between Martha Stewart and Erma Bombeck! Some days I am more one than the other and on other days I totally miss the mark, but that's okay, because I tried. :-)

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit , sign up for our free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

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