Your Holiday Cleaning Schedule & Checklist

Getting ready for the holidays? We put together the ultimate cleaning list. (And we even checked it twice).

Between the cooking, baking and cleaning, it can feel like there’s not much time to actually celebrate the holidays. And if you’ve ever found yourself furiously scrubbing the oven three days before Christmas instead of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” with the fam, well, have we got a solution for you.

Say hello to your new holiday cleaning schedule and checklist. We spread out common cleaning tasks over the course of a month, so you’ll have plenty of time to get everything on your list done. (And maybe even check it twice).

Download Your Printable Checklist

holiday cleaning checklistSydney Watson/Taste of Home

Your Holiday Cleaning Schedule & Checklist

1 Month Before: Get Started

Entryway

  • Wipe down the door with a damp cloth.
  • Launder (or deep-clean) the doormat.
  • Tuck away any out-of-season items.

Living Room

  • Vacuum furniture.
  • Treat any furniture or carpet stains.
  • If you have a fireplace you plan to use, schedule a chimney sweep.

Dining Room

  • Polish silver. (Here’s how to remove tarnish).
  • Launder any table linens you plan to use.
  • Polish the dining room table.
  • Ensure you have enough chairs for your guests. Borrow or rent any extras.

Kitchen

Bathroom

  • Address any leaks, broken hardware or other issues.

Guest Bedroom

Outside

1 Week Before: Freshen Up 

Entryway

Living Room

  • Dust the space.
  • Launder throw blankets.
  • Wipe down the coffee table.

Dining Room

  • Dust the space.
  • Wash any serving dishes you plan to use.
  • Press any table linens you plan to use.

Kitchen

Bathroom

  • Sweep or mop floors.
  • Stock up on extra toiletries.

Guest Bedroom

  • Write down the Wi-Fi password for guests.
  • Remove any personal belongings from the closet and dresser.

Outside

  • Let your neighbors know that you’re expecting a lot of guests—especially if they plan to park in the street. If you have overnight guests, find out if you need overnight street-parking permits for their cars. (No one wants a parking ticket on Christmas!)

1 Day Before: Last-Minute Details

Entryway

  • Move coats out of the closet or off the coat rack to make room for guests’ belongings.

Living Room

  • Tuck away any clutter, like newspapers, books or remotes.
  • If you have a pet, lint-roll any seating areas.

Dining Room

Kitchen

  • Wipe down the refrigerator.
  • Clean the countertops.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Empty the dishwasher.
  • Refresh the garbage disposal. (Feeling ambitious? You can polish your sink, too).
  • Clear personal items (like appointment reminders) off of the fridge.

Bathroom

  • Wipe mirror.
  • Clean the tub, shower and toilet.
  • Remove clutter and personal products from the vanity.

Guest Bedroom

Outside

  • Put away any yard tools, like rakes or snow shovels.

30-Minutes Before: Final Touches

Entryway

  • Place a dry boot tray near the door to collect guests’ wet shoes.
  • Tidy or tuck away any piles of mail.

Living Room

  • Arrange throw pillows and blankets.
  • Quickly vacuum up any fallen pine needles from around the tree.

Dining Room

  • Light any candles.

Kitchen

  • Make room in the fridge for any dishes guests bring to pass.
  • Hang fresh dish towels.

Bathroom

  • Set out fresh hand towels.
  • Close the shower curtain.
  • Wipe down the faucet and sink.
  • Make sure you have enough soap set out.

Guest Bedroom

  • Fluff pillows.

Outside

  • If there’s snow or ice, make sure the walk/driveway is shoveled and salted.
  • Turn on any holiday or house lights.

Popular Videos

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.