It’s almost time for turkey, food, and football! Is your home ready for visitors? Read on for the best Thanksgiving cleaning checklist for your home- even if you’re short on time.
Rid Your Cupboard of Old Baking Ingredients
Before you plan the big meal, check the expiration dates on your baking ingredients. If your baking powder is old, your fluffy biscuits will turn out to be flat bread.
Check the expiration dates on your spices. If the label indicates “expired”, your pumpkin pie spice may have lost its potency. And your pumpkin bread won’t have the rich flavor you enjoy.
Key Thanksgiving cleaning checklist hint: Instead of squinting to read the tiny expire date, write the “best buy” date on the label with a fat marker.
Here’s a simple way to test the freshness of baking powder:
Measure one teaspoon of baking powder into a cup. Add a little hot water. If the baking powder fizzes, it’s good to go. If not, buy a new can. Then, let the cook-a-thon commence!
Wash Stored Holiday China, Silverware, and Stemware
Thanksgiving is a once-a-year celebration and worth getting out your best china, silverware, and stemware. But, depending on how you store them, your favorite china or wine glasses may be a little dusty. A couple of days before, wash all dishwasher-safe items. Hand wash and dry the rest.
Place all clean glassware and silverware in an out-of-the-way spot. A card table works well. Cover with a clean sheet.
Bed and Table Linens
Will some guests stay overnight? Extra guest room linens and blankets may need a wash to smell fresh. If you typically use your extra bedroom for storage, declutter by moving boxes to the closet or garage.
Wash and iron all table linens. Round up napkin rings.
The day before and the morning of Thanksgiving, load, run and empty the dishwasher as many times as needed to keep the stove, sink, and counter clean. If there’s time, unload the dishwasher just before everyone gathers to eat.
When you see a clear sink and counter it can be a stress reliever, plus it makes after-dinner Thanksgiving cleaning more pleasant, too.
Don’t Forget Everyday Chores
- Clean the bathroom. Be sure to stock extra bath tissue, soap, and towels.
- Clean the kitchen; sweep the floor, wipe the countertops.
- You’ll need lots of counter space. Move any unneeded countertop items to a closet or another room.
- Vacuum, dust, straighten, and fluff. Don’t forget the guest bedroom.
- Clear a place for guest’s hats, coats, and bags in the entryway. Or, designate a room where guests can stash their belongings.
On Thanksgiving, the kitchen is the hot spot. Family and friends love to gather to chat, nibble, and assist, so the kitchen should initially be spotless.
Guests won’t mind a few dishes in the sink, but a dirty stove? Detail clean the stove’s exterior. Clean the interior the weekend before.
If your oven is self-cleaning, run the clean cycle. When your guests admire the big bird through the oven door, that’s all they’ll see.
Additional easily forgotten spots to clean:
- Lower kitchen cabinets
- The front of the dishwasher
- The microwave
One of the most essential items on your Thanksgiving cleaning checklist is cleaning your refrigerator, both inside and out. Clean the outside of the fridge and check inside for any out-dated food that can be tossed.
This makes room for the side dishes, appetizers, and desserts. Transfer food in oversized containers to smaller disposables.
- Adjust the room’s interior lighting. Create a cozy mood by switching on table lamps. Leave bright overhead lighting off.
- Light groups of candles or use battery-operated candle sets to create a welcoming glow. (Check out our tutorial on making cinnamon pumpkin candles here)
- Purchase an autumn-toned flower arrangement to highlight the holiday table.
- Pop in some soft background music and you’re set to greet friends and family.
Don’t stress about cleaning your house before Thanksgiving. Last-minute cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore if you follow the easy home Thanksgiving cleaning checklist above.
For Thanksgiving decorating ideas, click here.
(Photo Courtesy of Tom Kim)