I love Fall. I love the slow transition to winter that nature allows us knowing how terrible we humans are adapting to the brutal winter. I love the slight chill in the air but enough warmth to allow you to still take advantage of the great outdoors without freezing your bum off. I love the way the leaves turn and display a plethora of beautiful colours all over the city. Most of all, I love Thanksgiving. I love the warm feeling of having family and friends seated around an extended table with extra chairs stuffed to the brim and/or spilling out into the living areas while the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg waft through the air, demanding the top button of your pants be undone to make more room. I love the naps that supervene upon multiple gluttonous sessions. But what I don’t love is the panic that ensues the hour before as the turkey is still in the oven and there’s mashed potato residue on my counter-tops and maybe an accidental splash of gravy that made its way to the floor. But I’m not here to tell you about all the drama that happens before your guests arrive. I’m here to tell you how to calm down that heart rate and get your place looking spic and span enough that the only focus will be on that dear turkey you spent hours preparing.
This seems like a given, but rather than focusing on making sure everything is clean, which can stress you out to the max, dust off all of your furniture focusing on the spaces that your guests will likely be seated throughout. If you’ve got areas they won’t access, leave them so that your stress level remains as low as possible. If there are shelves or bookcases, dust off the areas that are the closest to eye-level.
Clean the Bathroom
Ah, the dreaded task of cleaning the bathroom! We live in such a fast-paced life that sometimes this gets neglected so much that when it is time to clean the bathroom, it seems like the most daunting task of all time. If your guests will all be on one level, clean the bathroom that is most accessible to that level. This way you are not having to worry about all of the bathrooms in your home. Want to play safe in case Uncle John is taking too long in the bathroom and someone else needs to use it? Quick-clean a secondary bathroom. If there is a tub, draw the curtains so it instantly looks clean…no one will look! (I can’t promise you that if Aunt Lucy has a habit of opening cupboards to check, though.) Give the toilet a quick scrub, wipe down the sink and counter-top and do a quick mop of the floor. This will save you from any embarrassment in an emergency case.
Vacuum/Sweep the Floor
I love this machine. Seriously, whoever invented the vacuum was a saint. Every time I vacuum it’s like an instant make-over for our home. The hour before your guests come, quickly vacuum your carpets and floors (sweep if hardwood) all throughout the areas your guests will be in. Pay special attention to the kitchen area to get rid of any crumbs that made their way to the floor while cooking.
(This is pretty much how I feel in the moments leading up to my guests arrival.)
Load the Dishwasher
Most of us are usually cooking right up to the final hour and then re-heating as we pull out food. If there are dishes piled up in the sink, this will only add to the panic when you are dishing out the food and trying to find space to put the dirty pots and pans. You’ll likely have to run your dishwasher a couple of times. Load up your dishwasher prior to your guests arrival with any utensils or bowls that came out during the cooking process. If full, run the dishwasher. You can empty it out after dinner is over and re-load it again. Chances are, you’ll get some help then, too. *wink*
Wipe Down all Countertops
You want for people to know you worked hard on that beautiful Thanksgiving spread, but you don’t want them to see your hard work through the crumbs scattered all over your countertops. Wipe them dowwwwnnnn. Take a wet microfiber cloth and run it across all surfaces. The microfiber will catch onto all the food particles and leave you with a kitchen that looks sparkly clean without too much of an effort.
Last but not least, remember to relax and enjoy the holiday with your family and friends. And when its all done, give us a shout to come in and clean up after. You deserve it!
P.S. Ryan Gosling not included.
Happy Thanksgiving from Maid in T.O!