Seven simple tips for prepping your home for the holidays

(BPT) – There’s something about the holiday season that makes gathering with family and friends extra special. But between the cooking, decorating and shopping, preparing for the holidays with that never-ending to-do list can be overwhelming.

To reduce stress and stay organized, make a list of all the tasks you need to complete around the house, and apply a deadline for each project. This will help you prioritize and stay on schedule, eliminating any last-minute scrambles.

Of course, there are standard household chores like vacuuming, window wiping and counter cleaning, but don’t forget to consider these other holiday prep projects that may not be on your list.

1. Clean the oven – The oven is the heart of any kitchen, so it’s especially important to clean it to prevent excess smoke and other kitchen hazards. But don’t create additional problems by using a cleaner with smelly fumes. Rather, opt for a quick, easy-to-use product like Goo Gone Oven & Grill Cleaner, a surface-safe alternative to general oven cleaners that does the work for you with its super-cling foam and low odor formula. Look for it at your local retailer or purchase it online at

2. Clear the fridge – Create space in your fridge and throw out any expired products, making room for your holiday menu items and any unexpected dishes that guests may bring. While you’re at it, make sure you clear plenty of counter space for your holiday menu items.

3. Freshen the carpet – Regular vacuuming will help eliminate surface dirt and pet hair, but it won’t eliminate set-in stains and ground-in grime. Depending on budget and time, you can either rent a carpet deep cleaner or hire a professional to clean the carpeted rooms of your home prior to hosting your big holiday event. In a time crunch? Focus on the high-traffic areas of your home like the living, family and dining rooms.

4. Empty a closet – No one wants to wear a wrinkled coat home from a party. Instead of tossing guests’ coats in a bedroom, maintain your privacy and clear out a closet near an entry where guests can hang their coats while visiting.

5. Create more space – Give guests the freedom to unwind and relax at your holiday gathering by offering them enough space to do so. Store extra throw pillows, blankets and toys in bins or chests to create more seating space for guests.

6. Deodorize your home – What’s a surefire way to put a damper on your holiday gathering? Have guests enter a space plagued by unpleasant odors. Keep deodorizing sprays, candles or oils on hand to add a favorite scent to a room or to eliminate any undesirable odors left behind from an unfortunate cooking incident. For a cheaper alternative, boil an orange peel, which releases its natural oils into the air for a pleasant citrus scent.

7. Stock extra toiletries – For overnight guests, provide extra toiletries they may have forgotten like travel-size shampoo, soap, lotion, shaving cream, toothpaste, a toothbrush and cotton swabs.

With these tips, some time and a bit of advanced planning, your home will be holiday-ready, leaving you stress-free to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with those you love.

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