Are you ready for the start of the Christmas madness? If you say “Yes”, that my friend is a lie. Nobody is ever ready for the craziness that census before, during and after the holidays. Cleaning, cooking, shopping, wrapping presents and repeat – cleaning, cooking. December is a tough month. Regardless of the holiday, you celebrate, the routine is pretty much the same. So to help you at least a little, we have created a 12-day cleaning routine. All tasks are broken down into small-size bites, so you don’t exhaust yourself and have time to rest and enjoy the festivities.

Cleaning Plan Preparations

Before we start our 12-day marathon, there are some important things you need to prepare.

  • Make sure you have all the necessary supplies in the house. You don’t want to waste time. Think about cleaning detergents, sponges, microfibre cloths and the like. Compare what you have with what you might need and go to the store.
  • Check your protective gear – facemask, rubber gloves and goggles. You will be cleaning drains and toilets, and those require some serious solvents. You don’t want to welcome the holidays in the ER.
  • Print your cleaning plan. Hang it on the fridge and trace your progress through the entire time. It will keep you focused ad ensure you don’t forget something important.

Tips That Will Help You Be More Organised

The key to successfully maintaining your home in somewhat decent condition during the winter holidays hides in e word – organisation. Having a list of tasks is not going to make things easier if you don’t create a cleaning routine. Here are some tips that will help you get into the right mindset.

  • It is all about the right mood. Create a playlist of your favourite songs, download an interesting podcast or choose an engaging audiobook – anything that will let your mind wander and relax and your hand work harder. Cleaning is not a thrilling task, so make it look like one.
  • Before you start your daily chores, take 30 minutes to inspect the area you are about to clean. Put all forgotten mugs and plates in the kitchen, empty the bins, fold the clean clothes and place the dirty ones in the laundry basket.
  • child washing dishesInclude your kids in the cleaning process. You can even offer them small rewards if they finish all their chores on time. However, this method only works with children above 7 or 8, as toddlers are not the best cleaners.
  • Don’t wash your windows. Winter is not the ideal season for that task, and you will probably catch a cold. So, no window washing.
  • Do not wash your carpets or upholstery. Again – not the right season for that. It is too cold for the fibres to dry off properly. Additionally, you can damage your floors and furniture and end up with damp rugs on Christmas day. As professional carpet cleaners with countless happy customers, we advise you to deep wash your carpeting during the warmer months. Spot cleaning is all right. If you need it, you can 100% do that. Just remember to use as less water as possible.
  • Get some bin bags and prepare to declutter. While meticulously making your way around the house, start collecting the items and clothes you or your family don’t need anymore. Old garments that are no longer in use, electronics, and books. Don’t sort them, just put them in bags. There is a special “Declutter day” in the plan, so you will get the chance to organise everything.

Why Does the 12-day Plan Work?

The idea is to divide and conquer. You could spend 48 hours non-stop cleaning and washing, but what is the point? You will just end up exhausted, cranky and generally not great company for the holiday dinner.

The 12-day plan allows you to deep-clean your house stages. The first 6 days are dedicated to each room in your home, with the kitchen occupying two days. Then you take a short break on day 7 and continue with the other areas in your home. Generally, the places where you eat, play and sleep, accumulate the most dirt and dust, so we start with them.

The last few days in the plan are reserved for maintaining what you have already achieved. The closer we get to Christmas, the lesser the workload becomes because there are more important things than cleaning.

The 12-Days of Clean-mass

We advise you to start around the 10th of December, so you will have enough time to deep-clean and gather strength for the festivities.

12 days of Christmas cleaning schedule

You can download the plan here: 12 Days of Christmas Cleaning

Are you ready? Get set! Go!

Day 1: The Master Bedroom

Commonly known as your room, the master bedroom is not the messiest place in the home (if you have children), and in theory, it will stay clean the longest. Few things you need to keep in mind here:

  • Vacuum your mattress. You have no idea what lives in your bed.
  • Dust your fixtures, lamps and chandeliers.
  • Start filling in the bags with items you no longer want.
  • Remember the mop the floor under the bed.

You will notice that vacuuming and moping (in that order) are last on the list. That is done deliberately. When you dust and wipe, small particles fall on the floor, so the practical thing to do is to clean them last. First, collect them with the vacuum, and then add the finishing touch with the mop.

Day 2: Kids’ Bedroom

Or in other words – the room of Chaos is next on the agenda. We advise you to enlist its owners in the cleaning process. This way, it will be faster, and you will teach your kids to tidy their own mess. That said, the focus here is order, so concentrate your efforts on putting everything in its place. Use the bin bags and sort the toys and clothes. Remember that you need to free some room for Christmas presents.

Day 3: Living Room

The third day is dedicated to the living room. Again, you need to organise and not deep-clean because you are actively using this space. That said, remember to vacuum and mop under the heavy furniture and wipe the TV. You can also spot-clean the upholstery and carpets. A good idea is to take down your curtains and wash them. It will divert attention from your uncleaned windows and brighten the room. That is what we call hitting two birds with one stone.

Day 4: Dining room

table setting

Next on the agenda is the dining room. The most important thing you need to do is to clean your furniture. You will be using this place a lot during the upcoming festivities, and everything must be in order. If you have a dining corner instead of a whole room – less work for you. You still have to complete all of the listed tasks, just on a smaller scale.

Day 5: Kitchen

Technically, you could clean your kitchen in one day, but why should you? Why exhaust yourself when you can do things in stages? Start with your kitchen appliances, and we do mean all of them. Take care of your:

  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Electric kettle
  • Fridge

Check our house cleaning guide if you don’t know how to do something. You will find a ton of great tips and tricks there.

Day 6: Kitchen

The second day of kitchen cleaning is dedicated to your worktops, cupboards, floors and sink. Basically, all of the chores you normally do when tidying up this area. Check your drain and use specialised solvents to clean it. Make sure to wipe all of the surfaces you use when cooking.

Day 7: Declutter and donate

For the past 6 days, you had to diligently collect your unwanted belongings in bags. Now is the time to pour yourself a glass of wine and star sorting. Use the 3-pile method – 1 pile of the things you will keep, 1 pile for everything you want to donate and 1 pile for the garbage bin. Go bag by bag, and take your time. On the seventh day, you will clean your home from the accumulated baggage, and free space for new and better things.

Day 8: Bathroom and toilet

And right back to actual scrubbing and whipping. Time to put on the rubber gloves and gab the heavy-duty solvents. Carefully clean the toilet bowl, shower and bathroom cabinet. Make sure to open a couple of windows and ensure a fresh air flow. Now is a good time to change all your towels and fill in the soap dispenser.

Day 9: Hallways, staircases and entryways

The entryway is the first thing your guests will see when visiting your home, so you need o make a good impression. Put away the coats and shoes you are not using to free some space. Sanitise your doorknobs, railways and doors. Don’t forget to wipe the mirrors and dust any decorative items like paintings, photos and sculptures.

Day 10: Laundry/Utility room

The day of the big wash has come. Sort the dirty clothes and fold the clean ones. Arrange the shelves and wipe the floors. It is not like you will welcome visitors here, so just make sure to vacuum any dust and dirt to prevent it from spreading into the other parts of the home.

Day 11: Casual clean up

Until now, you have diligently cleaned every room in your house. With only a couple of hours left until your family and friends arrive, all it is left for you is to casually vacuum the floors, pick up the misplaced items and arrange them properly. Go to each room and check if your family members have managed to keep their rooms tidy.

Day 12: Last-minute tasks

Start the last day by congratulating yourself – you did an amazing job. All that is left is to take the garbage out and ensure the outside areas of your home are presentable. Remember to sprinkle sea salt on your driveway, porch and steps to prevent ice from forming.

Important Cleaning Rules

Lastly, let’s go over some of the most important cleaning rules you need to follow:

Safety cleaning rules

It is wise to be prepared and avoid unnecessarily dangerous situations.

The winter holidays are stressful and exciting at the same time. So we hope that we were able to help you prepare for the “most wonderful time of the year” in the best possible way. If you have any questions or want to share your Christmas cleaning experience, hit us up in the comment section below. We really enjoy reading and answering your queries.

Happy Cleaning!


Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Cleaners for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with cleaning companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Cleaners with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.