10 Quick Tips to Clean the House Before Thanksgiving!

1.  Avoid Perfection at All Costs – getting most of it done in a quick fashion does not 
allow you to get into detailed cleaning.  
2.  Understand why you are doing the quick cleaning. Is it the usual Monday clean up?  
Or are you cleaning up for a special event (kids birthday party, cocktail party, or 
thanksgiving). Once you know why you need to clean up – it’s easier to decide where to 
spend the most time. If the kid’s birthday party is outside – spend your time 
cleaning up the outside, the bathroom, their bedroom and the kitchen.  
If you’re having an adult cocktail party, focus on the living room, dining room, 
kitchen and bathroom. If it's thanksgiving, dining room, kitchen, bathroom living room?
3.  When cleaning and de-cluttering, I suggest moving left to right around the house.  
Stand at your front door and continue to organize and clean.  Remember everything behind 
you is now considered a clean, clutter-free zone and everything ahead of you requires 
attention.  Using this method always you to measure what you’ve done and what’s 
left to do.  If you don’t need to clean a particular room, close the door and move on.
4.  Use a timer, set for 15 to 20 minute increments.
5.  Keep calendar or notepad next to you, that way you can write down ideas and reminders 
that come to you and you don’t have to stop and go to another room to write down a note
(which creates distractions).
6.  Select the kind of music that will make you move  quickly.  Slow classical music 
creates slow movements  when dusting or doing dishes.  When you are “up” and    
dancing and smiling – we automatically move faster!
7.  Before you start cleaning, decide what your system will be for this quick clean up?
Create four or five tasks that you will do in the room.  Cleaning up means different
things to different people.
8.  Start with the most important room or the most difficult room and set the 
number of minutes you will spend cleaning it.
9.  Keep a basket with you as you clean.  When you find items that don’t belong in 
the room you are cleaning, toss them in the basket and keep cleaning.  We loose 
time when we walk each individual item back to it’s proper location.
10. Understand whether you are more likely to clean in the  mornings, afternoons
or evenings.  Stick with what works.  I know I’m a morning person, so I power 
through my cleaning first thing to make sure it’s done and I can get on with 
the day.  Others are late night people and the cleaning can be a relaxing way to wind down the day.


  • Mike Sloan says:

    The best suggestion I can give to others is to take 15-30 minutes a day to keep on top of things. There is nothing worse than feeling completely overwhelmed at what needs to be done.

    I have perfectionist tendancies, but if you do as well, try to remember that very few people notice small imperfections like you or I might.

    If I feel overwhelmed, I ask others in my house to chip in, if only just a little. Their willingness to contribute is a huge tonic! It makes me feel less anxious and overwhelemed, but also appreciated too.

    Hope this is useful for others.

    Mike Sloan
    London, Ontario, Canada.

  • Rusty Breininger says:

    When the house is as clean as I can manage in a short time but still doesn’t look great, I get a bunch of floweres at the super market and put in a strategic place. Sometimes I separate them into three parts and spread them around. Rusry

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