It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and arguably the messiest. The holidays are a season of giving, sharing, spilling, staining and cluttering. After all, the hustle and bustle of friends and family, the yearly decorating, gift wrapping (and subsequent unwrapping), tree trimming, and turkey basting could make even Martha Stewart falter. Is it really possible to maintain a spotless home, despite the craziness of the holiday season? We think it is, and we’ve put together some easy tricks to help you keep your head above water this Christmas.

– Think and clean ahead. If you haven’t yet decorated, it is the perfect time to get your last deep clean of the year in before the garlands go up. Once your decorations are in place, cleaning around them becomes much more difficult, and no one needs another item on their holiday to-do list. Clean the big-ticket areas (kitchen, living room, dining room) before decorating, and save yourself the stress of trying to clean around all your holiday ornaments.

– Make a Swiss cheese schedule. If keeping things neat and pretty seems overwhelming, making a schedule can help, and the Swiss cheese schedule is named for its strategy. It works on the principle that tackling one thing at a time will leave holes of accomplishment in your main task–like the holes in Swiss cheese–and it’s a stress-free way to get things done efficiently. It’s a plan with a silly name but great potential, and it makes 12 days of Christmas cleaning a snap. Make a list of cleaning priorities and take 10 minutes out of each day to accomplish one thing on your list, and watch the worries–and the mess–melt away.

– Deck the halls with small solutions. Look for areas that gather mess in your home and set up a solution. Chocolate wrappers covering the counter? Leave a jar to catch the clutter. Tree sheddings leaving pine needles on your freshly-cleaned carpet? Arrange a seasonally-patterned cloth around the base of your tree to catch falling needles and disguise them. A bin for wrapping paper in the living room or a drawer for easy-access extension cords are other great ways to keep the clutter out of your Winter Wonderland.

With these pro cleaning tips under your belt, you should be able to maintain both your clean home, and your sanity over the holidays. And if things ever become too much to handle, we would be happy to help. A housecleaning from our pros can make the perfect pre-party fix or holiday gift for your loved ones.

Happy Holidays, and Happy Cleaning!

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