Homekeeping Checklist: A Deep Clean To Do Now Before Holiday Decorating

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is underway and maybe you're hosting or traveling to visit relatives. When it's all over, though, it's the perfect time for a late fall deep clean at home:

Cleaning house thoroughly before putting up holiday decorations leaves you with less to clean around and lets you move on to other (possibly more fun) preparations as the holidays get nearer. Things to be sure to hit before putting up your decorations:

Dust: Dusting surfaces with a damp cloth will make everything feel fresh and help you (literally) breath easier as the post-Thanksgiving rush begins. And who wants to hang stockings on a mantle covered with old, dead skin cells?

Floors: A good vacuum or mopping of the floors will ensure that corners behind the tree are clean and clear with no surprise dust bunnies lurking behind gifts on Christmas morning. Plus, if you're entertaining over Thanksgiving, chances are you've had lots of feet treading in and out of your house; even more reason to re-clean between holidays.

Ceilings: Swiping ceilings with a feather duster or brush head of your vacuum will clear away any cobwebs that may have gone unnoticed before the holidays. But with twinkle lights and tree toppers drawing the eye upward and lighting the ceiling, now's the time to clean overhead.

Kitchen: Your kitchen may have been working double duty preparing for Thanksgiving, so now's the time to freshen it up by cleaning the oven, counters, cabinets, floors, stovetop, and sink. Starting with a clean, blank slate will make holiday cooking and baking much more enjoyable than working on top of a mess that's already there.

Closets: Cleaning closets and purging unneeded items is the perfect thing to do now. You'll make room for any house guests you may have in the coming weeks to put their things, or simply for party guests to hang their coats in a coat closet for an evening. Plus, you'll be freeing up space in your closet for any wardrobe-related gifts you might receive over the holidays.

Windows: While spring cleaning is often the time folks hit their windows, late fall is an extremely apt time to do so, as well. Shorter days and longer nights mean less sunshine making its way inside, so clean windows will let in as much sunlight as possible during this darker time of the year. Plus, twinkle lights in a clean window are multiplied and beautified by the sparkle and shine; grimy windows can put a damper on all of those decorations really fast.

What pre-holiday (or between-holiday) cleaning do you usually tackle after Thanksgiving? Do you find that a deep-cleaning at this time of the year enhances the celebratory season, or is there simply not time for it?

(Image: House Tour: The Brick House)