Happy Birthday to Beethoven! 250 years old today, and still looking absolutely fabulous on it!
Today’s post is focusing on boosting your physical environment ready for Christmas. Today and tomorrow are just long enough away from Christmas itself to not yet have you completely in the holiday spirit and close enough that a darn good clean now will see you through until post-Christmas, when a day during Romjul cleaning and clearing forms a nice counterpoint to days of enforced idleness and rest.
Add to that the fact that, in the UK at least, this is possibly the last child-free day for many stay at home parents and some time cleaning without needing to entertain as well will be time well spent. I do need to come really clean here and say again that I am not a natural housekeeper, and much of my cleaning is done under protest rather than positively anticipated. I do like a clean house for Christmas, though, so some time around now is usually my last big dive. I have a list that I follow every year, so much so I made a printable for my Christmas planner. You can access and download that here:
It’s worked for me over a few years, and you’re welcome to use it if you want to, but the bare bones of my pre-Christmas clean up are these:
- I start at the top of the house and work my way clockwise down to the bottom. I focus mainly on rooms where outsiders are likely to stray, or where the family en masse will be. That means essentially any guest rooms, bathrooms, hall, stairs, landing, kitchen, dining and living room. The children’s bedrooms can go hang for a couple of weeks unless I get them to clean them and today is not the day to clear the garage. Today is for cleaning, not decluttering. You can start that with a will on 1st January.
- I carry everything I need in one portable basket: cloths, window cleaner, multipurpose cleaner, orange-scented wood cleaner. I usually have a carpet freshener on hand as well.
- Everything I intend to get done cleaning wise for the week is down on the list. I print it out and put it up somewhere visible. My children are adults now, so it’s entirely possible that they may complete some of the tasks fo rme without being asked, but they’re usually very good about taking on stuff if I ask them. My daughter cleans fridges like a pro, my eldest son does washing well enough and my middle son voluntarily takes on outside tasks and cleans the downstairs loo well enough. They all take responsibility for their own bedrooms, of course, and cooking has become a pleasure since they all have their own speciality.
- I use my phone timer and work in 20 minute bursts. 20 minutes is long enough to surface clean most rooms, and if it isn’t I can come back to the room again later.
- I play loud music. Really loud music. If I’m in a not-Christmas mood, I like a bit of Led Zeppelin. Yes, that sort of loud music. In a Christmas mood, I like a good singalong style.
- And afterwards, we relax. Stick a good movie on, have a takeaway for tea or a really easy cook-itself sort of meal and relax. Mark a day between Christmas and New Year for another clenaing session and, bar eating area and floors in major areas, let the house accumulate the dust.
Because I’m now a full time worker, I may take a day off to get the house ready. I may split the tasks up and complete them over a few evenings, or I may take a weekend morning and blitz the place with the whole family dragged in. Homemaking, housekeeping, fit in and around everyday life. Adapt and adjust to suit your life.
Daily Read: The Mind Boosting Benefits of an Organised Home. A clean home is a thing of restful beauty, and getting it clean can be a meditative exercise in itself.
Daily Book: The Festive House by Alison May. This is one of a series of books about the home in different seasons. I love the ideas for jazzing up your Christmas with self-care ideas as simple as having candy canes to hand when you serve hot chocolate to creating a bowl of clove-studded oranges on the sideboard.
Self-Care Act for the Day: After cleaning, take the rest of the evening off. Have a takeaway meal, enjoy a long bath or refreshing shower, rub orange scented handcream into your hands, feet, knees, elbows and anywhere else dry skin hides and go to bed early with a cup of chai and a decent book or a magazine before sliding into a comfortable sleep.
How to Hygge the British Way is my gift to the world. I don’t get paid for writing it, I’m not in it for the kudos, financial rewards, to become an influencer, work with brands or otherwise make any money from the blog. That’s why there are no ads, and any products I mention and recommend have either been gifted or bought by me with my everyday wages.
I do get a couple of pennies each time someone buys from the Amazon links on my page, as an Amazon Affiliate, but otherwise if you’d like to support me, I like to give something back in return. That’s why I write books. You can find a full list of my books at my Author’s Page on Amazon, but especially recommended for this time of year are:
A Self Care Christmas: A short ebook on keeping Christmas simple and making sure it doesn’t overwhelm.
Celebrating a Contagious Christmas: Available in ebook and paperback, it’s about making this year a festival of Hope.
Happier: Probably my most personal book, it’s the story of how I used hygge and the little rhings in life to help boost my happiness. I still go back and reread to remind myself what I need to do to be a happy human.
Cosy Happy Hygge: Setting up a rhythm to life and rituals to enjoy it to make for a more balanced life that handles waves and storms better.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, however we get to celebrate it this year, and a Happy, Healthy and Simple New Year.