Preparing for holiday dinners isn’t just about putting together a meal plan. Spending time on a menu, seating, decorations, and travel arrangements can be an important part of any family meal.
When you are planning your holiday meal, though, it’s equally important to make a plan for cleaning. Don’t miss this ultimate kitchen checklist for holiday dinners.
Ultimate Holiday Dinner Cleaning List
Start with the Oven
When you think of holiday dinners, you probably think of a family meal around the table. This will include baking and prepping countless items in the oven. Before you start any holiday cooking, it’s wise to invest some time into deep cleaning the oven. Spending a small amount of time on the oven can save you time on meal prep days. We have a few tips for deep cleaning the oven that are sure to help:
- Use a high-quality degreaser – When cleaning the oven, it can be tempting to use a lot of high chemical items to clean the inside of your oven. Instead, invest a high-quality degreaser. Using a safe product for your home will let you clean the oven effectively without using a great deal of chemicals. Spending a small amount of time cleaning the inside of your oven will save you any smells or a potential oven fire in the middle of holiday meal prep.
- Clean the stove top and any knobs/switches – Spray down the stove top and all of the surfaces up top with a quality degreaser. It can help to let it sit for a minute or two. Then use a microfiber cloth to quickly wipe down all of these areas. Not only will it look nicer when company arrives, it will help to remove stubborn stains that can cause smells or even small fires.
- Don’t forget about the front and side of your oven – When cleaning your oven, the front and sides of the oven can often be overlooked. Take some extra time to spray the front and sides of your oven with a degreaser and then wipe down these surfaces. This will remove stuck on food and food drippings to freshen up the look of your oven.
Sinks, Refrigerators, and Countertops
When you are working in the kitchen a great deal during the holidays, the sinks, refrigerators, and countertops will quickly fill up. Spending a bit of time cleaning these areas before the holidays will save you time and messes later. Even better, these can be areas that are quick to deep-clean and leave the entire kitchen looking better. If you can invest in as little as half an hour to deep cleaning your refrigerator, counters, and sink you are sure to save time during meal prep. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start by decluttering – One of the biggest stressors when prepping holiday meals is a lack of counter space. One of the first tasks to conquer when cleaning counters is to remove any clutter that is not necessary for your counters. This can include decorations, appliances that aren’t used during holiday meal prep, and any food storage items. Take some time to move or donate any of these items that might be in the way when cooking.
- Wash down countertops and sinks – A lot of the time a general wipe down of the counter and sink area is sufficient. Before holiday meal prep it can be helpful to do a more detailed wash down of the countertops and sink. Before putting anything back on the countertops, you will want to use a kid-safe multi-purpose cleaner to spray down all surfaces. You can then use a microfiber cloth to wipe down all surfaces on the counters and the sink.
- Deep clean the refrigerator – This is a great time to remove foods that won’t be eaten and make space for items that will be part of your meal prep for holiday dinner. When deep cleaning the refrigerator, take all shelves and bins out to wash well before returning to the refrigerator. While everything is out of the refrigerator, take the time to use a kid-safe multi-purpose cleaner to spray down the inside of the refrigerator and then wipe it down with a microfiber cloth.
Don’t Forget About Floors and Walls
When cleaning the kitchen most people will focus on deep cleaning the counters, ovens, and refrigerator and then call it a day. While those are excellent areas to clean, they are not the only priority. It is equally important to invest time into cleaning the floors and walls. Not only do floors and walls hide a variety of messes, they can take the least time and have the highest reward for the appearance of your kitchen. Here are a few tips for cleaning your floors and walls in your kitchen:
- Start by cleaning the grout – When cleaning the kitchen it is important to start by cleaning the grout. Without cleaning the grout, the floors can still look unclean. Use the clean floors grout bundle to quickly and easily clean your grout. Investing a small amount of time into your grout before the holidays will give your floors a cleaner look and help make cleanup easier all season.
- Clean the walls – When preparing for holiday meal prep, you might not think to clean the walls. However, taking as little as five minutes with the five minute clean walls bundle can make your kitchen look cleaner while refreshing the smell in your home. Use the holiday hearth spray to add a smell of the holidays when cleaning your walls.
- Thoroughly clean the floors – After cleaning the rest of the kitchen, and deep cleaning the grout, it’s time to give the entire floor a deep clean. This is a good time to use the clean floors bundle to thoroughly clean your kitchen floors. Your floors will see more foot traffic than normal while meal prepping. Cleaning them before people arrive will help you to better control future messes.
Pro Tip – Once you have finished cleaning your kitchen, set up systems for keeping things clean when meal prepping. Some examples might include cleaning as you work, keeping cleaning products on hand to quickly clean up a spill, and having a place for things to go as you finish meal preparations.