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Holiday Preparation & Cleaning Checklist
    If you’re hosting guests this holiday season, it’s time to think about preparing and cleaning your home for their arrival. Sure, you wipe down countertops and vacuum weekly, but when’s the last time you cleaned your bathroom floor tile? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Hosting family or friends can provide a great incentive for tackling the deep cleaning you’ve been putting off. The bonus? There’s no feeling quite like a freshly-cleaned home. Not only will your guests be delighted, but so will you. Make a list Walk through your home and make a list of what needs to be done, then use that list to check your cleaning supplies. Make sure you are well stocked before getting started so nothing can stall your progress. For some tasks, such as steam-cleaning floors, you may need more heavy-duty tools than are kept on hand. Your local rental store can be a great resource for those items. Normally, there’s no need to own them since they’re only used occasionally, making rental a more cost-effective option. Here are a few examples of rental equipment that may come in handy: Carpet cleaner – Bacteria and dirt can get trapped deep inside carpet. Thankfully, a carpet cleaning machine will not only remove dirt but also use soap and water to sanitize the carpet and rugs around your home. Upholstery cleaner – Just like carpets and rugs, furniture upholstery can be cleaned, too. Oftentimes, you’ll just need an upholstery attachment that hooks up to a carpet cleaner to get the job done. Air scrubber – You can install an air scrubber system, but you can also simply rent one before important events, such as the holidays. Air scrubbers attach to the ductwork of your HVAC system, removing pollutants, dander, dust, and odors. They clean the air throughout your entire home, leaving it fresh and pure. Steam cleaner – Most flooring types can benefit from a good steam cleaning. Steam cleaning machines work by emitting steam through a brush, which loosens dirt and kills mold, bacteria, and removes allergens. Paint sprayer – Use a paint sprayer to quickly touch-up items such as cabinet doors, benches, bookshelves, wrought-iron furniture and more. Anything that can be moved to a garage or outdoors for a spray is fair game. Stain works in paint sprayers, too, allowing you to use the tool on a wider variety of items. Flatware & serving ware – If you’re looking to make your holiday dinner extra special, consider renting flatware or serving ware. Your local rental store will be able to walk you through the options and help you find the perfect pieces to compliment your setup. Folding chairs – Folding chairs make for convenient extra seating when hosting a large gathering. Place them around a table or in gathering areas such as living rooms. Take it slow Rather than taking an entire weekend to complete your holiday cleaning to-do list, break the tasks down into manageable sections. Take it room by room, or split tasks into lists you can complete one time frame at a time. For example, tackle one list a month before visitors arrive, another one a week before visitors arrive, and the last one a day before the scheduled arrival. Doing so will make the work less overwhelming. You can also delegate certain tasks to your spouse or kids, in order to make it a group effort. Gather your supplies If you need to run to the store for more dust cloths or sink cleaner, you can purchase them long before you plan to use them. If you need to rent cleaning items, though, you’ll only want to rent them for a short period of time. If one of your tasks is to put a fresh coat of paint on cabinet doors, for example, identify the exact time frame when you’ll complete that project. Then, you can rent a paint sprayer from your local rental store right before you begin. Maximizing the time rental equipment is in your possession is the most cost-effective way to rent. Take inventory of the items you need for holiday cleaning, then contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products. You may be surprised by the variety of items available for rent. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above. Frequently Asked Questions What should I clean before Christmas? Ultimately, this is up to you. Many people take this time to clean parts of their home that normally go overlooked. For example, cleaning carpets and rugs, drapery, and the inside of appliances. How can I spruce up my house for the holidays? Take a walk through your home and jot down what you notice. Maybe you can touch-up paint, remove scuff marks from the wall, or grab a couple of new throw pillows. Small upgrades make a big difference. How do I make my house smell like Christmas? You can use candles, potpourri, diffusers, and sprays to create an enticing smell, but cleaning with seasonally-scented products will do the trick, too. Many people set out seasonally-scented hand soaps, as well.