With the holidays being right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to give your home a little extra care and consideration so it’s presentable for the festivities ahead. Just like spring cleaning acts as a refreshing reset, holiday deep cleaning is a great addition to your yearly routine that makes planning for winter gatherings and parties much more stress-free.

Whether or not you’ll be hosting guests or family members this holiday season, making sure your house is clean and tidy before you start putting out decorations is key. Knowing that everything is spick and span underneath your displays of snowmen and santas will free up time for celebrating and creating new traditions.

As you start preparing for all the festive fun ahead, here’s where to focus your deep cleaning efforts in the kitchen, bathroom, and living room so everything is ready for guests.

The kitchen

It’s always a good idea to tackle the most challenging room first, and for many, that’s the kitchen. Not only will you be spending loads of time in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies, preparing for dinner parties, and crafting delicious holiday spreads, but the whole family and any guests are also likely to gather in this space. Here’s where to start:

Clean out the refrigerator and pantry

Get rid of any expired food or snacks in order to make room for all the holiday goodies you’re sure to buy. The more space and additional storage for food you can create, the better!

Deep clean any tiles

If you have a gorgeous tin tile backsplash or ceiling, now is the time to make them really shine. The best way to clean tin tiles is to lightly dust them to avoid damaging the finish. If deeper cleaning is needed, you can wipe the tiles with a dampened soft cloth with dish soap in warm water.

Focus on the appliances

When is the last time you let your oven self-clean? Making sure your appliances are clean – including your stove, sink, and microwave – is wise, as all of these things are likely to be used more frequently during the holidays.

The bathroom

Besides the kitchen, the main bathroom in your home is the next space that should be a major focus. Surprisingly, the bathroom is one of the most high-traffic rooms during the holidays, so it’s important to make it look (and smell!) festive and fresh. Here’s where to focus:

Dust the ceilings and light fixtures

It’s easy to overlook areas that might be gathering dust. Give special care to the corners of the ceiling, the baseboards, and the light fixtures (plus lightbulbs) and rid these often-neglected features of dust and dirt.

Clean the toilet, sink, and mirror

If you think about what guests will be using or touching when they are in your bathroom, the toilet and sink are at the top of the list. In addition to scouring these with a high-performance cleaner, use a glass cleaner to touch up any spots or streaks on the mirror.

Wash all towels

Adding a few festive towels to your bathroom is an easy way to carry on the holiday theme, but make sure they are properly washed! It’s probably worth washing the rug(s) and any other bathroom linens that guests may use, too.

The living room

Last but not least and the center of your holiday gatherings is the living room. The site of game playing, gift exchanging, storytelling, and movie watching, the living room or den is crucial to festive fun, which can often leave a big mess. Get ahead of the chaos by setting the tone with these deep cleaning tips:

Clean underneath and behind big furniture

If you haven’t managed to get on your hands and knees and clean beneath bigger furniture items like your couch, bookshelves, or tables, this is your opportunity! It’s best to move the furniture out of the way so you can see every last bit of buildup. Whether you use a vacuum attachment, rag, or duster, try to reach all those pesky dust bunnies.

Rent a steam cleaner

For carpeting that’s riddled with spilled coffee stains and residue from muddy paws, renting a steam cleaner is your best bet for making your carpets look new again. You can even use some steam cleaners on curtains and pillows, too.

Declutter and make room

Since your living room will probably be packed with more people than usual during the holidays, a part of your deep cleaning quest should be to make as much extra space as you can. Clearing out things that won’t be used (like kids’ toys, dog beds, or ottomans) and decluttering the room as thoroughly as possible is crucial. This way, there will be much more room for holiday activities!

Want more tips to get your house ready for guests this holiday season? Check out our guide to preparing your home for visiting family and friends.

This content was originally published here.