With December in full swing and Christmas season upon us tis the time for good cheer and family get togethers.
Despite advanced planning, many families Christmas to do lists could take until spring to complete. With the demands of festive planning and last minute Christmas shopping, many busy parents feel more like it’s panic stations. If this sounds like you, fear not. Instead of stressing over everything that needs doing, take these 5 practical tips and outsource them – either to a new or current housekeeper.
Your household help should be able to take control of all cleaning related tasks and more. In fact, some housekeepers will be more than happily help out with extra tasks leading up to Christmas to earn extra cash. Take advantage and rely on their skills in cooking, laundry and general household management.
With plenty of seasonal tasks that need doing around your home, we’ve devised a few suggestions for what housekeepers can take off you to ease the strain.
1. Break out the decorations
Asking your housekeeper to recreate the Selfridges window display is not really on. However, getting the decorations out of storage, unwrapping them, dusting/cleaning them and then packing them away after the season, are certainly acceptable tasks to ask your housekeeper to help with.
2. Focus on the kitchen
The kitchen is the centre of Christmas preparations, so give it extra attention in the days leading up to the big celebration. Ask a housekeeper to clean the inside of the fridge, freezer and oven, wipe down the tops of the cabinets and sweep under the cooker and the fridge. In addition to organizing the cupboards, ask if your housekeeper can help with holiday food preparation that can be done ahead of time, either cooked and frozen or put into cold storage — for example, sauces, stuffing, vegetable prep and baking.
3. Set the scene
Your housekeeper can also get the table ready for Christmas dinner. Ask her to go through the cupboards, get the crystal out, wash it and – key to sparkliness – dry it thoroughly. A housekeeper can also polish silverware, take stock of candles, iron tablecloths, fold napkins, wash serving trays and arrange place settings.
4. Prepare spare rooms
If you’re expecting festive visitors, ask your housekeeper to help you get a room ready. This might involve clearing wardrobe space, cleaning a mattress or laying out fresh bedlinen. Prepare the guest bathroom by stocking it with extra towels, toilet paper and travel-size products. During the visit, your housekeeper can refresh guest areas as needed.
5. Keep the look
Talk to your housekeeper about some additional holiday chores to keep an eye on:
- Sweeping pine needles around the Christmas tree
- Watering the tree or any Christmas plants like poinsettias
- Making sure that you have enough giftwrap, tags and sellotape
- Dusting the Christmas card display
Of course, there are some jobs you shouldn’t ask your housekeeper to tackle. These include things like moving heavy furniture, climbing high ladders or hanging lights. Keep the chore list reasonable and always ask if your housekeeper would mind helping out with these areas — don’t simply demand extra chores.
Don’t forget, your housekeeper wants to enjoy the festive season, too. If you’re going to need additional help, mention it early. Like much in life, planning ahead always helps, so the housekeepers can reserve the extra time for the tasks.
And if you’re asking for extra help, don’t forget to pay more for that work. Plus, if you have a housekeeper you work with regularly, don’t forget a Christmas bonus. That way, you are more likely to keep the same housekeeper for the New Year as well.
Your holiday to-do list might feel unending, but with your housekeeper’s help, you’ll tackle it in plenty of time to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea by the fire with the ones you love.
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