Getting organised this Christmas – avoid the last minute panic!

Thank you to everyone who voted in ‘The Worst Household Vote’ – here are the results in full and some tips on how to survive the rush at Christmas, featuring Karen Storey from professional organising company Homespace.

It seems that the worst household chore is cleaning the oven, especially at Christmas time when visitors to the home may be frequent, with 38% of respondents saying the worst thing that needed doing in their home was getting all the yucky build-up of fat and grease out of the oven!

Ironing was the next most unpopular chore, scoring 23% of the total vote, with cleaning the toilet third at 20%.

‘Personally, cleaning the toilet is my all-time worst chore,’ comments Jo Ridout, Director of A Passion for Homes, ‘but the oven was the leader from the start of the voting period and never lost its lead! At this time of year, with the oven playing a major part in the Christmas Day and home party proceedings, no wonder it is top of the ‘hate to do’ list!’

Cleaning the fridge received 9% of the vote, ‘doing the bins’ achieved 6% of the vote, dusting and polishing 3% and vacuuming 1%.

‘Surprisingly cleaning the sink, which is my second horror housework job, got no votes at all,’ Jo continues, ‘and neither did doing the clothes washing, and washing up, but that doesn’t mean we like doing them though!’

At this time of year, with so much on the ‘to do’ list, getting the house clean and tidy for the Christmas period can sink to the bottom of the priorities,

‘Make an action plan to tackle cleaning your home ready for the festive period, with chores divided up between days and between people in the house if possible!,’ suggests Jo, ‘That way you won’t feel overwhelmed or leave it to the last minute. Also, check you have all the supplies you need at the start of your action plan – last week I realised I needed a new mop, so had to trek back to the busy supermarket that I had just left!’

Karen Storey, offers some excellent advice for a more stress free home this Christmas,

‘Everybody thinks of presents, cards and food when getting ready for Christmas, but it’s easy to forget the less exciting things around the house that are actually just as important for a stress-free celebration.’

‘When planning your supermarket shop, remember to add to all the goodies the practical things you’ll need – extra-wide foil for the turkey, matches to light candles and flame the pud, and washing up liquid and dishwasher tablets for the endless dirty dishes are often overlooked.’

‘Don’t be caught out on the 24th wondering how on earth sixteen are going to sit down to Christmas dinner – sort out your dining area now, making sure your table is big enough and that you have the right number of chairs. If not, borrow from friends & family – and that goes for crockery, cutlery and glasses too.’

‘If, like many of us, you find that clutter gravitates to the spare room, clear it out now before your overnight guests arrive. Make up the bed with clean sheets and find fresh towels (and if you want to impress the mother-in-law, add some glossy magazines and smart toiletries too!)’

‘And come Twelfth Night when you’re packing everything away, let go of any decorations that are shabby or broken and bag bargain replacements in the January sales. That way you’ll have a head start for an organised Christmas in 2014!’

Allyson and Zoe from Declutter Divas, as seen on Channel 4’s TV programme ‘The Hoarder Next Door’ agree that trying to stay tidy is key, commenting, ‘Keeping clear of clutter means a place for everything and everything in its place.’

So, check out your storage solutions and do some de-cluttering first, so you have an easier time when it comes to the pre-Christmas clean and can spend more time gatting organised! Good luck!

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