3 Holiday Cleaning Hotspots

Give your home a quick clean before your holiday guests arriveThanksgiving may be over, but it's not too late to spruce up your home for the remainder of this holiday season. Here are my picks for the three chores that will make the biggest impact in your home:

1. Clean the carpets or at least the traffic aisles. According to a recent study by Rug Doctor, the manufacturer of home and rental carpet cleaning equipment, 37% of consumers admit to judging others on the cleanliness of their carpets. Nothing's more noticeable than a stain in the middle of a carpet, so instead of rearranging the furniture to cover it up, tackle it head on. Use a carpet stain remover on individual spots or a machine to clean larger areas, steps, and landings. Always vacuum before cleaning to remove loose, dry soil and avoid over-wetting the carpet to minimize damage. To see which products did best in our Good Housekeeping Research Institute tests, read our online reviews of carpet stain removers and carpet cleaning machines. No time to do it yourself? Just call in a pro to save yourself time and the hassle.

Related: Home Speed-Cleaning Guide

2. Shine up glass-front cabinets, shelves, and chandeliers. Nothing is prettier than crystal that shimmers in the light and ridding glass surfaces of dust and film is well worth the little effort it takes. Even if you don't have time to wash every glass or disassemble a chandelier, just go over any exposed glass shelves, both sides of glass door panes, and dangling chandelier crystals. I rely on a two-fisted approach, using a glass cleaning wipe in one hand and a dry microfiber buffing cloth in the other. No wipes handy? Make your own by spritzing a damp microfiber cloth with a little glass cleaner.

Related: 5 Steps to a Clean Kitchen

3. Remove the fingerprints from door frames and around light switches and the scuffs from walls that make surfaces look worn and uncared for. Don't think anyone notices these smudges? They do. And don't forget the bathrooms. My go-to product for these marks is Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

What areas of your home you do spruce up for holiday guests? Let me know in the comments!

-by Carolyn Forte

More from Good Housekeeping: