(BPT) - Each year, the holiday season brings a flurry of entertaining. From hosting a houseful of out-of-town relatives to formal sit-down dinners to impromptu get-togethers, chances are your schedule — and your home — is brimming with activity.

With all the extra foot traffic and activity can also come stress. Stress from shopping and decorating is expected, but what about holiday stress related to cleaning? Fortunately, with a little prep work and proactive thinking, you can make your holidays and your home shine all season long. Here are a few tips to keep your home ready for holiday joy.

1. Divide and conquer

An online survey commissioned by Bona® and conducted by The Harris Poll in October 2019 reported that nearly 2 in 3 U.S. adults (63%) agree preparing their home for house guests is as stressful as holiday gift shopping. But it doesn't have to be.

  • Optimize your time by compartmentalizing each room in your house. Clean a small, focused portion of the room before moving on to the next, so you can see your progress. Try cleaning each room in a clockwise, top-to-bottom motion so you don’t miss a spot.

  • Prep entryways and clear space in at least one closet for guests' coats. If you're using a bedroom for coats, make sure it is clean, since this area will be seen by your visitors.

  • The kitchen and bathrooms are crucial areas to clean before guests arrive. Besides wiping down counters and sinks, and sweeping and mopping floors, spend time clearing out the fridge to make room for holiday goodies and leftovers. Minimize after-party cleanup by starting with a clean sink and an empty dishwasher.

2. Clean and protect floors

The survey also found that six in ten adults agree that their favorite part of holiday gatherings is when the living room or family room floor is cleared for group games or dancing. Using a product like Bona PowerPlus Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner will ensure the dance floor is sparkling clean and ready for the party.

  • Clean welcome mats and place them inside and outside entryways to help prevent guests from tracking in dirt, mud or snow, further protecting your freshly cleaned floors.

  • Set up a bench and shoe rack so guests can remove footwear upon entering your home.

3. Be prepared for anything

The survey found that along with holiday visitors come unanticipated messes — and 76% of adults agree that house guests appreciate clean accommodations, but don't always leave them in the same condition when they depart.

Respondents shared colorful stories of house guests who left a lasting impression — and not in a good way. One guest left the water in the bathtub running overnight, causing damage to the bathroom floor, while another dropped a frying pan full of hot grease all over the kitchen floor.

  • Collect a shortlist of local handyman and cleanup services for minor calamities. Post this list on the fridge so you and your guests know exactly who to call if emergency help is needed before or after guests visit.

4. It's OK to set ground rules

Be proactive and communicate with guests to prevent unnecessary mishaps and hassles over the holidays. In the survey, 85% of adults agree that following household rules while visiting someone else's home isn’t too much to ask. Posting a list of "golden" rules for each room of your home is an easy way to ensure your house is kept neat and tidy for all your holiday guests.

As you're posting rules, ensure that guests can find everything they need easily, such as towels and paper products, without having to rummage through drawers and cabinets for supplies and other necessities.

5. A quick clean-up is better than nothing

Over half of adults (51%) claim that if given a choice, they might forgo hosting holiday guests to avoid extra home cleaning. However, even a quick tidying-up can help. Just 15 minutes can spruce up a messy entryway or clean kitchen surfaces. Especially for impromptu gatherings of friends or family, it's important to allow yourself to relax and enjoy everyone's company without stressing that your home isn't clean enough.

Enjoy your holiday festivities and your beautiful home this year with less stress by following these tips. Visit bona.com for a range of hard surface floor cleaning and care products to help relieve stress and keep your home shiny and bright, all season long.

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