When it comes to getting ready for the holidays, we say you can never be too early. After all, the more you can cross off your list now, the more time you’ll have to relax and enjoy yourself later.
To help us all reach the finish line together, we’ve put together a list of seven things that we can do to get our homes holiday ready before the first guest shows up. And, with our LG® kitchen appliances, we’ll be done in record time!
1. Deep Clean the Fridge
Before you start stocking up on all your family’s favourite holiday foods, you’ll want to give your refrigerator a thorough once-over. It’s a big job, but trust us—once you are done, you are going to feel so much better.
TIP: Schedule your pre-holiday deep-clean before a big shop. That way, there will be less food to take out and you’ll have a better idea of what you need to buy when you do go to the store.
Start by removing all the food in the refrigerator section to the counter or coolers. Once the interior is empty, remove all shelves and bins. Wipe down the interior with a mixture of 1/4 cup baking soda dissolved in two litres of hot water, then rinse with plain water and towel dry. The racks and bins can be soaked and washed in the same baking soda/water solution or plain dish soap.
With the interior clean, do an edit of your food as you return it to the fridge, discarding any expired food or leaking containers as you go. If you’ve always wanted a Home Edit-worthy fridge, now is the time to organize. Put like items together, creating “zones” for kid’s snacks, beverages, condiments, etc.
Repeat the steps above for the freezer compartment, then give the exterior of your fridge a good wipe-down with mild soap and water, or a manufacturer-approved cleaner. Pay special attention to the areas around the handles, as they tend to pick up the most grime.
TIP: If fingerprints on the fridge are a constant struggle, consider purchasing one with a smudge-proof finish, like the LG® French Door fridge above. Its PrintProof finish resists fingerprints for a flawless look without constant attention.
2. Stock the Fridge and Freezer
Now that you’ve got your fridge and freezer clean, you can stock them back up with fresh ingredients and all of your family’s favourite holiday treats. (Don’t forget to replace the expired condiments and food you threw out during the big purge!)
TIP: To avoid some of the stress of grocery shopping over the holidays, take advantage of “click and collect” or delivery services at your local store, or try to shop during off-peak hours.
During the holidays, we like to spend less time grocery shopping and more time watching Hallmark movies (don’t judge). This is why we love the super-capacity LG® French Door fridge with InstaView™ Door-in-Door.® With 30 cubic feet of storage space, plus a combination of advanced cooling features that help keep your food fresher, longer, you can stock up and shop less often.
3. Get the Oven Sparkling Clean
A clean oven not only looks better, but it will also make your food taste better, prevent smoke and excessive odors when you’re roasting or baking, and help your oven work more efficiently. Plus, regular cleaning can prevent serious problems like fire or damage to the interior.
Experts say your oven should be deep cleaned every three months, but there are ways to make your quarterly cleaning go faster. If your oven has a steam cleaning feature, like the LG® self-cleaning rangeabove, you can tackle everyday messes as they happen, using just water. Simply spray the oven interior with water, press EasyClean® and then in 10 minutes, quickly wipe away any leftover grime.
When it comes time for your pre-holiday deep clean, take advantage of your oven’s self-cleaning feature which uses an extremely high temperature to reduce any remaining residue to ash. All you’ll need to do is wait until the oven is completely cool before wiping the interior clean with a damp cloth.
TIP: For safety, make sure any excessive food and grease is removed from the floor of the oven before running the self-clean cycle. As well, do not leave the house until the cycle has finished.
Before starting the self-clean cycle, be sure to remove all interior racks—you can soak and scrub them while the cycle runs. Once everything has been put back in place and your oven is ready for the scrutiny of your mother-in-law (it’s ok, we were all thinking it), give the stovetop and exterior a good wipe down with a mild degreaser, followed by a rinse with a clean, damp cloth.
4. Get a Jump Start on Cooking and Baking
We’re all stretched thin over the holidays (figuratively speaking) and it can be hard to find the time to prepare tasty food for your family and guests. Rather than depending solely on packaged foods and take out, why not stock the freezer with appetizers, desserts, and entrees now, while things are a little calmer?
Start by making a list of all the holiday must-haves, like Nana’s shortbread or that breakfast casserole with the weird name, and see which ones can be made now and frozen. Add to that a selection of easy, freezable appetizers and festive desserts that can be pulled out and popped in the oven when company arrives, and some everyday entrees that can be heated up on busy weeknights.
If you can, set aside a couple of weekend days to batch cook and freeze your holiday foods. And, whenever possible, double-up on your dinner prep and freeze half for later in the month. A double-oven, like in the LG® Dual Oven range with ProBake Convection™ above, allows you to cook or bake two dishes at once for twice the convenience.
To make sure none of your hard work goes to waste, tightly wrap and clearly label all of your holiday goodies and make sure they are easy to access. The LG® French Door fridge above has dual freezer drawers that allow you to separate your holiday goods from your regular freezer items; in the summer, use the second, upper drawer to hold grab and go frozen treats and ice cream.
5. Stock up on Ice
One of our least favourite holiday tasks is being sent out to buy ice. First of all, it only happens when you are toasty warm and comfortable. Secondly, it always requires at least two stops because everyone else seems to have the same idea and it sells out quick.
To keep this dreaded chore off your list, make a little extra ice now and bag it for your holiday drinks later. If you are a real ice aficionado, like us, you’ll have a selection of ice on hand for a variety of beverages—cubed, crushed and, our favourite, LG’s exclusive slow-melting round craft ice, available with select fridges like the sleek counter-depth model above.
6. Set the Table
It’s time to bring out the good stuff! If your holiday dishes and serving pieces have been sitting unused for months, you’ll want to make sure they are clean and ready to go. Run all of your dishwasher safe pieces through the dishwasher to remove any dust that may have settled during storage.
TIP: To save time and energy on lightly-soiled loads, use your LG® dishwasher’s Express Cycle.
This is also the ideal time to clean and sanitize your barware, so you are not scrambling to wash glasses as guests wait for their drinks. To get glasses truly sparkling, LG® dishwashers with TrueSteam® use the power of 100°C steam to sanitize and minimize water spots during drying by up to 60 per cent. You can also use LG’s ThinQ® smartphone app (available on select models) to download specialized cycles and quickly access personalized settings for the ultimate in dish care.
TIP: Don’t wait for the holidays to use your "good" dishes. Beautifully styled tables set with gleaming plates and glassware can help turn everyday meals into celebrations and small gatherings into occasions to remember.
7. Give Guests a Warm, Fragrant Welcome
Using seasonal scents is one of our favourite tricks to make the house instantly smell like the holidays. But, rather than using artificial sprays that can trigger guests' allergies or leaving candles burning, you can fill your house with the scents of the season by gently simmering sweet and spicy aromatics on your stovetop.
Simply fill a saucepan with water, leaving about an inch or two at the top, then add your own blend of two or more aromatics—sliced apples and oranges, cranberries, citrus peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves, a pinch of nutmeg, a dash of vanilla, clippings from the Christmas tree (real, of course), etc.
Bring the mixture to a simmer over med-high heat, then turn heat down to the lowest possible setting. Your guests will be greeted by a delicious holiday aroma when they enter the house. Just add water as needed throughout the evening to keep the scent going.
TIP: Use this method throughout the year. Try lemon and rosemary to remove pet odors and instantly freshen the air, or sweet spices and vanilla to mimic the scent of baking.
Whether you use one of our tips or all seven, we guarantee you’ll feel a little more prepared for the holidays—be sure to set aside some time for yourself to relax and enjoy the season!