Monthly Archives: November 2016

6 Last Minute Preps that Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving

family making last minute preparations for ThanksgivingThere are a lot of tips floating around about getting your home ready for the holidays, but when the clock’s ticking down, tips like “start early” don’t really count.  If you’re up against the clock, use these (fast) tips to get ready for your family Thanksgiving.

Finish your home projects.

If you’ve started home projects (like a beautiful laminate accent wall), now is the time to get it done so your guests aren’t wading through the dust during the holidays.  Stop in for any last minute supplies you need so you can get your project completed and wow your guests over the holidays.

Make a plan.

Don’t get so frantic about getting ready for Thanksgiving that you don’t take the time to make a plan.  Make a list of tasks that need to be done, and designate tasks to family members or cleaners that you bring in for the occasion.  For your plan for the day of, make sure your list includes time for prepping and cooking your dishes.  You don’t want ornery guests waiting for dinner because you were too busy cleaning.

Abandon areas of your home that don’t count.

Devote your cleaning efforts to areas of your home where your guests are going to be.  We know it’s tempting but if your guests won’t be in your basement or closets, let them be. Move on to areas where your guests are going to be hanging out and eating.  Save any other projects for after the holidays when you don’t have the clocking ticking down.

Have fans ready.

When you clean your laminate or wood floors, don’t leave puddles for the safety of your guests and for the good of your floors (more tips for wood floor cleaning here).  Use fans to make sure your floors dry completely so you don’t end up with water damage.  After you get your floors dry and ready, keep a rag on hand over the holidays so you can clean up any spills.

Don’t clean your floors  (or anything) without testing.

Holiday cleaning—even rushed holiday cleaning—is not the time for experimenting.  If you’ve never used a certain cleaner before, go back to what you know or visit your local store for cleaning advice.  Using unproven cleaners can damage your floors, counters, and surfaces and even void the warranty of your floors.  No matter how much you want a perfect clean, it’s not worth it if you end up with damage that costs more to fix.

Carry your cleaning supplies with you.

Once you have your list, gather up all your cleaners and cleaning supplies and put them in a container that you can carry with you.  This simple step keeps you from wasting time running all over the house looking for your next cleaner or paper towel.  Best yet, carrying your cleaners allows you to make fast and short work of your holiday prep—and move you forward to enjoying the holidays with your guests.

50+ Tips that Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving (& Complete Home Cleaning Checklist!)

dining room with four chairs ready for ThanksgivingThe clock is ticking until Thanksgiving, which means your time to get ready for another Thanksgiving meal with your family and friends is getting smaller as well.  To make sure your home is ready in time, we’ve compiled a checklist of 50 cleaning tips that’ll help you ready you and your home ready (especially your floors!) for the big day.


  1. Use a list (like this one!) so you can efficiently get all your Thanksgiving preparation done.
  2. Start early with deep cleaning tasks so your pre-Thanksgiving cleaning is not frenzied chaos.
  3. Plan your Thanksgiving meal carefully so you don’t have to run out for last minute ingredients (leaves you more time for last-minute cleaning).
  4. Compile all your cleaning supplies into a basket so you don’t have to keep running back for cleaners and supplies (it’s more efficient and faster!).
  5. Set an alarm or timer so you are attending to the Thanksgiving meal as you do last minute cleaning (you don’t want your guests to wait for dinner).
  6. Set time aside to finish any DIY projects so your guests’ don’t notice the dust.
  7. Clean your pets’ paws off at the door so they don’t track mud in.
  8. Put down rugs by all doors to keep gravel, mud, and snow outside.
  9. Sweep your floors daily to get rid of the debris that gets tracked in and prevent damage.
  10. Ask your local flooring store about cleaners BEFORE you mop your floors; they can look up approved cleaners so you don’t void the warranty.


  1. Clean your front door windows.
  2. Wipe down your door.
  3. Clean any light fixtures.
  4. Dust any entryway or foyer furniture.


  1. Vacuum before you carpet clean your floors.
  2. Soak up the stain first before you clean.
  3. Blot at the stain; don’t scrub or twist carpet fibers when you clean carpet stains.
  4. Schedule a professional deep carpet cleaning shortly before Thanksgiving to avoid staining the carpets after the cleaning.


  1. Wash windows.
  2. Pick up your floors.
  3. Wash your bed sheets well in advance.

Wood floors

  1. Thoroughly wring out your mop to avoid puddles on the floor.
  2. Be VERY careful when using a steam cleaner on your wood floors, or don’t use one at all (this could affect the warranty on your floor).
  3. Only use approved cleaners on your wood floors for a deep hardwood clean (avoid vinegar and ammonia cleaners and follow these other hardwood cleaning tips).
  4. Make sure your floor is completely dry (use fans if necessary).


  1. Scrub your tub and shower stall.
  2. Clean your bathroom door or wash your shower curtain.
  3. Wash any windows.
  4. Clean your toilets.
  5. Wipe down your counters.
  6. Clean any light fixtures.
  7. Wash your mirrors.


  1. Wipe down your cabinets.
  2. Wash backsplash.
  3. Clean the top of your cabinets.
  4. Wash the walls behind your appliances.
  5. Clean the floor under your appliances.
  6. Wipe down your counter tops.
  7. Clean off light fixtures.
  8. Wash windows.

Dining room

  1. Dust any cabinets and shelves.
  2. Clean the table.
  3. Wipe down the chairs.
  4. Add felt pads to all your chairs, table legs, and furniture to avoid scratches on hard flooring.
  5. Put felt tips on all your folding chairs so they don’t damage your floors.
  6. Set the table.

Tile floors

  1. Scrub your grout with an approved cleaner.
  2. Mop your tile floors regularly.

Laminate floors

  1. Do not use water (or excessive water, depending on your floor cleaner directions) to clean your floors (standing water can damage laminate floors).
  2. Use a soft padded mop and approved cleaner to give your floors a deep clean.
  3. Don’t use a steam cleaner on your laminate floors (this could affect the warranty and damage the floor).
  4. Make sure your floors are completely dry (use fans if necessary).

Living areas

  1. Dust shelves, cabinets, and tables.
  2. Clean off fireplace mantels and tile.
  3. Dust the top of frames and clean picture glass.
  4. Wash windows.

DIY Laminate Flooring Installation Tips That Guarantee a Perfect Project

home design trend laminate flooring on wall

Courtesy Armstrong Floors

Whether installing laminate on your floor or wall (don’t doubt us, it’s a beautiful accent!), there are a few important things to know to get your DIY flooring project ‘before’ to the ‘after’ photos you see on the internet—and to get there with less DIY stress.

Buy in bulk

It seems that every project is prone to unexpected surprises; buy extra flooring and supplies for those ‘just in case’ situations (you can also get a discount if you buy in bulk).  If you end up short (as some of our customers do-we’ve helped many frantic customers), don’t be afraid to go back for more flooring during the project.

Acclimate your flooring

Before you install your flooring and to make sure you don’t end up with damaged planks, bring your flooring into the room where you want to install it.  Let the box of flooring sit in the room for a few days before your project is set to start.

Plan for disposal in advance

accent wall done with laminate flooring

Courtesy Armstrong Flooring

If you are removing flooring or paneling, plan for your method of disposal.  If you are working in a big room, you may need to rent a dumpster or have boxes on hand to handle the load (or loads).  For a wall project, test out wallpaper removal before you start your project.  You may need extra supplies to get wallpaper and the wallpaper glue off the wall.

Prep your surface thoroughly

Before you start your project, make sure your sub-floor or surface is clean.  Don’t install laminate on a sloping wall, or a surface with existing wallpaper or paneling.  Thoroughly vacuum the area, and make sure your surface is level.  If you are adding a floating floor that runs between rooms, compare the sub-floor in the two rooms and level the surface.

Ask for advice

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice about your DIY flooring project at your local flooring store.  After all, they assist customers every day with purchasing and installing new flooring.  They can give you information about purchasing the right product and supplies (i.e. saw, nails, etc.) and give you tips that help make your project smoother and look fantastic.