Every year, holiday cleaning is a huge source of stress for people in the United States. In fact, some surveys have revealed nearly 50 percent of Americans put cleaning as their number one holiday stressor. For many, the burden of cleaning can ruin the whole season.

But it doesn’t have to.

We’ve picked out five top Christmas cleaning tips, so hosts can relax, enjoy their homes, and take in the joys of the holiday season.

Why Holiday Cleaning Can Be a Headache

As fun as holiday parties can be, all of the food, tinsel, spills, and messes left behind might not be.

In addition to being a stressor, holiday cleaning can wear on a host’s health. In fact, some studies suggest having a clean home might impact heart health.

Here is a cleaning checklist from the experts.

1) First Things First: Clean the Entryway

It’s usually the first area guests will see, and first impressions can go a long way. The entryway also usually has an extra layer of grime from mud or debris that might be tracked inside.

Use soap and water to scrub the floors. Be sure to take doormats outside and shake off dirt.

And don’t forget to clean the door and wipe down the doorknob before guests come in.

2) Keep an Eye on the Kitchen

Holiday gatherings usually mean lots of food and drinks. Naturally, guests will spend a good amount of time gathering or interacting in the kitchen. Focusing on kitchen cleaning can go a long way.

It’s a good idea to use boiling water to clean out drains. The garbage disposal can also become a hidden source of funky odors. Drop in lemon pieces and turn on the garbage disposal to freshen the scent.

3) Put the Guest Bedroom on the Cleaning List

For many the guest bedroom is left unused much of the year. Even if the room is tidy, it could use a refresher if it has been left dormant.

Strip the sheets and wash them in warm water. A touch of vinegar will improve freshness.

Suck up dust from the mattress and vacuum underneath any furniture that might have been sitting for a while.

4) Be Mindful of the Bathroom

A quick once-over is usually not enough to fight bathroom germs and odors. Consider using lemon juice to fight hard-water stains and freshen the whole room.

A good way to clean up soap scum is to combine baking soda, water, and ammonia. Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe the mess away.

5) Wrap up the Post-Holiday Mess

A good way to avoid a headache after the holidays is to take a short break during festivities to clean up wrapping paper and messes.

When it’s time to put away lights, consider wrapping them around a piece of cardboard to avoid tangles the next year.

Call up your garbage service to see if they have a designated tree pickup time. That way you won’t have to worry about the tree laying out. And you can avoid having the Christmas tree sitting in the house through the spring.

Cleaning Beyond the Holidays

These holiday cleaning tips should make a home for the holidays fresh and inviting. But the need for a clean home doesn’t stop after the holiday season.

Want more cleaning tips from the pros? Check out our blog here for cleaning advice and home-cleaning remedies.