There are four types of holiday gatherings, as far as I can tell, and four different ways to prep for them:
1. Family-Only Gathering
By family-only, I mean IMMEDIATE family only. You’re having a nice Christmas dinner together or a big family breakfast or a night of hot chocolate and popcorn as you watch It’s a Wonderful Life (that’s something we’ll do this week).
PREP: As a rule, you like to keep the house clean but you all live there. You all make the mess. You all know all the secret hiding places of dirt and dog hair. And you live with it as best you can.
2. Extended Family Gathering
This is when you invite your mother, your in-laws, your aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, grandma, etc. For me, I’m having my brother and his wife, my sister and her husband, and my mother all come over on Christmas Eve Eve (the 23rd) for a big family meal.
PREP: They know you and they know your house and you like it to look just so with Christmas decorations and music playing as everyone settles in for a good old-fashioned family Christmas. You want it to look clean because someone will scrutinize your bathroom sink but nobody demands perfection.
3. Friendly Neighborhood Cocktail Party
Someone in my neighborhood usually hosts something – an Ugly Sweater Party, a Holiday Book Club, a Family New Year’s Eve Party. There’s usually a little food, a lot of drink, and always laughing.
PREP: The host usually spends at least two days making the house spotless and then casually opens the door inviting people in to the home that we are supposed to believe looks that way all the time,
4. The Spontaneous Drop-By
In addition to holiday parties, we’re known for impromptu block parties, or blizzard parties, or really any reason to share a glass of wine.
PREP: This is the time when you hope and pray that your husband put his dishes in the dishwasher because you just invited everyone back to your house for some pizza and wine.
Now, when it comes to getting your house ready for any of these gatherings, especially 3 and 4, there’s a secret weapon you can use to make the floors all sparkly.
Contrary to what you might be thinking, this is not a post about vacuuming. Although I do love vacuuming (it’s the instant gratification of it) and I love both of my Shark vacuums (spoiler alert: we just introduced a third Shark vacuum to our family that I’ll be talking about soon), this is about something totally different.
It’s about the Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop System.
I will vacuum all day long. Even twice a day if I have to. I’ll vacuum the carpet and the hardwood floors and the tile in the kitchen. And with just the right light, you can’t even tell if it’s dirty. But I know that it’s dirty.
My hardwood floors might be free of debris but their chock full of paw prints, especially this time of year. And don’t even peak underneath my dining room table because you’ll find the outline of dust where the vacuum never bothered to go.
But the biggest dirtmonger in my house is the tiled floor in the kitchen. Oh, how I hate that tiled floor. It’s a pale marbled cream-colored ceramic tile. I’ve long since given up on making the grout clean but the floor itself is always filthy.
We have a kid (only one but that’s enough). We have two dogs and two cats. And much to my husband’s chagrin, I like to wear my shoes in the house. Oh, and did I mention we’re messy cooks? And the problem is that you can’t ever see the dirt.
WAIT – how is that a problem? you ask.
When you spill something on the floor and you go to wipe it up, you suddenly notice that you paper towel turns a ugly brown from all the other stuff that’s all over the floor. You may be cringing but don’t even act like the same thing doesn’t happen to you.
To be fair, I do bring out a mop and big bucket a couple of times a year but if I want to be ready for that spontaneous holiday gathering, ain’t nobody got time for that.
The Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop is a quick mop that uses nothing but steam to clean the floor. No buckets, no dripping mops, no dumping or squeezing. You literally vacuum the bits and pieces off your floor, add water to the water chamber, plug it in and wait 60 seconds and GO.
You touch nothing. Ever. And if you encounter a stubborn spot on the floor, simply flip the mop head over (no touching required) and give it a blast of steam. Mop again and VOILA!
Want to see the Steam Pocket Mop in action? Of course you do! Just promise not to judge the black stuff that comes off my floors.
The Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop is recommended for use on any sealed floor including tile, stone, marble, and hardwoods (but make sure they’re sealed before using).
Shark sent me a complimentary Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop System for review. All opinions are my own. Some affiliate links are included in this post.