Christmas and the holiday season have a different kind of feel from the rest of the year. It's a time to try and slow down, take a break and spend quality time with friends and family. This can lead to having more visits than usual to your home and perhaps having guests round for longer periods of time.

Click here to view our best Hoover Christmas Gifts.

Everyone will want to get their house sparkling and tidy for this occasion and in this article we're going to share some pre-Christmas cleaning tips and a quick checklist of the important spaces to cover to take some stress away.

When to start the clean before Christmas?

The obvious answer is before you have visitors, but the ideal timing we think is before the decorations go up, and there's a good reason for that.

For starters, the house is much easier to clean when there's less clutter and as much as we enjoy the tree, tinsel and everything in between, they do themselves add to the mess and can be tricky to deep clean in and around. The space the Christmas tree occupies can be difficult to clean once it's in situ, more so if your household likes to leave presents underneath it for days or weeks before the big day.

Step 1 - Find out what needs to be done

Before you begin any sort of cleaning, take a tour around the house to find out what cleaning needs to be done and where. Keep a list of notes on a pad or your phone as you go along as this will save you a lot of time from guessing what needs to be done and having to go back and do something you've missed. It also helps you to know what equipment and products you'll need in advance such as the vacuum cleaner, steam mop, bleach and spray. If you intend to use anything rechargeable such as a cordless vacuum cleaner then this is the time to charge it up.

If you think you're missing any of our essentials why not take the time to look at the latest deals we have on Hoover Direct.

With a checklist in hand, it's time to start.

Step 2 - Declutter

At the top of the pre-Christmas cleaning list would be to declutter every part of the house by doing two things; returning everything to where it should be OR getting rid of things you don't want or need in the home anymore. The less stuff you have the easier it is to clean your home and then keep it clean without stress. This also makes room for any gifts you may receive on Christmas day itself as well as make space for the Christmas decorations.

For anything you no longer have use for or just don't want, donate anything you can to charity such as clothes or toys and recycle everything else where possible.

Step 3 - Washing bed sheets, towels, etc

To have a home that is not only clean but fresh this festive season we recommend stripping all the beds of their sheets and covers, gathering together the bath towels and so on and giving them all a good wash. This step can get rid of a lot of dirt and give you the chance to steam clean the mattresses as well.

This is particularly important if you are preparing to have guest staying overnight!

Don't forget to throw in any other loose sheets/towels to get total coverage before Christmas. Curtains and small rugs can also be thrown in if the label shows they can be washed that way.

If your sofa has removable covers we'd definitely recommend doing this - the same goes for the pet's bed!

Why not check out the H-Wash range of washing machines if your current washing machine needs replacing.

Step 4 - Clean the surfaces

Starting upstairs, clean and dust all the surfaces removing all the dirt and grease while being mindful of inhaling any of the disturbed dirt and the fumes from any products as you go along. We'd recommend wearing a face mask for this and leave an air purifier running in the room to remove all the unwanted particles from the air.

Make sure to clean the bathroom thoroughly as that may be a busy room, this also goes for the kitchen, it's likely that you'll spend most of the pre-Holiday cleaning time in these two rooms!

We recommend dusting first with a brush, duster or the dusting tool on your vacuum cleaner and then following up with either anti-bacterial wipes or spray to make them hygienically clean. Take a bag with you as you go along to pick up any mess.

If you want to finish off with a good polish, why not!

For any hard to reach bits of dust we'd recommend using either a handheld vacuum cleaner, a cordless vacuum cleaner that has a handheld mode or a corded cleaner with a long hose such as an upright.

This is intended to be a deep clean so make sure to clean outside and inside cupboards, the toilet and shower in the bathroom(s), the fridge, freezer, oven, microwave in the kitchen and definitely everything in the living room.

Start upstairs at the furthest part of the house and finish on the opposite side before binning any waste accrued and be careful not to let any of the collected dust back in the air (more on this later).

Step 5 - Clean the floors and upholstery

Once the house has been decluttered, the washing/drying has been finished and put away and the surfaces have been cleaned it's time to tackle those floors. We've already removed the dust and dirt from surfaces now all that's left is the dirt on the floors and your furniture.

Once again, start upstairs from the furthest point in the house working to the nearest point to the entrance.

For carpets and rugs use a vacuum cleaner that has a brush bar that helps get deep into the pile, if you have pets in the home use a vacuum cleaner that has a pets brush attachment to get those stubborn hairs out of sofas, stairs and areas of high traffic such as the living room.

For bigger jobs with a lot of carpet a corded vacuum cleaner may be best as it won't run out of power in the middle of a clean and the bin has a larger capacity.

If you have any family and friends who suffer from allergies, using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can pick up and trap fine dust, mould and pollen particles so they don't get released back into the air. This is a really effective way to prepare for allergen sensitive guests and to help them feel a lot more comfortable during their stay over Christmas.

For hard floors such as tile and marble in a kitchen or bathroom, a steam mop can remove stubborn dirt and grime. We recommend vacuum cleaning the hard floors before steam cleaning. As an added bonus, the Hoover range of steam cleaners kill 99.9% of bacteria as it cleans leaving your floors not just clean but hygienically clean this December.

Step 6 - Wrapping up

An optional final step to your Christmas cleaning task is to spend some time replacing the 'cleaning' aroma with a sweeter scent through candles or air freshener as well as clean the air itself. Whilst cleaning the surfaces and the floor you may have inadvertently released small dirt, dust, pollen and mould particles as well as pet dander into the air which can eventually settle on your surfaces and carpets again as well as cause some irritation when inhaled.

Using an air purifier such as the H-Purifier can help suck these particles from the air before trapping them in the triple filter for clean and pure air in every room this Christmas. An ideal device for those suffering with allergies or expecting guests who are sensitive to them.

Final thoughts

A big pre-Christmas cleaning session can help you feel a lot more comfortable in your own home even if you don't intend on having any guests. It's a chance to get a lot of clutter out of the house before the old Christmas decorations come out to the living room and beyond.

If you are putting up a Christmas tree this year, don't forget to clean it beforehand and especially for real ones, keep cleaning the room to reduce allergies released by Christmas trees.

A pre-Christmas cleaning session also means that you only need to do some casual cleans to keep on top of any mess created during this busy period.