Holiday Clean Up Tips

After all of the craziness of the holidays, it’s actually nice to spend some time puttering around the house and getting things back in order. I’ve been slowly working my way around the house, putting away decorations, and working on all of the post-holiday cleanings.  I find it hard just to keep up with the basic cleaning tasks, like the dishes and the toilets! in December.

Clean up after your party quickly first with these tips

  • 1 Saying goodbye to unwanted gifts. It’s the thought that counts, but don’t let good intentions add additional clutter to your post-holiday house. Make a clean break, and return gifts that didn’t work out. If it would be appropriate, consider giving those gifts to the charity of your choice. Holiday cleaning will be easier without those extra items.
  • 2 Collecting holiday cards. Go through the cards you got in the mail, and make a list of who sent them to you. Use this as a thank-you list or the start to your Christmas card list for next year. Then recycle cute cards by cutting the images, attaching a string and using them as free gift tags. Throw the ones you don’t want in the recycling bin, and your after-party cleaning will be well underway.
  • 3 Cleaning the guest bedroom. Wash the bed sheets in warm or hot water with a capful of white vinegar to ensure they are fresh. While sheets are in the dryer, use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to clean the mattress thoroughly, paying special attention to the seams. Replace the bedding, and fluff the pillows to make your next guests comfortable.
  • 4 Taking down those lights. When you do, you’ll save yourself time next year if you put them away using one simple trick: wrap strings of lights around a piece of cardboard or a paper towel tube to keep them organized and easy to unravel next season. This also keeps you from being the neighbor who still has strings of outdoor Christmas lights up on Valentine’s Day.
  • 5 Coordinating Christmas tree take-down and curbside pick-up. When is your trash pickup service collecting Christmas trees? Find out so you can get your tree curbside in accordance with the collection times. It’s easier to clean up after your party if you don’t have to worry about pine needles spreading through the house.

Use a lint roller to pick up fallen pine needles. Natural and artificial trees both shed needles and once they get ground into the carpet even the best vacuum can find it a challenge picking up everyone. A lint roller makes quick work of clearing away pesky needles that have worked their way into carpet fibers. It’ll get up glitter, too.

Use a vinegar-based window cleaner to remove fake snow. It’s a charming and retro look, but spray-on fake snow can be a nightmare to clean. Fortunately, vinegar does a wonderful job of cutting through the adhesive that keeps this stuff on your windows. For a quick DIY version, use a microfiber cloth and my homemade window cleaner recipe.

Dishwasher. Your dishwasher was working hard over the holidays and took its fair share of dirty dishes!  It’s amazing how much gunk can actually accumulate in the dishwasher and it’s another one of those areas that we don’t really think about cleaning.  You can find the full instructions on cleaning the dishwasher HERE.  If you have a garbage disposal, be sure to clear that prior to running the dishwasher {and you might want to clean the garbage disposal while you’re at it!}.

Clean up candle wax spills with an iron and paper bag. Beautiful, flickering candles are one of the reasons this time of year is known as “the season of lights.” Unfortunately, those same candles can often leave a horrible mess on our furnishings and floors. To get up candle wax, use a spatula to scrape up as much as you can, then set a piece of the brown paper bag over the spot and run a medium iron over it. Rotate the bag, so you’re constantly working with a new spot.

Cooking Oven Mess. The oven will likely need a good cleaning after a month’s worth of holiday eating! This is still one that I have to tackle but there are more than a few spills that need cleaning up. If you have a steam cleaner, give it a try to clean your oven.  It’s super quick and pretty much eliminates all of the scrubbings.  If you don’t have a steam cleaner you can always use this method – just don’t go too overboard on the baking soda or you’ll be spending a lot of time rinsing!  I’m not too much of a perfectionist when it comes to the oven – just a quick clean to get rid of any burned on spills or messes.

Use rubbing alcohol and microfiber cloth on upholstery stains. Whether Aunt Edna spilled her pumpkin pie on your sofa or little Janey used the arms of your easy chair as a napkin, those stains will come out if you dab them with a little rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Add a drop or two of liquid dish soap for greasy marks, and you’re good to go.

The carpet. There are always at least a few carpet stains that magically appear after the holidays! You obviously want to treat any stains as soon as possible, but sometimes you don’t always notice them right away.  Next time you’re vacuuming your carpets, take a little extra look for anything that you might have missed. My favorite DIY carpet cleaner is a mix of hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and water {you can find the recipe HERE along with a couple of other methods}.  It works really well on a variety of stains and is my go-to method whenever I don’t know what the stain actually is {which seems to happen a lot around here}.  When you’re done, try out this easy DIY carpet and upholstery refresher to give your home that nice, fresh scent!

Blast dust off of artificial garlands and trees with a hairdryer before storing. After a month (or more) of decorating your home, holiday decor can pick up quite a bit of dust and pet hair. Grab your hair dryer and use the strongest but coolest setting to blow the mess away, then store them in dust-proof containers, so they’re ready for next year.

The fridge. It’s amazing how much food we were actually able to pack into the fridge over the holidays! I usually try to keep my fridge fairly organized, but we had so much stuff that we really just had to shove it in wherever it would fit.  Now that January is here, it’s time to go through everything and make sure that nothing is tucked away in the back that you’re missing.

So put on some of your favorite tunes and do a little extra clean-up this weekend.  The time spent will be well worth it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed just take it one room at a time – you’ll get there. Once you’ve done some work, take some time to relax in your nice clean space. It’s such a welcome change after the holidays!

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