It can feel good to be done with the holidays. It can feel like you’ve run a marathon if you were very busy. You suddenly have more time for yourself. Now that all presents have been unwrapped and all guests have returned home, the holiday food is gone, it’s time to do some after-holiday cleanup.
It can be easier to manage than any other cleaning task if you have a plan. The chore will feel less daunting if you tackle it in smaller steps. Here are some ways to clean up your home after the holidays.
Find the gifts you’ll actually use
After-holiday cleaning begins with going through all the gifts. You suddenly find yourself with a mountain of items that you have to organize. This can make cleaning up after holidays a nightmare if you feel cramped.
It’s okay to go through your belongings and determine what you will actually use. This is a good way to save space. Many of us are still unaware of our individual tastes, even though we have many well-meaning family members. You don’t have to spend your closet space on things you won’t use. You might consider donating some of the “it’s your thought that counts” gifts.
You might also have the opposite problem. Perhaps you have a lot of great gifts that you don’t have enough room for. You might be able to donate some items that have been worn out over the years or are no longer in use.
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Deciding what to keep for decorations
Next, it’s time for the holiday decorations. You might feel tempted to just take everything and put it in a storage box. You’ll have a lot of mess next year. It’s a good idea to make a list of decorations you want to keep and to toss away.
Many people decorate their homes with holiday cards they love. Sort through all your holiday cards and decide which ones you want to keep. The same process can be used for other holiday decorations. Don’t be afraid of parting with an old or damaged decoration if you find a better one.
Make sure to vacuum thoroughly after-holiday cleaning
Nothing is more bizarre than discovering pine needles in a sofa cushion from July’s Christmas tree. You can avoid any unpleasant surprises all year long by cleaning thoroughly to get rid of any tinsel, pine nuts, or glitter from gift bags. To clean the upholstery, remove the cushions and use the extension attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This also helps to eliminate odors.
However, many vacuum cleaners are not capable of picking up pine needles and tinsel. Both can clog vacuums in large quantities, and tinsel can prevent the roller bars from turning. You can sweep hardwood floors using a broom. You can also use a rubber brush or a lint brush to clean carpeting. If you have many needles to clean, you may want to consider a shop vacuum.
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Clear out/Store all Holiday Food
It’s a great time to clean out the fridge and freezer after-holiday cleaning. You should get rid of any leftover holiday food or foods you don’t intend to eat. You can vacuum seal items and put them in the freezer to extend their storage.
Now is the time to clean out your refrigerator and freezer if you haven’t done so before the holidays. Clear out expired or old food items to make way for new. You can also clean out your freezer and fridge with your favorite cleaning products. A half-and-half water/vinegar mix works well to clean the freezer and fridge.
Thoroughly clean where guests slept and food was prepared
While this is not to suggest that our closest friends and families are filthy, it is a good idea for after-holiday cleaning to disinfect the house. If you have guests, wash the linens in the guest bedrooms.
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Also, you should give your surfaces a thorough clean using a disinfectant solution. You should target areas such as the bathrooms, kitchen, and tables. To reduce bacteria in raw meat, you should focus your attention on the areas where food was prepared in your kitchen.