Everyone loves preparing for Christmas. There is just something special about taking out the holiday decorations, gathering your family to set up the Christmas tree, and thinking about what tasty thing to cook for your guests. However, when the holidays are over and the Christmas spirit is out the door, another type of plan needs to take place – a how-to-restore-your-home-to-its-previous-state one.
That said, the job of cleaning and decluttering your home from wrapping paper, confetti, and all of those leftovers may sound a little… stressful, but not when you have a good battle plan ready.
To make things easier for you, we’ve prepared this guide on how to declutter and clean your home after Christmas the easy way.
Set Small Goals
Taking down a whole Christmas tree, cleaning three guest bedrooms, removing the wine stains from your living room carpet, finding room for the leftovers, and so on really does sound like A LOT of hard work, which can demotivate you. The best thing that you can do is break down the big chores into smaller tasks, and handle them one at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be done with everything on your to-do list, and your home will be nice and tidy once again.
Take Care of the Christmas Decorations
Now that you have a plan, you can proceed with tidying up your house. The first thing on your list should be, you guessed it, to take down the holiday decorations. It’s best that you begin with your tree – remove all the ornaments, clean them, wrap them in tissue paper to prevent them from breaking, and store them away in a box. The same applies to any other type of trinket, figurine, and toy that is more fragile. The only Christmas decoration you need to pay special attention to are your lights. To keep them safe from breaking, tearing, or tangling, you can tightly wrap them around a piece of hard cardboard or a coat hanger.
Go Through the Leftovers
If you’ve had a lot of guests during the holidays, you now probably have a refrigerator full of turkey, mashed potatoes, cake, and leftovers of all sorts. To make the best out of your scraps and reduce food waste, we suggest researching a couple of leftover recipes to try out – after all, turkey sandwiches doesn’t have to be the only thing on your post-Christmas menu. Also, it’s a good idea to freeze what you can for future dishes. Just make sure to portion the food correctly, to use the right type of containers, to label everything, and, most importantly – to do it quickly.
Deep Clean and Refresh your Home
So, now that you’ve stored away all of your Christmas decorations and dealt with the food leftovers, it’s time to focus on cleaning your home. Below you’ll find a checklist on all the areas you need to focus on, starting with the…
Fridge and Freezer
After all the food that has gone in and out of your refrigerator and freezer, both probably need a thorough scrubbing. Remove all the food, trays, and containers, and deep clean the appliance. This is also a good time to re-organise everything, and check the expiration dates of your items.
The oven is the hero of every Christmas and will most definitely need some TLC after the holidays are over. Remove the racks and trays, and give them a good scrub, so that the accumulated grease and burnt bits can be removed. A good tip is to soak them in hot water and washing-up liquid prior to attacking them with the steel wool sponge. Also, make sure you clean the inside of your oven as well.
Yes, your dishwasher will need some attention too. Accordion to experienced plumbers, the best way to clean it is by placing a bowl of vinegar at the bottom of the appliance and running it completely empty at the highest temperature possible. This will get rid of all the product residue, stuck food bits, grime, and even bad odours. And don’t worry – your dishwasher won’t smell of vinegar afterwards.
Carpets and rugs receive a lot of damage during the holidays – there is always that one family member who will spill their glass of red wine on your living room floor covering. That said, inspect your carpets for stains, and treat them as quickly as possible with the right cleaning product. If your rugs are heavily soiled, or you can’t remove the stains, a professional carpeting cleaning is your best option.
Like carpets, upholstery pieces also tend to get a bit dirtier over Christmas. For bigger furniture items, such as sofas and chairs, a thorough vacuuming and a quick scrub with an upholstery cleaning product will do the job just fine. Small cushions, throw pillows, and pillowcases can be cleaned in the washing machine – just make sure to check the label if they are suitable for machine washing.