Tips for Cleaning and Organizing After the Holidays

Organizing and cleaning tips are easy to come by in the first days of a new year for good reason. The holidays are fun, but now it’s time to reclaim our space. And we all want to do better this year than we did before. Plus, reading organization tips helps in the procrastination department!

So here we go. We’ve broken these homeowner tips into three categories: Reclaim, Remove and Replenish.

Reclaim Your Space

Does it feel like decorations have taken over your home? Lights are bright and joyful when they first go up and the space feels a bit cozier, but you’ll welcome the feeling of spaciousness when they’re safely put away.

As you take ornaments off the tree, pack them carefully. If you don’t want to take the time to fix broken ornaments, either choose to dispose of them or separate them into a zippered plastic bag marked “repair” for next year.

Be honest with yourself about ornaments you no longer want to use. Are there are some that have languished at the bottom of the box for a couple of years now because there was “no more room” on the tree? Go ahead and donate them. Are there decorations, holiday books or toys your kids have outgrown? Go ahead and store them separately if you intend to save them for future generations. Otherwise, it’s time to take photos so you’ll remember the joy they brought and pass them along.

Go through your home and gather up the small decorations you’ve placed here or there. The Santa nightlight in the hallway? The holiday-themed hand towels in the bathroom? The Christmas candle in the foyer? Leave no décor behind!

Remove the Old (and the Grime!)

Make room for the new clothes, gadgets and toys that came into your home during the holidays by clearing out some of the old. Again, be honest with yourself. If you really don’t think you’ll use the new item, go ahead and donate it. If you now have two toasters, let go of your old one. Even if your kids do pull out that toy from three years ago once in a while, it’s probably time to donate it for a younger child who will love it every day.

And speaking of old, today is the day to get rid of the leftovers in the refrigerator once and for all, along with any outdated items. Still have unopened candy from Christmas stockings? Consider taking it into the office. Working from home? You might also package it up to send to school for the teacher workroom or drop off at the local police or fire station.

Finally, take some time to remove the grime of the holidays and give your home a thorough cleaning. Take special care to vacuum up all of the pine needles that made their way into the sofa cushions and under the furniture. And don’t overlook those carpet and upholstery stains. The longer they set in, the harder they will be to remove.

Are you tired yet? It’s okay to set aside the guest room for another day, but you’re going to want to wash the linens and give it a good refresh soon. You may be glad to have the house to yourself now, but you’ll be ready to welcome more guests before you know it!

Replenish – Your Home and Yourself

Phew. Breathe a sigh of relief. Things are back to normal and maybe even a little better than they were before the holidays. Make a list of the things you need to replenish your supplies – paper towels, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer – so you can grab them next time you’re out.

For now, light that candle you got for Christmas, snuggle up under your new weighted blanket and enjoy your reclaimed space!

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