6 tips for cleaning up after the holidays

After all the excitement of the holidays—spending quality time with family and friends, enjoying delicious food and drink, giving and receiving presents—your happy glow can quickly disappear when your guests are gone and you have to deal with the cleanup. Getting your home back into tip-top shape can be challenging, but these tips will help when your guests and gifts are gone and you’re left behind with the mess.

Clean as you go

Hopefully you’ve been cleaning as you go, so this tip isn’t a surprise for you. As you prepare the holiday meal, wash the pots, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards as you go. Instead of stacking dirty dishes or glasses on the counter, put them in the dishwasher immediately. Rinse any wine glasses then put them aside to hand-wash when your guests are gone. If you have a smoothtop electric cooktop, be sure you clean up spills right away because food that contains sugar (like tomato or caramel sauce) can bond with the glass if you let the spill cool.

Christmas tree removal

You don’t want to be the neighbor who finally tosses their tree onto the street in mid-February. Check with your town on how and when to dispose of your Christmas tree: bring it to be mulched—a service many communities now offer—or leave it at the curb per your town’s instructions. If you’re facing a pile of fallen pine needles, you can use a lint roller to pick them up. Once these get ground into the carpet, you’ll have a hard time vacuuming them. The lint roller works great and picks up any glitter, too.

Get rid of unwanted gifts

Don’t feel guilty if you received a gift  you don’t want. Return it, donate it, or re-gift it. Make a clean break and set yourself up for a clutter-free new year. And since you’re already headed to Goodwill with unwanted gifts, save yourself a trip and get rid of old items that you received replacements for. Someone gave you new cookware? Ditch your old pans so your cabinets aren’t overwhelmed when you add the shiny new ones to your kitchen. The same trick goes for any clothing you received, to keep your closets from overflowing.

Deal with holiday cards

Collect all the holiday cards that arrived in the mail and make a list of who you received cards from. You can use this as a starting point for next year’s holiday card list. Then toss those cards in the recycling bin, immediately clearing your mantle and counters from the festive clutter. Or if you’re feeling crafty, you can cut up the cards to reuse as gift tags for next year.

Take down the holiday lights and decorations

Do you wish you could leave your Christmas decorations up year round just to avoid the agony of putting them up again next year? Don’t be that person. Make next year easier on yourself when you clean up this year’s decorations.

  • Take pictures of your lights and decorations. Then print them out and put them in your holiday bins, or save the pictures to an album on your phone. The images will cut down the time you spend decorating next year. Just follow the pictures!
  • When you take down a string of lights, wrap them around a paper towel tube or a piece of cardboard to keep them untangled and easy to unravel next December.
  • Label your holiday bins with the specific room or area where you use those decorations and lights. Pack and unpack them accordingly. Decorating the family room? Bring in the family room bin. Ready to clean up the family room? Bring in the family room bin.

Hire a professional service to clean your home

Let’s face it— all the spills in the kitchen and increased traffic through the bathrooms left your home a mess. Instead of bravely facing the task of cleaning this by yourself, hire a cleaning company like Bucket & Bows Maid Service to deep clean your house. Let the professionals tackle cleaning kitchen cabinets, stove, oven, countertops, floors, dusting and vacuuming the living areas, cleaning toilets and sinks, and getting your house back in shape. What a great way to usher in the new year!

Now you can smile and relax! Remember how great it feels when the holidays are over and the cleanup is done? When you aren’t sidestepping twinkling Santas in the foyer and you realize how big your rooms really are? We love that feeling, too! Use it propel you through the cleanup. Get the whole family involved. Order in some pizzas or subs. Enjoy the new year, and don’t sweat the cleanup!