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How to clean up after the holidays

Posted Monday, December 26th, 2016
holiday decorations with tree, cookies, bundle of cinnamon sticks, lights, and a hose with a candle inside

The Christmas magic might be gone but the mess isn’t.

We’ve opened the last present and eaten the last cookie. We haven’t stepped on the scale yet (we’re leaving that for New Year’s), but it’s time to start putting the house in order. Since holiday clean-up can be overwhelming, having a simple plan of attack will make the process much faster and more effective.

Take down the tree.

It’s time to get the tree out of your living room before there are more needles in your carpet than on the branches. Taking a little time here will reap dividends next Christmas. Pack away ornaments into clear, stackable boxes. Next Christmas it will be easy to find the pieces you are looking for. Wrap lights around stiff squares of cardboard so that they won’t tangle, and check each line for dead bulbs before you put it away. There’s nothing more frustrating than unwinding string after string of dead lights that you’ve stored for a year.

Don’t hold on to gifts you don’t want or need.

When it’s the thought that counted, don’t store the stuff. Some gifts just won’t be to your taste. If it doesn’t come with a gift receipt, donate it right away. Someone else will benefit from your generosity, and your home will be cleaner and more peaceful without items you are never going to use taking up space in your closet. If you got something new to replace an older but still serviceable item, donate your clean and gently-used possession. And remember, even if you donate the gift, don’t forget to send a thank-you note to the giver.

Clean the guest bedroom.

If you were lucky enough to have family stay over the holidays now it’s time to get your guest room back in order. Once you’ve washed the sheets, emptied the trash, and vacuumed the carpets, this is a good time to do a few extra things to deep clean the room. Using the upholstery attachment vacuum the drapes and the mattress. When you finish, use the crevice tool to deep clean around the baseboards. By the time you have the sheets back on the bed, the room will be even cleaner than it was before Christmas.

Deep-clean your kitchen appliances.

Making a holiday meal will take a toll on your kitchen. Now is a good time to clean your oven inside and out, as well as your microwave and refrigerator. Start by using a wet rag and gentle multi-surface cleaner on the inside of the microwave, for a quick feeling of accomplishment. Next discard any noxious Christmas dinner leftovers and clean the inside of the refrigerator. Finally shine the outside of the appliances and run the cleaning cycle on your oven. Everything will be ready for a fresh start in the New Year.

Recycle or save holiday cards.

Your mailbox filled up with warm wishes from friends and loved ones, but now it’s time to clear the mantle of those smiling holiday photos. Consider pasting the cards and photos from close friends into a quality scrapbook, so that you can look back on them in later years. If you don’t feel the need to keep the card, you can still get some use out of the colorful cardboard. Children will enjoy cutting pictures from old cards to use in future holiday crafts, like homemade gift tags or wrapping paper.

Check your furniture and carpets for stains.

Your friends and family have been drinking wine, snacking on Brie cheese, and wandering in muddy shoes all through your living space. Once you’ve packed away the holiday decorations walk through and look for damage. The sooner you treat stains on your furniture and carpets the better chance you have of restoring your upholstery and rugs. If you see a stain you can try treating it yourself using some of our home carpet cleaning tips.

Of course, once you’ve finished the rest of your holiday clean-up, you might be ready to treat yourself to a break. Why not call the professionals? Modernistic is available immediately after the holidays to get your carpets and furniture looking pristine again. Use our easy online scheduling tool to book your appointment before you’ve even finished dragging the tree down to the road.

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