Holiday Clean Up Without a Slip Up
In a family album, one of our friends has a photo entitled “Merry Christmasmess.” In the picture you can see mountains of crumpled wrapping paper, boxes, gifts, decorations, and empty dessert plates surrounding happy holiday guests.
That got us to thinking that regardless of what holiday you celebrate, it’s quite possible you now have (or are about to have) your very own version of (insert holiday greeting here) mess. Here are 5 tips for an easy holiday clean up without hurting yourself in the process.
Tip #1 Make sure you have the proper supplies
Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need, so you won’t have to head out into the holiday “after party crowd” for supplies. Do a quick inventory to be sure you have enough garbage bags, cleanser, soap etc. for the level of mess with which you need to engage. If your holiday tree is “fresh cut” chances are it’s not so fresh anymore. While you’re out, consider getting a tree bag for an easy tree tidy up.
In fact, get two tree bags – One for this year and one for next. Pack the extra bag in with your tree decorations. Next year, put the bag down first, then just add tree! It can be easily hidden by your tree skirt and any under the tree decorations – and of course presents! That way the bag will be conveniently waiting for you when you’re ready to put everything away.
Important note for this year, if the tree is dropping needles, it is quickly becoming a fire hazard. Don’t procrastinate packing it up if it’s dry.
Tip #2 Inspect for hidden spills
Your best chance of getting stains out of your floor and carpet is attending to them early. Now is the time to inspect your floor carefully for post party “spillage.” Pay special attention to areas where you might not ordinarily be in your home or where guests have gathered with food in hand. Be sure to consult your flooring manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning up stubborn spills and stains. And don’t forget to check surfaces. Coffee tables, side tables and corners of cabinets can sometimes have sneaky messes too.
Tip #3 Staging Area
As you prepare to take down your holiday décor and put away the “good china,” you’ll find the whole thing less daunting if you have a clean location set aside as a staging area. Chose one room, such as the dining room and get it cleared of as much stuff as possible. Use this area to sort, clean and wrap up items from one room at a time. This way if you need to spread your clean up over more than one day, you have somewhere to leave things during the pause that won’t be in the way.
Tip #4 Clean décor before you store
Your holiday decorations most likely are up for more than a day or two. Certainly long enough for dust to gather, random spills to occur and day to day dirt and grime to settle.
Be sure you inspect everything that’s been out, up, used, or displayed, and clean as necessary. Next year when you go through the exercise of decorating, you’ll have sparkly NOT dusty things to put out. What a time saver for 2014!
Tip #5 Delegate
If you have able bodied people besides yourself in your household – GET HELP! There is no reason that other people can’t help you clean up. Young children can put unbreakable ornaments in a box or stack silverware in its drawer or box. Older kids can help with doing the holiday dishes, sweeping or vacuuming. You could even make a game out of “find the stain” and reward your “mess inspectors” with a prize of leftover holiday goodies. Of course, able bodied adults or older teenagers should be the ones who climb the ladder to put away decorations or take down holiday lights.