The holidays are a time for family, friends, and merry-making, but with all the rush and bustle, the errands and get-togethers, merriment isn’t the only mind state the season produces. It can also be just a little bit maddening. The weather outside is frightful, and maybe the kids are starting to get stir-crazy. Clutter abounds from all the new Christmas presents. Your refrigerator is stuffed as full as a turkey with leftovers, and there is an honest-to-god tree in your living room.
As December draws to a close with just one last shindig to ring in the New Year, you’re probably ready to restore some order to your home, your life, and your sanity. All of which may seem a bit overwhelming, if you don’t even know where to begin. But fear not! We have compiled a post-holiday checklist to help you re-establish normalcy in your home, so you can get back to enjoying time with your family through the cozy winter months ahead.
Pack away (and sort) ornaments. Tackle the decorations on the Christmas tree first. Check the ornaments individually to make sure they are not broken (if they are, toss them!) and if you still want to keep them around for future years of holiday enjoyment (if not, donate them!) Make sure that you wrap or coil your tree lights and bead strings neatly, so you won’t have to deal with an impossible tangled mess next year. Once the tree is denuded, remove and pack away any other holiday ornaments from around the house like Christmas villages, outside lights, and lawn ornaments. Label the boxes clearly and store them where you will be able to find them easily next holiday season.
Get the tree out of your house. Christmas trees are lovely to look at, if a bit of an odd tradition. (Seriously, whose idea was it to bring a tree inside the house in the middle of winter, cover it with fire, and stare at it?) But now is the time to restore your home to its normal tree-free state. Pack away your artificial tree carefully and store the box upright. If you have a genuine tree, call your local waste management department to find out the details of their tree disposal program. Or if you have the space outside, you can always put it out in a corner of the yard as a refuge for ground nesting birds.
Wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons. If the floor around your Christmas tree is still cluttered with wrapping, clear it away. But save the ribbons and bows for next year! Once that’s done, your living room floor should be clear enough to vacuum up the pine needles and cookie crumbs.
Find homes for gifts. The easiest way to keep a well-organized home is to have a place for everything. Since every member of the family receives a new influx of things at Christmas, it only makes sense to spend some time figuring out where those things are going to live. If you have limited space or a minimalist spirit, you might want to adhere to the “one in, one out” rule: each time you (or a family member) receive a new item, donate one of your older possessions to make space for it.
Clean and Pack Away Holiday Attire. Many of us have clothing that only gets used during the holiday seasion. Whether it’s a beautiful party dress or a Santa suit, you’ll want to get these items washed (or dry cleaned) and packed away securely for next year.
Finish up the leftovers. Designate one day within the week after festivities as “Leftover Day”. On that day, commit to not cooking anything. If anyone wants to eat, they must heat up Christmas leftovers (and wash the dishes as they go.) This will clear up refrigerator space and ensure that those delicious holiday foods don’t go forgotten and spoil.
Deep clean kitchen and bathrooms. These are the rooms that receive the most abuse during the holiday season, especially with guests popping in all month. Devote some time in the first week of the New Year to really making your kitchen and bathrooms sparkle. In the kitchen, clean the inside of the oven, polish the appliance fronts, fixtures, and backsplash, sweep out underneath the toaster oven, and scrub the floor. In addition to your regular bathroom cleaning routine, wash the rugs, dust the toiletry and hair product bottles, and clean the mirror and light switch plates. Dust the baseboards and light fixtures in both rooms, and then sit back and relax. Sanity restored!
P.S. We totally understand if you don’t want to fool around with that deep cleaning part. If you live in the Asheville, NC area and want someone else to take care of that part, our expert post-holiday cleaning elves would be delighted to help. Drop us a line or give us a call at 828.505.7320