Starting the new year with a clean house is an action item that many individuals dream about, but few know exactly how to execute. It’s an age-old tradition to thoroughly clean after the holidays and before New Year’s Eve based on the idea of “out with the old and in with the new.”
Cleaning the house before the turn of the calendar is believed to allow what is old and no longer serving you to be released and give yourself space to start a new year. Superstitions aside, cleaning up after the holidays is often its own enormous task. Before getting ahead of yourself by cleaning for the new year, first let the dust settle a moment, take a deep breath and then kick-off your post-holiday cleaning endeavor.
Tend to the Holiday Accumulation First
The holiday season is accompanied by a large amount of stuff, be it gifts, food, decorations, trash, and odds and ends. The first task is to tend to this accumulation. This doesn’t mean you should throw everything out by default; instead, it means take a moment to lighten your possession load from the holiday onslaught. For example:
- Toss the Trash
Sort reusable items like ribbons and bows from things that need to go in the trash, like used tissue paper and ripped wrapping paper. Get a bin to keep your reusable items for next year’s gifting materials, and then all else needs to be removed from your home.
- Fridge Purge
Next, attend to the food. Get rid of leftovers and sort your tupperware. Return borrowed food containers to their owners, or donate them if they don’t have an owner.
- Clean Up Decorations
Tackle the holiday decor by dismantling your tree and any other holiday items from the home. You’ll want to remove exterior decorations including lawn ornaments and exterior lights before January. Keeping your holiday materials together in one easy location makes for an optimal experience come next year. After all, no one wants to detangle heaps of Christmas lights a year from now!
Once the holiday materials are dealt with, you can dig deep into the decluttering process. The end of the year is a natural time to start thinking and reassessing your belongings. What do you want to keep with you and what no longer serves you?
Examining your habits and the items you surround yourself with can be a great exercise in self-reflection. Often this is where people get tripped up and stuck. Decluttering your home can be a difficult thing to do and figuring out where to start is often enough to stop you in your tracks with overwhelm.
Our recommendation at First Class Green Cleaning is to start small and to not try and do too much at once. Work slowly and carefully when evaluating each item and what it contributes to your overall life and home. Aim to tackle this project by looking at what makes you happy and what serves a purpose: this is what you want to surround yourself with. Tips for decluttering are as follows:
- Set a Date
Finding time to declutter can be its own obstacle. That’s why we recommend picking a date as if you were setting an appointment on your calendar. Blocking dedicated time to spend on a decluttering project makes it more difficult to not do. Pick a date and stick to it!
- Clear Storage
One of the most impactful locations to declutter are places where things accumulate out of sight. Think for example of closets, credenzas, garages or pantries. It’s totally normal for storage spaces to accumulate clutter throughout the year. When executing, pick one location and go at it until it is done. Set aside anything that no longer serves you and then organize everything else that is necessary. You’ll be surprised how much material can actually leave your house by following this basic decluttering rule.
- Clean as You Go
While cleaning out these spaces, be sure to get in there and do a deep clean as you go. Once a space is empty, it’s much easier to do a deep clean and get rid of dust bunnies, wipe down shelves and then put things back in an organized fashion.
- Make a Donation Station
There’s something wonderful that happens when you are sifting your clutter and you make a pile to give to friends or donate. Often, there’s a match between what you don’t need and what someone else in your life does! And not to fret, if you have unwanted items, take them to a local charity or the recycling depot for a new use.
At First Class Green Cleaning, we are on a mission to support your cleanest home. Once you make it through the journey of decluttering—which may take some time—you’re ready to disinfect and refresh your home starting with your kitchen appliances.
After all of the holiday cooking, we are sure your kitchen appliances could use a touch of TLC. Be sure to clean the inside and outside of your refrigerator and freezer, all freestanding appliances, the interior and exterior of your oven and dishwasher, under your kitchen sink and lastly, the interior and exterior of any kitchen cabinets and drawers.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar and water or else a natural cleaner that is free of harsh chemicals. Give all surfaces a good scrub and then let your kitchen shine.
Furniture on Deck
Now it’s time to turn your attention to your furniture. Getting your upholstery cleaned should be done around once or twice a year at minimum, and the post-holiday window is a great time to do so.
If you go the DIY route, vacuum all fabric furniture to collect dirt, hair and debris, then spot clean any stain. Next, use a spray of water and essential oils like lemon or mint to help give your home space a fresh, clean scent.
Deep Clean the Carpets
Last on our list to clean before the New Year is the carpets. This is where our professional team shines most. Since we are on a mission dedicated to removing indoor contaminants that trigger undesirable allergic reactions and help you step into the new year renewed, let our team help you get clean carpets.
While it might seem like a long list, if you plan ahead and take it slow, starting the new year with a clean and decluttered house feels great!