The holidays are a crazy, busy time, but it is only after the guests have left, the decorations are put away, and the schedule gets back to normal that you may realize just how messy these special occasions can be, especially to your flooring. With the right care and attention, however, you can easily clean up your home after the holidays.
How Holidays Make a Mess
While you may do special cleaning before the holidays arrive, the celebrations themselves can be incredibly messy. Guests can track in dirt, mud, and slush all over your carpet, tile, and hardwood floors. Gifts may leave bits of paper and bows all over, while different decorations can shed glitter, pine needles, candle wax, and other debris. How you arrange decorations may scuff the floors, smudge the windows, or peel bits of paint off the walls. Food gets spilled, and stains on carpet and upholstery may not get treated as quickly as possible. Furthermore, with the busy schedule of holiday preparation, celebrations, visits, and other events, there is less time than usual to do even regular cleaning during the holiday season. Fortunately, it’s easy to do a thorough cleanup after the holidays and your home will look better than ever.
Cleaning Up After the Holidays
There are a number of different tasks you can take care of after the holidays to cleanup your house and refresh it for the rest of the winter.
Put away all holiday decorations first. Discard anything that may be worn, broken, or not suitable for use the next year. Consider leaving notes for yourself in the holiday decoration boxes so you remember anything you really liked or new decorations you want to buy.
Declutter as you put out your “normal” décor. If you’ve put away everyday trinkets to make room for holiday decorations, consider decluttering them before putting them back after the holidays. Donate unwanted items and use the opportunity to organize closets.
Touch up paint on the walls. Decorations that were hung with hooks, nails, tape, or other adhesives may have damaged your walls and leave chips when you take them down. Touch up those spots after the holidays so they will look like new.
Deep clean kitchen appliances. Your fridge, oven, stovetop, and microwave are heavily used during the holidays as you bake treats, prepare special meals, store leftovers, and enjoy all the season’s bounty. After the holiday, deep clean each appliance to thoroughly refresh it.
Sanitize your dishwasher. Many people neglect their dishwasher, but now is the best time to clean out its filter and run it through a sanitizing cycle to eliminate any lingering stains or odors in the appliance or on its racks.
Clean upholstery as needed. Your most comfortable sofas and chairs get extra use during the holidays, and will pick up extra dirt and oil from hands and fingers, as well as accidental spills. Spot clean furnishings as needed, or rent an upholstery cleaner for a thorough cleaning.
Wash guest linens. If you’ve had houseguests over the holidays, don’t forget to wash guest bed linens and towels after your friends and relatives have returned home. This will ensure you’re ready for new houseguests whenever they may arrive.
Recycle gift and holiday shipping boxes. After all the shipped gifts and new items have been unwrapped, you may accumulate a large supply of boxes and packaging material. Recycle it as much as possible to keep it from building up in closets or the garage.
Pay Special Attention to the Floors
Your flooring can take the brunt of holiday abuse, with extra guests walking over it, furniture being moved, and spills of all kinds. But with a bit of care, you can refresh your flooring just as easily as you’ve cleaned up the rest of your house.
Shake out any rugs you can, getting as much dust and dirt out of them as possible.
Sweep hard floors to gather up coarse debris so it will not cause scratches or other damage.
Treat any carpet or rug stains as needed to remove stickiness or discoloration.
Use carpet deodorizers to remove lingering odors from holiday celebrations.
Clean your vacuum before you use it to ensure the strongest suction possible.
Vacuum rugs and carpeting thoroughly, running the vacuum in different directions each time.
Consider renting a rug shampooer for more thorough deep cleaning.
Use a steam mop or other mop on hard flooring to remove all dust and restore shine.
Consider refinishing hardwood floors as needed to repair small scratches and nicks.
It may seem like a lot of work to cleanup after the holidays, but you’ll be able to enjoy your refreshed and rejuvenated home for weeks after the celebrations have ended.