Here comes the holidays! This season brings a desire for comfort and warmth, especially in our homes. The holidays tend to roll together so we can often get overwhelmed with keeping up with our household tasks. We want inviting, comfortable homes, not only for ourselves but for loved ones. Cleaning while your house is decorated can be a pain but we have some ideas to make it a little easier.
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Deep clean BEFORE you decorate
Part of decorating is cleaning BEFORE adding decor. This includes moving furniture, vacuuming (Canada) (USA) and wiping down surfaces (including baseboards). You know the drill. The mantle and railings need to be wiped down with hot water and a tsp of powdered Tide® before wrapping them with garland and baubles. The floor area where the tree will go needs love before you can’t get behind it for a while. And giving the front door a wipe before you hang your wreath is always a great idea.
As you clean it is the perfect time to purge – in other words, get rid of the clutter you’ve accumulated. Anytime there will be an influx of gifts for yourself and your family PURGE your shit beforehand. Outgrown toys can be donated. Tell your kids that Santa won’t come if they have too many toys that they don’t play with if you have to. Go through your decorations and do away with the ones you no longer use. Going forward, purchase only meaningful and intentional items as opposed to ones that will be tossed aside, underutilized or take up valuable space year-round.
Clean your decorations as you put them up
Decorations get dusty, even in storage, so before you put them out, it is a good idea to give them a gentle rinsing or a full-on dunk. Vacuum or blow off any garland with canned air or with the shop vac (Canada) (USA) in reverse (in blowing mode instead of sucking mode). Please use caution and don’t wreck your tree by sucking it up with the shop vac. And it’s always best to blow off items OUTSIDE if at all possible so you don’t fill your house with dust.
If a tree is part of your holiday tradition, it is best to clean the tree when you take it out of storage (Canada) (USA). You can’t be shocked that we are suggesting a good clean for your tree. Lay a sheet down on the ground and vacuum (Canada) (USA) the tree branches with a horse hair brush (Canada) (USA), working your way top to bottom starting from inside the tree to the branch tips. This gets rid of dust, loose faux needles and even bugs.
If you are dealing with years of grime, a good wipe-down is usually needed. Test an inconspicuous spot on the tree using a damp cloth with hot water and a little bit of Dawn® dish soap. If there is any color transfer from the tree, dust using a dry rag only. Be careful when using a damp cloth on pre-lit trees!
If your tree does not have lights attached, why not give it a rinse in the shower?! It may sound strange but it works slick. Check your tree’s warranty beforehand and make sure it is fully dry before assembling.
Cleaning around decorations once they’re up is a necessary evil. Doing a quick tidy every night will make upkeep a breeze. A Swiffer® (Canada) (USA) and a carbon cloth (Canada) (USA) will be your BFFs throughout this holiday season. Remember: If you opt for a real tree it will need regular watering and vacuuming of its falling needles.
Don’t let the cleaning fall on you alone. Ask for help. Get your partners, children and even guests in there. Most guests are eager to help and feel better about it when you ask them directly. Nothing is worse than needing a vacation from your vacation when everyone goes home. This is also an important lesson for when you are a guest in someone’s home. Help them out, as you know they will appreciate it.
Keep the Cleaning Supplies Stocked and in Reach
If you have the urge to clean, it’s important to act on that urge as soon as possible so the feeling doesn’t fade and you can preserve your enthusiasm for a full clean. If you need to go to the store for cleaning supplies, or if your cleaning items are tucked away in a difficult spot, you’re not going to be motivated to do any cleaning.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep all your cleaning supplies stocked and in one place at all times.
Do a Little Every Day
Do a little bit of cleaning every day so you don’t end up overwhelmed. It’s relatively easy to maintain a clean home if you chip away at cleaning tasks one at a time. Consistent daily attention can help you maintain a clean home throughout the holidays.
This strategy is even more effective if you recruit other people to the cause. Instead of taking on all the daily cleaning responsibilities yourself, make sure everyone in your family has at least one cleaning chore they’re responsible for every day.
Clean it up WELL
After the season is over, don’t just toss everything in a bag or bin. Wipe ornaments as you take them down and properly store them to cut down on dust throughout the year. You spent your hard earned money on these things, so take care of them! Bubble wrap, newspaper or divided storage containers are ideal when storing delicates. See our Holiday roundup here: (USA) (Canada) This is a good time to rethink your storage area and organize it in a way so that it’s as accessible as possible, so you’re ready for the next season. Take down items in sections, which makes it easier to clean as you go. This will make your New Year clean a breeze.
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Happy Holidays from @GoCleanCo!