As the holiday season starts to draw to a close, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to clean up as you head back into real life — and the start of a new year. This is particularly important in 2020, as we all do our part to stay healthy and keep our communities safe.
Fortunately, that post-holiday deep clean can provide a great opportunity to decompress, transition out of the holiday mindset, and set your home up for the rest of winter.
Feeling intimidated by those dirty dishes or that mountain of discarded wrapping paper? We’re for you. Here are a few handy post-holiday cleaning guidelines that you can use to tackle each room with a plan — so you can get back to enjoying your comfy, cozy winter in no time:
Many people call the kitchen the heart of the home. Whether you celebrated with family or enjoyed a cozy holiday season with those closest to you, you’ve probably spent ample time in the kitchen over the last few weeks. Now is the time to get it back in shape:
- Take care of the dishes. Be sure to properly recycle or dispose of any single-use utensils, plates, and cups. Give the rest of your dishes a thorough cleaning in hot, soapy water before storing them back in your cupboards and cabinets. Take care with fragile glasses. If you’re running out of space to store any new kitchen gadgets you may have received over the holidays, consider a cabinet organizer to keep your storage spaces neat and tidy.
- Get a handle on those leftovers. Label leftovers with the date that they went into the fridge, so you know how long they will last. Gather up any food-related gifts, to make sure they don’t get lost in the holiday shuffle.
- Disinfect all frequently touched surfaces with an EPA-approved disinfectant. This includes wiping down your countertops, cabinet hardware, light switches, door knobs, small appliances, and seats.
- Consider giving your kitchen appliances a cleaning. In addition to wiping down your stovetop, consider taking some time to thoroughly and safely deep clean your handy appliances — from the inside of your oven, to your hardworking dishwasher.
- Sweep tile, linoleum, wood and other smooth surfaces, and follow up with your mop.
The Living Room
After a few weeks of relaxing in the living room, it’s time to get this space back in order. Here are a few key steps that can help transition your living spaces out of entertaining mode after a bustling holiday season:
- Move large furniture pieces around to get rid of dust bunnies that may be hiding underneath. Plus, who knows what items your guests might have accidentally left behind!
- Do a thorough dusting of your television and entertainment center, and wipe down all coffee tables and end tables with sanitary wipes.
- Disinfect common touchpoints, such as light switches, door knobs, thermostats, and remote controls.
- Start rounding up and storing away holiday decor. Consider getting your basement, attic, or garage organized as you stash these holiday items away for the year.
- Bust out the vacuum. Before you even turn your vacuum cleaner on, empty the canister or replace the bag. Use attachments to vacuum up crumbs and pet hair from your upholstery, curtains, and other soft surfaces. In addition to dust bunnies, look out for fallen pine needles, clumps of mud and dirt, food crumbs, and other post-holiday debris.
- Clean the floor. Use a dry mop on solid surfaces, and your vacuum on rugs or carpeted floors. Spot treat any stains or set-in spills with the appropriate cleaning agent.
Don’t forget about your bathrooms! As the holiday rush slows down, remember to take a few moments to thoroughly clean and sanitize your guest bathrooms — and get to your main bathroom, too!
- Use a liquid toilet bowl cleaner and scrub brush to clean the porcelain to its original shine. Wipe down toilet seats with a disinfecting wipe.
- Clean your floors. Use a dry mop to capture dust and hair, followed by a wet mop as needed. Don’t forget to get the space behind the toilet, where dust and debris can accumulate.
- Use a sponge or microfiber cloth and an all-purpose bathroom cleaner to target any mold, mildew, or scum that may have started accumulating around your shower or tub. Wipe down all countertops and the sink basin.
- Use a glass cleaner for a streak-free polish on your mirrors and medicine cabinets.
- Disinfect commonly touched surfaces around the bathroom, including the shower door and shower controls; the sink faucet; the door knob; the toilet handle; cabinet hardware and countertops; light switches; and so on.
- Dispose of any single-use items, such as paper cups, makeup wipes, or disposable toothbrushes. Take out the bathroom trash.
- Change out towels and wash any linens that have been used. If they are machine washable, consider cleaning your floor mats and shower curtain.
Whether you need to get your guest room back in order or give your main bedroom a refresh after a hectic holiday season, tackling these spaces is a great last step that can help make sure you have a refreshing, relaxing spot to wind down at the end of the day.
- Change out the bedding and wash the linens, including any towels that you or your guests may have used in the last few days.
- Round up any leftover items that you or your guests may have left behind on a bedside table or on the floor; change out the bedroom trash as quickly as possible.
- Disinfect common touchpoints, including dressers and drawers; bedside tables; windows and blinds handles; desks; door knobs; light switches; and remote controls.
- Clean the floors. Use a broom or dry mop to get rid of dust and debris from tile or hardwood floors; vacuum hardwoods and carpeted floors. Use vacuum attachments on furniture and curtains.
- Use an all-natural misting spray, candles, or an essential oil diffuser to infuse the room with a fresh, clean scent.
Ready to Make the Most of Winter In Chicagoland?
Whether it’s now serving as a school, office, playground, or simply a safe space, home has never been more important. We know this is as well as anyone. At Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855.
Looking for new ideas to make the most of your space this winter? Curious about what steps you can take to get your home ready to sell in the months ahead? Whatever your real estate goals may be, we get you — and we’re here to help make things easier, at every step of the way.