Greetings, friends. If you are like us, you are probably feeling tired and a little sluggish after the holidays. Well, we bet our houses are feeling the same way. After all, they’ve hosted a ton of people, have endured some weird temperatures along with heavy rains and snows, and been decorated for Thanksgiving and Christmas and then been stripped of all of it. We came up with seven post-holiday organizing and cleaning tips that might need some extra attention about now. Some are little tweaks, some are cosmetic, and some are really important. If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please do so in the comments. Here we go.
1. CLEAN YOUR STOVE AND OVEN – We mean really clean them. After all of the cooking and baking your stove and oven have been through, a good old-fashioned cleaning to get rid of all of those stains, spills, and baked on messes is pretty much mandatory. You might have to use some muscle on this one, but just consider it exercise for your arms.
2. USE VINEGAR ON YOUR DISH WASHER AND WASHING MACHINE – A repairman once told me that running the washing machine with a quart of distilled vinegar (no suds or clothes) will add to its life. It helps eliminate all of the built-up gunk. I do this chore every month on both my washing machine and my dish washer. If you have never done this, now is a good time to start. Your appliances will thank you, and just think about it. This simple step could save you hundreds in repair expenses and add years to the life of these machines.
3. REASSESS YOUR LINENS – If you have overnight guests frequently, then you might need to check out your guest sheets, blankets, towels, and wash cloths to make sure there are no tears or stains that need some extra attention. Or you might discover that some of them need to be replaced. Just last I bought a set of flannel sheets for the guest room. It makes the bed more cozy in the winter months and will help our guests have a more restful sleep. If you take care of this now, then you will know that you are ready for your next set of guests to arrive.
4. ORGANIZE YOUR WRAPPING PAPER – If you did any last minute wrapping, then your gift wrap area or closet might be a mess. I have a nice plastic bin (like this one) made just for wrapping paper that I keep in my craft room closet, and it helps me keep my wrapping paper contained. I went through it and threw away scraps and remnants of paper, wrinkled tissue paper and bows. I then bought some new gift tags, gift bags, all-occasion paper, ribbon, and new tissue paper. Now I am ready to wrap up anything at a moment’s notice.
5. WIPE DOWN ITEMS IN YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS – I can’t stand to reach for anything in my kitchen cabinets and find that it is coated with a layer of oil, dried up food, or flour. Now is a good time to wipe down all of your oil bottles, spice containers, spray cans, condiments, and canisters. While you are at it, check the dates on your spices and herbs to make sure they are still good. Then when you put them back into the cabinet, put like items together. It will make it easier to find what you are looking for when you are scurrying to put dinner on the table. Do the same with the inside of fridge and the items in it.
6. VACUUM YOUR FURNITURE – If you or your kids eat on the sofa or upholstered furniture while watching television, there’s a good chance some food particles might have fallen behind or under your cushions. To keep them from staining your furniture or from turning into a green moldy mess, remove all of the cushions and give your furniture a good cleaning. If I find a spot or stain, I use a damp wash cloth with a little bit of Pine Sol on it. It always works for me.
7. CHECK FOR SAFETY – Make sure the batteries are working on your smoke detectors, and make sure there is a fire hydrant (like this one) handy in the kitchen. Make sure the locks on your exterior doors are secure. Mr. Right recently discovered a lose door handle in our garage and had to replace it. If you have a security system, give it a test. Also, check to see if your windows are locked. That helps keep drafts (and bad people) out.
These suggestions are all simple to do and can make a difference in how your home functions. Do you have any to add to the list?
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