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Cleaning Up
After Christmas

December 4, 2023

The completion of the holiday season can bring about lots of emotions: relief, sadness, or satisfaction. But most everyone has one feeling in common: the overwhelming dread of cleaning up after the Christmas holiday festivities. Cleaning up after Christmas can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone!

Tips for Christmas Cleanup

If you’re thinking, “Where do I start? How can I stay organized?” these nine tips are for you. Our field-tested guide will help you destress and get on the right track with a manageable, step-by-step approach. Plus, we give you a rundown of critical areas to clean and disinfect after your holiday guests head home.

The most successful cleaning projects always start with a cleaning checklist that provides a map that helps take you from messy to tidy. Kick off your Christmas cleaning as soon as possible so you can relax and enjoy the rest of your holiday time off.

  1. Put things away in the same location every year (i.e., Christmas boxes under the stairs). Cleaning up after Christmas is hard enough. The last thing you want to do next year is to figure out where on earth you put all of your decorations. Make sure you have a designated space in your basement, garage, or storage location.
  2. Buy containers with lids. Putting away decorations is easiest when you have containers with lids. Not only does this help your decorations stay dry in storage the next time you want to pull out all of your Christmas decor, but it’s also a simple process and not a massive headache!
  3. Organize storing small ornaments, medium-sized ornaments (like big snowflakes), and larger items like lights in separate boxes. Many ornaments are delicate and require some extra care. Use an ornament box with layers of honeycomb separators. For delicate or breakable items, wrap them in acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap.
  4. Use empty gift wrap tubes to wrap your tree lights around to avoid a tangled ball. Wrap the cord around the roll, then insert the plug into the tube’s opening. If you’ve already thrown away your gift wrap tubes, try paper towel tubes.
  5. Take down the Christmas tree and put it away. Though it’s a main staple in your living room during the holidays, it’s also a huge space occupied when trying to clean and organize after Christmas. If you have an artificial tree, gently wipe the branches with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Let the branches dry completely before storing. If you’ve decorated with a real tree, find a recycling facility that collects trees for compost.
  6. Organize your gifts in a closet or another room until you can sort them appropriately. After all the decorations, gifts, and boxes are stored away, do a quick clean!
  7. Organize leftovers in your refrigerator for easy access. Get rid of any expired items and leftovers you probably won’t eat. Instead of throwing your holiday food out, send some of that delicious cuisine home with your guests.
  8. If you decorate with Christmas candles, you want to store them safely. Skip the attic and keep your candles in a spot where the temperature won’t get too hot. Just in case, store the candles separately from other items to prevent damage.
  9. Take Christmas sweaters, coats, and linens to the dry cleaners before putting them away for the season. You’ll be glad you got it out of the way when the holidays return next year!

The more thought and care you put into storage and cleaning up after Christmas, the more manageable decorating next year will be. So get a jump-start on your resolution to be more organized, and use our tips for an easier, less stressful Christmas cleanup.

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Holiday Cleanup After House Guests Leave

You don’t have to wait until family leaves to do many of the cleanup tasks above. But a deep holiday cleanup will have to wait until the last guest has left. Like all good cleaning strategies, the plan for cleaning your home after the holidays includes decluttering and disinfecting.

Get rid of holiday clutter before you begin cleaning. Broken decorations, sweaters with holes, and any other items not worth keeping are all fair game. Be objective and round up as much as you can. Use one box for things you’ll throw away and one for items you can donate.

Since your home has likely seen more guests and activity over the holidays than usual, a room-by-room cleaning approach is ideal. Depending on how much time you have off for the holidays, you can clean one or two rooms per day and wrap things up before the New Year.

The kitchen should be at the top of your Christmas cleanup list. Remove everything from your counters, then clean and sanitize them. Put away small appliances and other items you won’t use frequently after giving them a clean. Wipe down your kitchen cabinets and disinfect the sink. Move on to the oven, stove, microwave, and other appliances. Finish up by disinfecting switchplates and other commonly touched surfaces, then sweep and mop the floor.

Next up should be the bathrooms. The bathrooms will likely need a deeper holiday cleanup than during the rest of the year. Damp wipe flat surfaces to remove dust and disinfect them. Clean the tub, shower, and toilet, and throw the shower curtain in the wash if it’s machine washable. Give the mirror and sink hardware a shine, and clean the sink. Disinfect cabinet pulls and light switches, then sweep and mop.

Now it’s time to vacuum, sweep, dust, and disinfect the other rooms in your home. Work high to low and focus on disinfecting frequently touched areas like light switches and doorknobs to minimize the spread of germs.

Between hosting your family, cookie crumbs, snow boot prints, and stray pine needles, your home might need professional cleaning. Whether you use our handy housekeeping guides or invest in maid services, count on The Maids® to make life more manageable.

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