Post-Holiday Cleanup Tips

Get your home ready for the new year with these handy household hacks.

The holiday season is a wonderful time, but it can take its toll on your home. From clutter to broken dishes, all that entertaining and gift-opening can wreak havoc on your organizational efforts. These tips from The Maids will restore your home to ship-shape in no time.

Clear Holiday Clutter

After taking down your decorations, corral all holiday items in one place before buying any storage containers. Rectangular leftover containers make the perfect home for holiday cards; bonus points for themed containers you picked up on post-Christmas clearance. Go minimalist by donating or selling one item for every gift your household received. 

Beautify Wood Tables

Wood tabletops get a lot of abuse during the holidays. Scuff marks, rings from carelessly placed drinks, and general wear and tear can keep your furniture from looking its best. Start whipping tables into shape by dusting with a dry cloth. Remove any grime with a gentle cleaning solution, then try these tricks for removing cleaner buildup and stains.

1. Use the cooled tea from two teabags to restore shine. Just dip a soft cloth into the tea, wring it out, and wipe down the entire surface.
2. Apply toothpaste to water marks; don't use a gel variety. Rub with a soft cloth until the stain is gone. For more stubborn rings, mix equal parts toothpaste and baking soda. Wipe with a fresh cloth.
3. Rub an eraser or a tennis ball over scuff marks until they disappear. 

In the Kitchen

If countless soups and side dishes have left their mark on your pots and pans, eliminate odors and stains with a simple solution of baking soda and water. Place about a tablespoon of baking soda in a pot of water and bring it to a boil; this solution is gentle and natural but effective. Add some vinegar for more deodorizing and cleaning power. 

Did holiday meal prep give your cutting board more of a workout than usual? Dampen a cloth with some water and vinegar. Wipe your board to disinfect and get rid of any residue. A wipe-down with hydrogen peroxide removes remaining bacteria. Deodorize by working a sprinkling of coarse sea salt {ideally left on the board overnight) into the board with half a lemon to deodorize. Allow this solution to soak in for five to 10 minutes before removing with a damp cloth. Condition by rubbing mineral, walnut or almond oil into the entire cutting board; go with the grain. Conditioning should be done monthly in dry climates and quarterly in humid areas.

Whether or not you made resolutions, starting the new year with a fresh, clean slate is a must. Remove all traces of holiday wear so you're ready to take on the next twelve months. Need a little extra help with household chores after the holidays and beyond? Get in touch with The Maids in Chapel Hill, NC.



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