It happens the same exact way every single year: The holidays are over but the cleanup is just beginning.
Despite your best intentions, it’s impossible to keep the house organized and tidy once the non-stop festivities begin. But now that the guests are gone, you’re facing everything from a yucky, greasy oven and your toddler grandson’s grape jam fingerprints in the kitchen, to countless dustballs, cookie crumbs and candy wrappers on every floor and rug. And even if cousin Carole’s Chow Chow puppy is captivating, the hills of fur she left behind definitely are not!
Besides making you feel accomplished, and helping to unclutter your mind, a spic-and-span house is a healthy house. Bacteria, mold, dust, and dander definitely can cause issues from asthma to allergies.
Post holiday cleanup, however, doesn’t have to be daunting if you take a sensible approach, and, of course, have the proper tools and cleaning agents to do the job efficiently and effectively. Consider these tried-and-true tips:
1. PUT EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE
Before you get started, make sure everything that you want out of sight is indeed out of sight: Clothes hung in the closets, not flung on chairs; clean dishes in the cupboard, not dirty dishes piled in the sink.
2. STOP TRYING TO PUT OUT A FIRE OR RUN A RACE
You don’t have to tackle cleaning the entire house in the same day. Take a week to complete a thorough cleaning. Start with a large room the first day, so you’ll get a sense of satisfaction as soon as possible.
3. CREATE ROOM-BY-ROOM SUPPLY CHECKLISTS
Make sure you have everything you need at the ready, from the furniture polish and glass cleaner for the living room to ammonia and scouring powder for the bathroom. It’s a pain in the neck to run out of something right in the middle of the job, or not have it in the first place.
4. WORK FROM TOP TO BOTTOM AND CHORE TO CHORE
Clean the tub, sink, toilet and walls before cleaning the bathroom floor, for example, and dust all the furniture in the living room at once, before moving onto another task, such as window cleaning.
5. TAKE A BREAK
Don’t overwork yourself, which can deplete your motivation. Stop whatever it is you’re doing after about 90 minutes, and relax for 10 or 15 minutes. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, but wait till you’re done for the day before you hit the wine.
6. THE BEST FOR LAST
Once you’ve dusted, polished, scoured and scrubbed everything in a room, it’s time to whip out the King of Household Appliances: The Vac! Whether you have bare floors, area rugs, or wall-to-wall carpeting, you’ll want a unit that glides over any surface and offers powerful suction to effortlessly pick up holiday leftovers, from pieces of wrapping paper to lumps of fruitcake that found their merry way to the back of the sofa. And, don’t forget the fur from cousin Carole’s beloved Chow Chow.
If you find yourself picking up dirt, by hand, that your vacuum left behind, it’s time to head out for a new machine. Eureka has two new units, CLEAN XTREME (with a nifty 27-foot cord) and ULTIMATE CLEAN PET(with a No-Tangle Brushroll) that are engineered with Eureka exclusive Airspeed Technology so dirt travels a shorter distance from the floor into the dust cup to provide terrific suction for deep cleaning.
Both vacs are bagless and work on bare floors as well as plush carpet, while the ULTIMATE CLEAN PET cleans up pet hair from upholstery and carpet, and other hard-to-clean areas where pets love to play.
PS DON’T FORSAKE THE FILTER:
Almost all vacuums have filters, which are essential for maintaining suction and fighting allergens around the house. The Fresh Home Allergen Filter Plus on the new Eureka machines traps 99% of all airborne pollutants (dust, odors and allergens) that are 1 micron or larger. But most of us make the mistake of forgetting about the filter, not realizing that a clogged filter actually can cause a vac to overheat as well as significantly decrease its cleaning performance. If you vacuum a couple of times a week, Eureka recommends that you change the filter in its bagless vac every two to four months.
This post is sponsored by Eureka. Thanks for supporting FabOverFifty!