The After-Christmas House Rescue

house 015Christmas came and went in a hurry, and now I’m left with the clean-up!!  Thankfully, a trashed house is evidence of many Christmas blessings and the memory of family fun this season.  I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas as well.  Now we have some work ahead of us!  The faster we can get things cleaned up, the faster we can get back to enjoying our families and preparing for the New Year.  Here are the steps I’ll be using for my holiday house rescue:

1. Get Yourself Ready

You may want to brew yourself a nice cup of coffee or other delicious beverage to get you started.  Then your 1st mission is to get dressed!  It’s so easy to linger in your pj’s (especially if they are new Christmas pajamas), but you won’t be able to focus well until you are dressed all the way to your shoes.  You need to tell your body you are ready for action, not relaxed and ready for rest.  After you are dressed, go ahead and make your bed.  This will give you a quick sense of accomplishment in our holiday clean-up!

holiday clean 0012. Set the Mood

Turn on some music to get you moving.  If you didn’t get enough Christmas music, go ahead and say farewell to the holiday with some of your favorite holiday tunes as you clean.  Otherwise, turn on your favorite CD or tune your radio to your favorite station.  You might also want to light a scented candle in the kitchen to get it smelling nice while you start your clean-up.

christmas 0233. Dishes 1st.

Before we start on all the clean-up associated with the gift wrap and gifts, let’s get those dishes tackled.  We don’t need the house smelling like dirty dishes.  Let your kids play with their toys in the living room while you get working in the kitchen.  Get your soapy water started, and get your dishes stacked and ready to be washed on one side of the sink.  Have your family members bring you any dishes from other rooms of the house.  Check to see if the dishwasher is ready to be unloaded.  Move as quickly as you can, and work your way through those dishes, one pile at a time.  Don’t stop until you get to a clean sink.  You’re one big step done on your way to a clean home!

holiday clean 0024. Get the trash out!

Oh boy, now it is time for the real Christmas clean-up!  Grab a bag or two, and go room by room through the house in search of trash.  Collect all the used gift-wrap, napkins, and other holiday trash from each room.  You might as well empty the trash cans in the bathrooms and kitchen as well.  March those bags of trash right out of the house and out to the garbage cans.

christmas 0195.  Collect the gifts

I have a few gifts that will need to go back to the store.   Decide on a spot to stack any items that need to be returned or exchanged.   As we go along, you can drop items off in this spot.  Get your family to assist you in collecting their own gifts from around the house and putting them in their own rooms.  It will take a while to find new homes in the house for the new gifts, so don’t worry about that now.  Just find a spot in each owner’s room where they can set them until you find a home in the next few days or weeks.  ***Put-away tip: When you are ready to start putting the gifts away, consider decluttering a similar item for donation.  Replace old pajamas with new ones, and an old toy for a new one.  If you don’t have a similar item, pick 2 unrelated items for donation instead.  This will get you on the right track for the New Year.

vacuum 0016. Vacuum and then resume normal cleaning.

Once the trash and gifts are away and off the floor, you can resume your normal cleaning.  You may want to do a quick vacuuming job to get the lingering little bits from the gift-wrap.  Luckily, Santa brought me a new vacuum!  Your house should be looking much better now.  Can you feel the sanity returning??  I’m going to let my decorations stay up a little longer.  I’m not ready to say “goodbye” to my tree, lights and snowmen.  At the end of the week, I’ll put away my Santa stuff, but I’ll let my snowmen stay into mid-January.

I hope this little list helps you to bring some calm back into your home, so you can enjoy the rest of this year with your family.    Thanks for joining me this year to create happy habits in your home.  Bring on 2014!  God Bless you and yours!