Drama-free cleanup after the holidays are over

After the holidays are over, you realize what a toll entertaining family and friends have done in your home. When you look around, you realize it needs a little TLC, but where to begin? You’ve had parties, house guests and holiday feasts and now that everyone has gone home and the new year has begun, it’s time to do a bit of deep cleaning.

First, I would tackle the oven and refrigerator. Both have clearly taken a beating this season, so you will want to thoroughly clean them both. Baking soda can work wonders in your oven, all you need to do is make a small mixture of baking soda, water and a bit of dish soap, then scrub all the caked on grease and grime away. As long as you don’t overdo it, rinsing should be quick and easy.

The refrigerator and freezer has been jam-packed since Thanksgiving and now is the time to dump old left overs and anything that is expired. It’s pretty shocking how much food we can pack in a refrigerator, especially over the holidays. Once all the old stuff is gone, remove everything else. Using the same type of baking soda mixture, scrub down the inside and outer parts of the fridge, once it’s completely rinsed and wiped clean, your refrigerator looks almost new!

Once you have moved on from your oven and refrigerator, you should clean all the linens that were used, such as tablecloths, napkins and table runners. All three are magnets for dirt, food and spilled drink. Depending on how often they were used, it doesn’t hurt to machine wash everything twice to give them a really good clean.

Your upholstery has also taken quite a beating this holiday season, numerous people on and off, on and off, a wine spill here, crumbs sinking between the cushions and different odors brought in by who knows who. First, completely vacuum out each piece of furniture. If your upholstery has removable covers, remove them and either machine wash or dry clean as soon as possible. If your upholstery does not have removable covers, hand cleaning/ treating is the only way.

Every year if I decide to entertain, I try to remember to throw down washable throw rugs before company comes over; it makes cleaning the carpet a little easier. Sometimes that isn’t the case and dirt and spots make their way onto the carpet, it wouldn’t hurt to go over the carpets multiple times when vacuuming. If you see a spot, treat it immediately, it may not be a fresh spot, but it is still close enough to hopefully not permanently stain your carpeting.

A great quick spot carpet cleaner is a mix of hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and water, this mixture works well on all different kinds of spots, even the ones you have no idea what they are.

These are some basic tips to freshen up your home after the holidays, it may take some time to get your home back to normal, but all the joy, laughter and love that surrounded you, makes it all worth it.

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