Unless your name is Santa Claus, there are no clean getaways. Yes, your festivities went off merrily, but gifts have been unwrapped, boxes opened, and decorations strung up everywhere — meaning your hard work is only half over. But don’t let the chaotic aftermath of cleaning up stress you out. Your home may be in need of some post-cheer TLC, but there are ways to make this year’s cleanup less of a chore. Plus, by approaching the task with sustainability in mind, you can make it less of an ordeal for the environment, too. Here then are tips to brighten and streamline your holiday cleanup. And if it all goes almost too smoothly when gathering up those discarded gift bags, ribbons, and cards, chin up: Valentine’s Day is only a few weeks away.
Tidy under the tree
For a mess, look no further than the scene of that gift-opening extravaganza. Amid the torn paper, ribbons, and packaging, sort through what’s left and be careful not to crumple up any material that can be reused. Collect what you find and divide the trash into recyclable, non-recyclable, and reusable categories. You can easily reuse bows, ribbons, gift bags, and oftentimes wrapping paper. This will help the environment, plus save you money, so stash any reusables and use them during the next holiday season.
Spot clean around the house
After you’ve gathered the wrapping debris, scan for and collect any decorations or items that may have found their way to the floor or onto other surfaces. Placing these items where they belong will not only help you pinpoint areas that need to be cleaned, but it will also make the entire process feel less overwhelming.
Sort and organize gifts
With all the presents opened, start sorting through them. Put them in categories, according to where they need to be stored in your home. For example, you might make a pile for clothes, another pile for games, and another for kitchenware. Set aside items that need assembling or require further attention or go ahead and simply put them away until they’re ready to be used. If there are gifts you don’t want or need, keep them in good condition and consider repurposing or regifting them – which brings us to our next holiday cleanup tip.
After an influx of new gifts and holiday purchases, does your home feel cluttered? If so, consider what items you might like to donate, sell, or upcycle. If you still have Christmas presents to hand out, unwanted gifts can be re-gifted to someone else. Don’t think of it as tacky — for one thing, the receiver will likely never know it’s been re-gifted, plus you are finding a new home for your belongings, rather than seeing them end up in a landfill. So, go ahead and make your space cozier and less cluttered. You’ll immediately feel more relaxed and less anxious.
Vacuum and sweep
Whether it’s the aftermath of hosting guests and parties, or just the debris left from unwrapped gifts, your floors will be due for some love. Sweep, vacuum, and mop as necessary to freshen up your home. If the weather permits, open the windows and let fresh purify the space. And tackle viruses by wiping down surfaces, too, to keep your home and its residents healthy.
Wash your kitchen linens
Cooking is a huge part of holiday festivities, so whether you were hosting guests or baking a dish for another gathering, your linens are probably due for a wash. So, why not make it a reason to switch to SaltyLama’s eco-friendly detergent sheets? Our sheets will leave your clothes clean and fresh without a trace of residue. And because they come pre-measured, you’ll never have to guess how much detergent you need for the load size. Best of all, our plant-based sheets are hypoallergenic — meaning they are perfect for people with allergies or sensitive skin — and cruelty-free without animal testing.
Just remember to always follow the label instructions on your fabrics before choosing your wash setting, and then hang-dry or use the dryer as usual. Given the global plastic crisis, swapping to SaltyLama, which arrives in biodegradable and compostable packaging — is an easy and early win for both you and the planet in 2024.
Tend to the rest of the kitchen
As the kitchen usually bears the brunt of holiday cooking and entertainment, tackle the space afterward by clearing counters, wiping down surfaces, loading the dishwasher, and handwashing any remaining dishes. Dispose of food scraps properly by composting whenever possible and remember to recycle any packaging materials. Mop and sweep to bring back your kitchen’s pre-hosting shine.
Dispose of recyclable waste with care by breaking down cardboard boxes and flattening wrapping paper. Separate recyclable materials from general waste and ensure they are correctly placed in recycling bins to minimize your post-holiday landfill contribution. Check your city’s schedule to see when your disposables will be picked up.
Relax and enjoy
Your cleanup shouldn’t take all day. So, once everything is tidied up, give yourself a pat on the back and unwind — it's still the holidays, after all. Embrace what free time you have remaining with family or friends, enjoy your new gadgets and gifts, and munch on those holiday leftovers.
By following these simple post-holiday cleaning tips, you’ll be restoring order and cleanliness to your home, setting the stage for a fresh start for the new year ahead. Happy holidays!