Now that the holidays have come and gone, it's highly likely that your home is full of wrapping paper scraps, wine stains, champagne bottles, confetti, and leftovers. We get it—cleaning up can be a tedious chore. But the longer you put off operation cleanup, the more daunting it'll feel. (Believe us: We get it. All we want to do is to fall into a deep food coma and watch Netflix for eight hours straight.)
Whether you plan to host more parties for upcoming holidays or you're looking forward to as many quiet nights in as possible, you'll feel a lot better if your home is looking and feeling its best. Get a jump start on the tackling the mess today so you can enjoy a clean house for the rest of the week. This way, you'll also get ahead on accomplishing your wellness goals for the New Year. With this guide of must-know cleanup tactics, the process will be a lot smoother.
Clean Out Your Refrigerator
Between all the holiday parties you've likely attended and hosted (or both), you no doubt have an excess of leftovers in the fridge. If you haven't done a thorough cleanup in a while, now's the time to tackle it. This task is particularly unpleasant if you have a low tolerance for the smell of soon-to-be-rotten food. It's a lot easier if you do it one shelf at a time, keep a trash bag on deck, and light a candle to counteract the stinky trash. Then it'll be time to put everything that you want to keep back in the fridge.
Before you do, wipe down all the surfaces and doors with cleaning product and a towel. Then place your things back inside, organized by food group. Now you can say hello to a shiny new home for that honey-baked ham.
If you keep your kitchen cleaning products on the drainboard, make sure the packaging is on point.
Make sure you have a scent diffuser in your kitchen or light a candle nearby to counteract the smell while you deal with the trash.
Keep Your Whites White
If you have white linens and upholstery throughout your home, chances are they've taken a toll this week. From holiday party mishaps, or on a less catastrophic scale, overnight guests, you should freshen up your whites. But you have to be extra careful when it comes to cleaning your white walls, furniture, and bedding, so make sure you know what you're doing. For upholstery, try cornstarch after spot-treating the problem areas. When it comes to walls, you want to use a milder cleaner (sometimes water can even do the trick if it isn't a stubborn smudge); you don't want to take off any paint.
And lastly, don't dry your white sheets on a high heat since that can cause them to yellow.
When in doubt, call on the professionals to clean your whites. You don't want to cause any permanent damage.
Banish Carpet Stains
Spilled a glass of red wine? Dropped the holiday dessert? If you didn't personally commit any party fouls, one of your guests probably did (and just didn't tell you). Don't let them get away with it! (Kidding.) In all seriousness, your floors probably aren't as clean as they were before the holidays hit. For meat and cooking spills, a meat tenderizer will remove spots and salt, use white wine for those red wine accidents, and use white vinegar for pretty much everything else. These three tricks should help you will resolve any mishap that's happened in your household.
And don't forget to show your hardwood floors and tiles in the kitchen and bathroom some love, too.
Just beat it. This is a great item for loosening up any dust that's collected on your carpets (that you probably didn't even know was there).
Beautify Your Bathroom
With people coming in and out during the holidays, your bathroom was bound to endure some additional wear and tear. Thankfully our handy little cheat sheet for bathroom cleaning will make the dreaded task a swift one. Remove spots and smudges from your mirrors with a clean, lint-free cloth and rub in circles. Baby oil will do wonders for your chrome faucets and fixtures, and grapefruit salt is a nice natural solution for cleaning your tub. This probably goes without saying, but we suggest paying extra attention to your guest bathroom.
Clean Your Home Naturally
And lastly, this is a hack that you should keep in mind throughout the entire cleaning process. Has that chemical smell from your cleaning product ever triggered a cough attack? If you're concerned about the impacts of your cleaning products on your health, there are plenty of nontoxic household cleaning solutions to make your home sparkle the all-natural way. The Laundress and The Honest Company are both great resources.
Le Labo and The Laundress are the ultimate dream team. And now that they collaborated to create this detergent, it's no longer just in our dreams.
This story was originally published on December 26, 2016, and has since been updated.