Cleaning up after any event can be overwhelming. But what about when that event you’re cleaning up after is a multi-day stretch known as “the holidays”? Well, that could easily be twice as overwhelming. But we don’t want the idea of having to get your life and house back in order to to be something you’re dreading before the holidays even begin. So, today we’re going to load you up with our best post-Christmas clean up tips—to keep you happy, healthy, and sane as the holidays pass.
Clean as you go
This one’s a no-brainer, right? Still, it’s worth repeating simply because it has so much potential to make your life easier. Anything you clean up as you go is something you will not have to clean up later.
This applies to kitchen messes you accumulate while cooking. And it also goes for wrapping paper as holiday gifts are being opened. Don’t let your living room turn into a wrapping paper wasteland. Instead, grab a good old garbage bag and collect the trash as the gifts are unwrapped. This can even turn into a family tradition of its own as gift recipients crush the paper into a ball and aim for the garbage bag being held open by a family member on the other side of the room.
Assign responsibility where responsibility is due
Here’s another concept that’s quite simple at heart. You are likely not the only person who should be working on the post-Christmas cleanup efforts. If you didn’t make the mess yourself, then there are probably a few other people who can (and maybe even should) be included in the equation here.
As tempting as it may be to tackle the mess in your kids’ bedrooms, don’t do it. Keeping one’s own space clean is a fundamental element of a responsible lifestyle. And kids should learn this early.
Now, this surely doesn’t mean you can’t lend a helping hand—especially if the mess has accumulated with the help of their young friends and relatives who are no longer around to assist with the cleanup. But it does mean that you shouldn’t be sole housecleaner excavating the post-holiday pileup.
Break it up
Start by recognizing that you don’t have to tackle the entire clean up project at once. There are actually multiple ways you could break up the task. For one thing, you can work on different areas at different times. Alternatively, you can set aside blocks of time to clear away clutter and dirt—doing some on one day and some the next.
Finally, you can dive into the cleanup in stages. The first stage might include a surface-level decluttering that removes obvious objects from major surfaces. The second stage could dig a little deeper by tidying floors and picking up any clutter left behind by the first stage. And the third stage could include vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, mopping, etc. Again, these stages don’t need to be tackled all at once.
Now if the holiday whirlwind has left behind a mess of truly epic proportions, you may need to call in the big guns. But that’s okay, too. We have a two-step plan to get you back on your feet—or, rather, to get your house back in apple-pie order.
Step 1 – Collect
First, note that you’re going to be taking a little bit of a different approach here. Instead of wandering around the terribly messy house and cleaning up wherever you happen to be, you’re going to centralize your mess. Then you can turn to getting all the disparate pieces back where they truly go.
So that means you’ll need to make your way around the house, collecting the items that are out of place. And that calls for something in which to put all of your collected items. Our solution? Laundry baskets. That’s right! They’re good for more than keeping your clean clothes in.
So, snatch some laundry baskets and get to work. And don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by the urge to just put things away “real quick” while you’re supposed to be collecting them. Fight the temptation and gather things into your baskets.
Step 2 – Sort
Once you’ve collected everything you can see (well, everything that will fit into a laundry basket, at least), it’s time to sort the items. Likely, a lot of these items will go in one room—say the living room. And plenty of them will go in the playroom or den. Thus, it makes sense to pull out all the items that go in one room and plop them in a designated basket.
Note, you’re not looking for perfection here—just a rough arrangement of the items. Consolidate your items into groups based on their destination.
Step 3 – Redistribute
Once you’ve done this, you’re ready for the final step. Redistributing all those items. This is when each misplaced piece finally makes it back to its true home. You’ve heard the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place”? That’s exactly what we’re going for here.
Grab that basket full of living room items and carry it into the living room. Start spreading things back around the room to their rightful places. Once you’ve emptied all your baskets, you’re done! And it would be a great time to step back, breathe a sigh of relief, and rejoice that your home is back to normal.
It’s fun to recognize that having all of your items consolidated in baskets like this could actually prompt you to bust some clutter. Seeing things out of their normal locations could get you thinking about whether you truly need/want all of them. If you feel up to it, you can certainly make the most of this and do some throwing out while you’re at it.
Feel free to toss items before they make it back to their assigned spots. Now, your home will be more than clean and tidy. It will also be decluttered.
Get the right supplies ahead of time
Another helpful thing to do is to keep your mobile home stocked with the cleaning supplies you need. Naturally, if your holiday home is about to be overrun with toddlers, you might want to think about grabbing some window cleaner. That way, once the celebrations are over you can easily move on to wiping up the fingerprinted windows and glass doors.
Another supply that might just save your sanity—or at least make things just a little bit easier—is to pick up some disinfectant wipes. These can simply slim down the number of steps it takes to do quick clean up jobs. Bathroom need a little attention? Simply grab your wipes and do a brief cleaning job.
And don’t forget to stock up on dishwashing liquid if needed and keep a few rags or paper towels handy for catching spilled drinks. Multipurpose cleaning spray might also be in order. And, of course, you’ll want to have the floor-cleaning triumvirate around and available too. That would be your vacuum, your broom, and your mop.
Keep the supplies conveniently close
Not only do you want to have the proper supplies, but you also want to have them close to where you need them. Exactly how close will vary from person to person. But here’s a general rule—if your cleaning supplies are so far away from the area needing to be cleaned that you opt to skip cleaning because you don’t want to track them down, then your cleaning supplies are too far away.
Do you know how teachers, librarians, dentists, and doctors hand out prizes to children who’ve achieved (or simply behaved well in the case of the dentist or doctor)? It’s easy to see that they’re tapping into a kid’s desire to receive something special in exchange for some type of performance.
Well, it turns out that getting rewarded in one way or another isn’t just for children. Actually, even adults find it enjoyable to get something in exchange for doing something—for instance, think of all the cashback rewards you’ve seen advertised by credit card companies.
When it comes to cleaning your house—often a less-than-favorite task—you can tap into this desire to be rewarded to help you get the job done. And setting up a reward for yourself could also help you enjoy the post-holiday cleanup that much more.
Start by determining exactly what it is you need to do to get the mobile home back in order. Do you need to break the task up into smaller, more manageable subtasks? Or can you simply dive in right away?
All of your favorite things
Then, identify rewards that will make you feel motivated to get the cleanup done. Ideally, this needs to be something you actually want. So, it’s probably not the greatest idea to decide to clean your house in exchange for a kale salad—unless, of course, you find kale salad to be a rare treat.
Go ahead and write down both the jobs to be done and the possible rewards on a piece of paper. That way, you’ll actually be able to see them, and they’ll be a bit more tangible. Rewards will vary widely from person to person because everyone’s favorite treats vary. Just be sure you choose something that will actually motivate you. Here are some possibilities.
- That book you’ve been waiting to buy.
- The movie you’ve been planning to see.
- A one hour break to do that favorite activity you never seem to have time for.
- Your favorite special drink from a nearby coffee shop.
- A quiet break with popcorn and your go-to magazine.
- The kitchen gadget that’s been on your “want to buy” list forever.
- Your favorite candy or salty snack.
Dig right in
Here’s another tip for the times that you’re up to your eyeballs in cleanup that you should be doing, but you don’t feel like doing any of it. Get started immediately. That’s right. Dive in without waiting to think.
Often, thinking before you start is great. We’re definitely proponents of planning first and executing afterward. Plenty of times, that’s a great strategy. But if you’re really feeling unmotivated, planning might be just one more step that that’s actually keeping you from the work you should be doing. So, whatever it is that you’re facing—and dreading—just start doing it.
You might be surprised to find that getting started actually fills you with motivation. You could discover Hey, this isn’t as bad as I thought. I could keep going. Before you know it, those first steps have turned you into a whirlwind of activity. Now, you just want to get things done as quickly as you can.
In short, go ahead and plan if it’s actually going to help execute. But if planning is turning into a veiled strategy to procrastinate—building negative anticipation—simply start immediately.
The holidays are over, but the fun can go on
Keep in mind, too, that although the holidays are over and do need to be cleaned up after, this doesn’t mean that the fun has to end. Make a point to enjoy some extra family time after the holidays—especially before everyone gets back into the swing of work and school.
You might have to be intentional about this. Create a special chance to get the family out of the house. Or, if you traveled over the holidays, you may feel like you just need some time to relax at home. Great—just be sure to set aside time to actually spend together. Because even the best of intentions can sometimes fall by the wayside unless you actually make a plan.
If you’re sad that the fun and the festivities with friends seem to be over, the solution is simple. Host more. While it’s true that the holidays seem to offer built-in opportunities to socialize—after all, everyone expects holiday parties because they’re simply traditional—you don’t need the holidays to host a get-together.
Will hosting another event lead to more cleanup? Certainly it may. But it will be worth it. And, after all, you’re already armed with our best cleaning tips so what do you have to lose?
You can even host a specific post-holiday party that’s just made for getting rid of the extra candy canes, pawning off the unwanted fruitcake, and submitting the overabundance of Christmas cookies to the group appetite. Have everyone bring their leftovers.
Enjoy the rest of winter
Remember that while the holidays may be over, winter is just beginning. If you’re about to get dumped with a seasonal snowstorm, try our Snowed-In? 7 Fun Things To Do In Your Mobile Home. And, of course, you do want to make sure your mobile home is safe and secure during the wintry weather as well. For that, take a look at Precautions To Take In Your Mobile Home This Winter.