The start of a new year is often full of hope and promise for the future. It’s a great time to commit to caring more for yourself and those around you in the days to come. For many, it’s a fresh start and the chance to try something new. That makes it an excellent opportunity to recommit to maintaining a clean and healthy home. To give your home a mini New-Year makeover, be sure to check these housecleaning essentials off your list.
Clear Out the Clutter
It doesn't take long for your home to accumulate mounds of unnecessary stuff. This is especially true right after the holidays, when shopping and gift-giving leave you with new belongings that need a place in your house. The new year is the perfect time to purge clutter and make space for your essentials. Take it one room at a time so your entire home isn't in disarray all at once. Also, make sure you have a responsible plan for your unwanted belongings. Instead of trashing things, sell them online, give them to a friend or donate to a local charity.
Tackle Your Garage, Basement or Attic
Waiting until the blazing heat of summer isn’t the ideal time to clean out these storage spaces. Take advantage of cooler temps while doing some heavy lifting and reorganize this type of space. Try to gradually swap out cardboard boxes for sturdier storage bins to protect from insects, moisture and extreme temperatures.
Reorganize Closets and Cabinets
Once you've cleared out all of the clutter and created extra storage space, reorganize your home to help you keep it tidy. Stay practical and store the items you use most within arm’s reach and place lesser-used necessities on higher shelves. Stylish storage bins and baskets can help you create more space where you need it most without sacrificing the overall look of a room. When everything in your home has a designated space, cleanup is much more manageable.
Wipe Down Your Walls and Baseboards
Some cleaning tasks are easy to forget, such as giving your walls and baseboards much-needed attention. However, a little time spent here can really make your home shine by removing the dingy buildup that may have gone unnoticed. Start with a good dusting by using the soft bristle attachment on your vacuum or running a dry sweeper cloth along the surface. Wipe away splatters or stains with a soft cloth and water. Finally, mix a solution of de-greasing dish soap and hot water and scrub baseboards with a soft sponge. Once dry, wipe over every surface with a dryer sheet to repel dust and dirt in the future.
Treat Scuffs and Scratches
Chances are you spent the last few months setting up and taking down countless holiday decorations. It's also the season of shifting furniture to host parties for family and friends. The result can leave your walls looking sadder than usual with a higher number of scuffs and scratches. Once everything returns to normal, use a melamine foam sponge to buff away surface scuffs. If deeper scratches remain, set aside a day to patch and paint to help your walls look new again.
Shampoo Carpets and Rugs
Your walls aren't the only things that take a beating during the busy winter months. Your floors can also suffer from the extra foot traffic and winter weather, especially if you have carpet or rugs throughout your home. Dingy, discolored fibers don't just create an unwanted eyesore; they can also trap bacteria and allergens, leading to odors and even health concerns. Treat stains and shampoo rugs and carpets to keep your home looking and smelling fresh. If you don’t hire a pro to do this, take care to choose products that won’t ruin or discolor the material.
When you’re freshening up your home for the new year, it’s a great opportunity to go through and replace the filters in your home. This crucial maintenance can have a significant impact on your health as well. Purchase a new filter for your HVAC system to ensure fresh air is circulating throughout your home. Then, swap out the water filters in your fridge and drinking systems for fresh, clean water for your cooking and hydration needs.
Create a New Cleaning Schedule
Once you’ve completed your New Year cleaning checklist, create a manageable schedule to help you stay on top of regular tasks. Categorize your chores sections so housework doesn’t creep up on you. While the schedule will vary based on your needs, this example can help you get started:
Make your bed
Run the dishwasher
Tidy up by putting items in their proper place
Every Other Day
Do a load of laundry
Disinfect doorknobs, light switches and bathroom fixtures
Sweep/vacuum all common area floors
Wipe down sinks and counters
Empty trash cans as needed
Change bed sheets
Clean showers and tubs
Wipe down commonly used mirrors as well as glass and stainless steel surfaces
Keeping your home clean doesn’t just promote a more pleasing and relaxing environment; it also helps keep you and your family healthy by protecting against unwanted germs and harmful bacteria. For even more information on how to prioritize your health and safety at home, be sure to learn about the many items you should disinfect on a regular basis. Whether it’s the start of the new year or any other season of life, it’s always a great time to give your home the extra TLC it needs.