New Year Cleaning Resolutions
Helpful New Year Cleaning Tips.
A Few Simple Steps will keep your Home Clean and Organized.
As the Yuletide Holiday season winds down, it is time to consider some New Year Cleaning Resolutions. The start of the calendar year is an excellent time to create new habits. One good practice to get into is to be deliberate with your cleaning plans. A great way to jumpstart January is to clean and organize your home and set intentions to keep the house tidy and spotless throughout the year.
Why set New Year Cleaning Goals?
Clutter can negatively affect your day. A messy home means a stressful start to the morning, from getting up and looking around at cluttered rooms to not finding what you need quickly in your closet or kitchen. Additionally, there are negative effects to living with clutter. The mess can bring about or worsen depression, stress, and anxiety and prevent social interactions such as having friends visit. Yet, by creating a good cleaning routine in January, you can reap the benefits all year round.
Where to start with your Cleaning Resolutions?
After the holiday season, the home can feel a bit out of sorts. The tree or other decorations need to be put away, the leftovers in the fridge seem a bit dubious, and the laundry room may be overflowing with bedding from family members staying over. So start a holiday cleanup.
Put away the Holiday Paraphanalia.
- Pack up the holiday decorations, so they are easy to access next December.
- Don’t leave the lights tangled in a heap.
- Make a plan for any useable leftovers. Freeze some items if necessary.
- Ensure there is a place for all your new gifts or Boxing Day shopping.
- Similarly, make sure there is a place for everything. Keep surfaces and floors clear.
Plan for a Year of Cleaner, More Organized Living.
Here are some easy steps to commit to now to help keep things clean all year long.
Make your Bed Every Day.
Commit to making your bed daily. It's a small task that leads to a great sense of accomplishment and inspires you to make small but beneficial daily choices. Those small changes add up quickly to more wholesome living in all aspects. It can also help you sleep better by adding to a Better Sleep Environment. Spend some extra time cleaning your bedroom and closet. You need a safe and welcoming place to recharge at the end of the day.
Embrace Minimalist Living.
Spend a day or two decluttering. There is a psychological benefit to decluttering.
Remember this mantra: “if it doesn't have a dedicated place, it doesn't belong in your space." Think hard about the usefulness of the items in your home. Can they be repurposed? For example, instead of plastic totes full of your kid's “artwork," why not take digital photos and create an online album? Or, instead of hanging onto that old prom dress, why not use the fabric for a decorative cushion?
Perhaps the garage is so packed with stuff that you can't park your car in it (a shame during our cold winters). Do plastic lids and containers rain down when you open the kitchen cupboard or do you shudder at the thought of the chaos in the pantry? You need to reconsider how many items you need in your life. Less “stuff" means refreshing, calmer, and more efficient living.
The kitchen, in particular, needs to be clean and organized. When cooking, clean and wash up as you go before any messes and spills dry and become harder to remove.
A Realistic New Year Cleaning Plan.
Create a Cleaning Schedule for the year ahead, with a room or two getting a deeper clean each month. Decide what you are going to clean each month and on what days. Do you need some motivation for cleaning? Imagine that friends are coming for dinner and plan for some unexpected entertaining.
Make your goals manageable in your home and life. Rather than insisting you'll “never eat out again," why not commit to five homemade dinners a week? Instead of aiming to lose three pounds every week, you could commit to taking a daily walk.
Instead of embarking on a 'whole house clean' or even 'a whole room clean,' make a list of things that get forgotten, like dusting baseboards or wiping walls and plan to do one of those neglected items each week. Perhaps it has been a while since you cleaned your Coffee Pot or Slow Cooker.
Purge the Junk Drawer.
If you have to have a junk drawer, be deliberate about it. Put a drawer organizer in there. Don't let it be the last resort for random items in the home you are unsure what to do with. Instead, use it for small items like pens, erasers, rubber bands and dice rather than being a place to collect things you can't bear to part with.
Clean and Wipe as you go.
Make dusting easier – have microfiber cloths strategically placed in each room. Keep wet wipes in the bathroom to wipe up little mishaps as they happen. Store a small spray bottle of white vinegar in the shower to squirt the head after use and avoid limescale build-up. Then, spend just a few minutes a day clearing the grime away.
Keep your office space clean and your desk area clear if you work from home. Reduce paperwork by signing up for e-bills.
Don't let things accumulate.
Tidy, Fold and Put Away as your go – Assess each room. Are you accumulating mess? Do blankets need folding? Do Magazines need to be kept? If so, place them in the magazine rack. Do you have a container for remotes?
Do Dirty Dishes need to go to the kitchen or, better yet, be placed in the dishwasher? Remember – if you don't have time to deal with a small pile now, you will have even less time to deal with a larger pile later.
Run the dishwasher every evening (even if not full) and empty it every morning.
Don't let the Laundry Overwhelm You.
Get caught up on the laundry and clear the clutter from the laundry room. Don't let it get out of hand! Enlist all the members of the family to help wash and fold. Most machines will let you do a half load. Fold clothes from the dryer immediately and move them from the laundry room to the closet. At the end of the day, put your clothes away. Don't let the bed, chair or towel rack act as a surrogate wardrobe or replacement for the laundry basket.
Replace Old with the New.
As you get something new, is there something old you can donate or throw out? Reassess the usefulness of your belongings. If it is broken, and you plan to fix it “someday," then consider now to be that day. Toss, fix it or replace it now.
Don't let the Trash Pile Up.
Avoid squeezing more in the garbage bin or stockpiling the recyclables. Instead, move them to their appropriate outdoor bins regularly. It will help with the kitchen smells too. Likewise, do not leave bags of trash outside your door.
If you have too much to fit in the weekly collection bin, find your nearest eco station or dump and tackle the garbage load. Then consider ways to reduce your waste, so you are not piling up bags that don't fit in the bin or compost pile. For example, one way to get more out of your grocery haul and reduce food waste is to freeze scraps for homemade stock.
Clean during the Breaks and Gaps in your Day.
Are you waiting for a taxi or a friend to arrive? Are the commercials playing? Use the time to do a little cleaning. Make the most of your spare time.
More New Year Cleaning Hacks.
Buzzfeed has a blog post on some Hacks to help make your Home Cleaner and More Organized.
Some of our favourites are:
- Attach empty gift wrap rolls to the end of your vacuum hose for a longer reach.
- Cut a paper towel roll in half, then soak it in detergent to make cheap homemade wipes.
- Place an oven liner or foil across the bottom rack to minimize baked-on food, drips and spills.
- Use a broom to clean the bathtub.
If you need some visual motivation, take a look at this video: New Year Cleaning Motivation with a Decluttering Session.
Have A Dang Good New Year.
Every year scores of Canadians make resolutions to have healthier, happier lives, yet a proportion will break those resolutions. The key is to make small, incremental changes that add up over time instead of making massive, sweeping lifestyle changes that are hard to start or maintain.
Our tips above are small steps you can take throughout the year. Before you know it, your home and your life are cleaner and more organized. Follow our cleaning hack blog for more cleaning tips such as how to clean your window tracks.
Or if you live in and around Calgary, and funds permit, why not start the New Year off with a Professional Deep Cleaning Service that includes carpets, furnaces, ducts, dryer vents and windows?
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