Are you finding yourself feeling a little stressed and anxious as the holiday season begins to enter full swing? You’re definitely not alone. People almost universally experience elevated stress levels during the holidays because there are so many things to do, and there never seems to be quite enough time or money for all of it.
In this article, though, we’re not going to talk about those sources of holiday stress – we’re going to talk about your house. When you look around your home, do you see dust, pet hair and other clutter everywhere? If looking around and seeing unfinished cleaning projects elevates your stress levels, just think about how you’re going to feel when you start decorating your home for the holidays. Suddenly, your decorations will have to share space with all of the clutter – and that’s going to make everything look messier than ever.
Your home is supposed to be the place where you relax and shelter yourself and your family from the stresses of everyday life – and it’s definitely not going to feel that way if you’re trying to fit your holiday decorations between piles of dust and junk mail.
So, how do you fix things and make your home the festive and relaxing place that you want it to be during the holiday season? It’s time for a holiday cleaning project – and if you’re feeling overwhelmed about that idea, you’re about to get some help. Cleaning isn’t so difficult if you have a plan. In this article, we’re going to provide a simple three-step roadmap for getting your house cleaned and decluttered for the holidays.
Get Rid of Unwanted Items to Create Extra Space
The first part of a major holiday housecleaning project should be getting rid of the things that you don’t want or need. After all, having fewer items around the house means that you’ll have fewer things to clean and fewer things to put away. If it’s been a while since you last took the time to clean and declutter your home, it’s likely that you have plenty of old books, toys, movies, electronics and perhaps even appliances and furniture that you no longer use. This is the perfect time to clear the old items out of the house and make room for all of the new things you’ll acquire during the holidays. Here are four ideas that can help you declutter your home.
- If you want to get rid of small items that are easy to ship, consider selling them on eBay. Unloading your items in an online auction is a good way to get the most money possible because it’ll expose those things to the greatest number of potential buyers.
- If you want to unload some large items that aren’t easy to ship – like furniture or appliances – consider having a garage sale. Selling large items online usually isn’t worth the trouble because of the shipping challenges you’ll encounter.
- If you don’t want to go through the effort of selling and shipping your unwanted items, consider donating them to goodwill. You can unload a lot of items at once that way, and you may even earn a tax deduction.
- If you have things that you don’t have room for but don’t want to lose, consider renting a room at a local storage facility. That can be a good way to remove clutter from your home without actually losing those things.
Eliminate Musty Smells and Keep Them from Returning
Once you’ve removed the items that you no longer use, you’ll hopefully have a significant amount of additional space in your home. That’ll make cleaning your house much easier because you’ll be able to put things away instead of leaving them out on shelves and tables to gather dust. Once you’ve done that, though, you may still find that your home doesn’t quite feel as clean at it should – and if that’s the case, it’s probably because you need to deal with some musty smells. Here’s a simple process for ridding your home of unwanted odors.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke cigarettes in your house, quitting is the best thing that you can do to make your environment smell better. With the convenience of today’s disposable vapes, it’s so easy to switch to vaping that there’s really no excuse for continuing to smoke.
- Vacuum your home thoroughly. Pay special attention to areas that are hard to reach or otherwise difficult to clean, such as pets’ beds, under the furniture and between couch cushions.
- Air things out. Open your home’s windows and allow air to circulate. If you can, bring couches and chairs outside for the day; the sun’s radiation will destroy some of the microbes trapped in the fabric.
- Keep unwanted odors from coming back. Place bags of activated charcoal in strategic locations around your home and consider buying an air purifier.
Think Ahead About Where You’ll Store Gifts
You’re almost certainly going to bring a fair quantity of new items into your house during the holiday season. That’s particularly true if you have children, who are probably going to find plenty of new toys under the tree. The last thing that you want is for your home to return to its previous cluttered state as soon as the season ends and it’s time to start putting things away.
You already have a pretty good idea of what your family members – particularly your kids – will be receiving during the holidays. If you’ve done a good job of removing the clutter from your home, you should also have plenty of space for new items – so think about where those things are going to go when it’s time to put all of the holiday decorations and new toys away. This is the perfect time to enlist the help of your children. They know that new things are on the way and will probably feel particularly motivated to help with organization.
Enjoy a Clean and Uncluttered Home This Holiday Season
If your home is cluttered and dirty, getting it cleaned for the holiday season might almost seem like an impossible task. The truth, though, is that a holiday cleaning project really has just three parts. First, you need to remove the things you don’t want. Then, you’ll continue by removing the dust, pet hair and other contaminants that have collected around those things. Finally, you’ll complete the task by organizing the things that are left. Nothing is impossible if you break it down into discrete, achievable chunks – and cleaning your home is a great way to help keep your holiday season free of unnecessary stress.