As we’re nearly there with the Christmas break and New Year, the last thing on people’s minds during the holiday is the cleaning!
Okay, it might be on the agenda leading up to this time, and getting the house spik and span, and workplace cleared up for the holidays; along with other essential issues like visiting the German Christmas Market and shipping at the Bull Ring, of course.
But when you get to Christmas week, getting the right cleaner in place or doing it yourself is the last thing on your mind.
Until maybe the New Year and the time for new years resolutions and starts.
That’s fair enough, although there are a few easy things to get in place and do over the break that will seriously help with the work afterwards, whether a standard domestic clean or even full-end of tenancy clean if you’re moving house.
So here go five top tips to help out:
1. Keeping rubbish at bay
You tend to generate a lot of rubbish over the Christmas break at home, mainly from presents being opened and wrapping paper and packaging opening up. Plus, if people have a general tidy up, including any commercial business areas, too.
Therefore, take simple steps to keep on top of and stop building up, for example, extra bin bags to place inside, placing in a particular area like the garage or cupboard, and even timing a trip to your local refuse tip if you’re on the way somewhere else.
But don’t forget to also recycle where you can, and give any genuine unwanted and helpful presents to others and charity shops!
2. Dealing with any disasters
Of course, we don’t want them or encourage them, but by their nature, they can suddenly happen – and when people are together, the odds unfortunately increase.
It may be spillage on the carpet or damage to the walls when moving presents or playing with the family.
A simple ‘emergency kit’ on stand-by, and everyone being clear on how and when to use can pay dividends. Nothing too complicated, maybe a cloth and spray, spare bags and bin bags, and disposable gloves.
3. Updating cleaning goods
Okay, it’s not very exciting – unless you’re a regular professional cleaner – but this can be a good time of year to stock up on cleaning items.
This is a tripple whammy – substances like detergents, equipment like cloths and even a new vacuum cleaner, and then PPE like gloves and aprons.
If you’re out shipping in the sales or looking online, then see what bargains you can find. Plus, a few spare minutes carefully researching over a relaxed coffee can be far less stressful than sudden panic buys in the New Year.
4. Using spare help
It’s simple, really – you may have family and friends hanging around at home bored and looking for something to keep them busy.
Ta-da - here comes an excellent list of cleaning jobs they can get stuck into!
The secret is to make it fun and break it down into small chunks. Maybe a game with young children, offering pocket money for older ones or turning into a pizza party with friends over a weekend or evening.
5. Decluttering with presents
Simple maths here; more presents + existing items = more clutter.
Therefore, the critical part of this equation is the existing items and seeing if you can either clear or give them away (see the earlier point on rubbish removal) or, at the very least, carefully store them elsewhere out of sight in hidden areas like the loft or storage areas.
Think about how often you really use these things and only keep the popular ones more readily to hand.
6. Christmas decorations
I know it seems too early to think about, but as you hit the New year, these will, unfortunately, need removing.
Maybe you can prepare these and boxes/bags for them, and even make part of a game and activity with others as per the earlier point.
Also, be stringent where possible. So old ones that are never used or dodgy Christmas lights that don’t work – get rid of them.
7. Making new plans
A final point is to the famous New Years' resolutions and coming up with new goals and habits for the New Year.
Ideally, this affects your daily life as much as possible, so agreeing on new ways and times for regular cleaning or planning bigger ones next year, like a Spring or summer clean.
Put the kettle on, and plan now, ready to hit the ground running in the New Year.
Cleaning up at Christmas is made easy
As you wind down and enjoy the well-earned Christmas break, make sure you don’t get carried away with cleaning but rather enjoy the relaxing time ahead!
However, a few small tips when you have a spare moment in the break will pay off dividends later on.