Following these simple steps before you head away over the Christmas break will make returning home from your trip and settling back into day-to-day life a little easier…
The perfect time to declutter your home is right before you begin your end of year clean. Use this opportunity to gather any unwanted items such as clothes, shoes, bed linen, books, toys, ornaments and furniture. Decide which items you will donate to charity and which you will throw away. This first step will already make your home look and feel tidier and will make the rest of the process much easier. It is also a great opportunity to make way for any items you receive or purchase over the Christmas period.
Top to Bottom
Always clean from top to bottom. Start by dusting and wiping down the ceiling, lighting and fan fixtures and any wall hangings and then move onto any furniture surfaces. Vacuum and mop the floor when everything else in the room is done. This method makes the most sense as the first few steps could make a mess of the floor and will save you going back over things you’ve already done.
Curtains & Blinds
Curtains and blinds can be looked over during usual cleaning routines throughout the year but often they can collect a surprising amount of dust. It’s important to follow the care label attached- some curtains can be machine washed others need to be dry cleaned. For blinds, using the small nozzle attachment that comes with most vacuums can be effective here, remember to vacuum both front and back. Steam cleaners are ideal for cleaning curtains and fabric blinds without having to remove them from the window. Hard surface blinds such as metal, wooden or plastic only need to be wiped down with a cloth.
Fridge & Freezer
This is most effective just before you head off on a trip, when your fridge and freezer aren’t as full. Take everything out and dispose of any items that you won’t use or are past their use-by date (or that will go out of date while you’re away). Remove any drawers or other shelving from inside the fridge and wipe down the interior with a damp cloth and disinfectant. Wipe down shelves and drawers to be placed back inside. Do the same for the freezer.
The oven is used almost every day in most homes, yet cleaning it is usually not at the top of anyone’s list. Begin by removing all racks and placing them in a mixture of very hot water and either oven cleaning solution or dish-washing liquid, allowing them to soak while you clean the inside of the oven will save you having to use so much elbow grease to scrub them later on. Use an oven cleaner to clean the inside of the oven making sure to strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Scrub the racks clean, rinse and dry. Make sure you have cleaned off all cleaning solution from the oven and racks before using your oven again.
Remove all bedding, wash and allow to air-dry if possible. Vacuum mattress to pick up any dust that has settled over the previous months and spot clean any marks or stains with a damp cloth. Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over the mattress and allow it to absorb for a few hours, follow with a thorough vacuum, this will absorb any moisture and leave your mattress smelling fresh.
Freshen up Your Rugs
A few times a year it is important to clean rugs more thoroughly than just running a vacuum over them. Hang your rugs out on a washing line and use something to beat them to remove any dust that has been embedded in the fabric. Follow this by vacuuming and shampooing to get them like new.