When the holiday season is in full swing, it’s tough to stay on top of a household cleaning schedule between the shopping trips, parties, and traveling. Luckily, when you find yourself pressed for time, there are a few household chores that you can totally take off your to-do list and save for after the New Year. Becky Rapinchuck, the blogger behind Clean Mama and the author of the soon-to-be-released book, Simply Clean, shares her thoughts on the cleaning tasks that you can do once the holiday season has come to an end.
Save: Cleaning Your Floors
If you’re entertaining around the holidays, you might think that a clean scrub of the floors is one of the major musts on your list, but Rapinchuck suggests otherwise. “I always vacuum the floors, but I don’t wash them,” she says. “Because the minute people come in and step on the floors and eat, nobody will notice that you just washed them, anyway.” Rapinchuck recommends cleaning just enough so that your floors look pretty clean – you don’t want dirt or dust hanging around on the surface or anything – but saving a deeper clean of your floorboards for after the season of entertaining has come and gone.
[CARE: Follow these tips to take the best care of your floors.]
Save: Wiping Down Your Walls
Like your floors, the walls of your home are often susceptible to getting a little dirtied up when you’ve got a house full of guests – especially kids. “I have a lot of nieces and nephews, and when they come over, they’re running up and down our steps with their hands running along the wall,” says Rapinchuck. “So the walls are something that I definitely clean once the holidays are over. That, or I just repaint! I use flat paint, so you can touch it up really easily, and with that paint, you can’t really tell where you touched it up.”
[CLEAN: Learn how to properly clean your walls with these tips.]
Save: Cleaning Out Your Closets
With an influx of gifts comes a need for more space to store those gifts. But while your first instinct might be to clear out room for new toys, clothes, and gadgets before the presents are opened, it’s totally fine to hold off a bit until afterwards. “I do a big January declutter,” says Rapinchuck. “It’s overwhelming because you’ve had all this extra decor for a month, and you just kind of want to purge it all, so I always concentrate on making a lot of white space after the holidays.” Waiting until after the New Year to tackle a decluttering always makes sense, too, because it gives you a chance to properly evaluate your situation and determine what you can really get rid of in relation to the things you know that you want to make room for.
[UNCLUTTER: Follow these tips to clean out your closet.]
Save: Deep Clean Your Oven, Fridge, and Pantry
“Chances are you haven’t touched your oven since Thanksgiving,” says Rapinchuck. “So by the time the holidays are over, there are probably a lot of crumbs and things like that.” This means that January is the perfect time to really get into your oven and give it a thorough, deep clean to rid it of any built up residue from lots of holiday cooking. While you’re at it, Rapinchuck recommends hitting the fridge and pantry, which are always nice to tackle after the New Year, when you might want to be changing around your eating habits after the holidays and giving yourself a fresh start with cleaner food options.
[WATCH: Learn how to clean the oven with this how-to.]
Save: Washing All of Your Bedding
“Unless you’ve got guests staying overnight, sheets and bedding are probably something you can hold off on,” says Rapinchuck when it comes to tackling the bedroom. For her, January is the perfect time to really go around and freshen up linens around the house, since it’s a time when everyone has a kind of “spurt of energy,” as she puts it, to clean and get things in order. So naturally, making it a point to clean and change things like sheets, pillow covers and duvets after the holidays have passed kind of goes along with this desire to start the new year off fresh.
[LEARN: Everything you need to know about caring for your bedding.]