It’s the new year, and by this point you’ve probably been celebrating Christmas for almost two months. That’s just the way we do things in modern America, where each year the Twelve Days of Christmas seem to inch closer to becoming twelve WEEKS of Christmas. I don’t know about you, but as much as I’ve enjoyed the parties, the treats, the gifts, the music, the family time, etc., by the time January rolls around I am more than ready to ditch the tree and the wreath and all the remnants of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
However, once the trappings of the season are put away and life resumes its normal schedule, I often find myself slipping into a post-holiday funk. Sure, January is the month of new beginnings. But that includes the beginning of a long, grey winter with no more colorful lights to brighten the darkness. Any of that cold white stuff that may have seemed so magical when it fell in December quickly turns dirty, brown, and ugly. Bundling up several times a day in frigid temperatures to do simple things like walking the dog or checking the mailbox becomes a major chore. Hibernation is starting to sound like a viable option.
Make a New Year’s Resolution
Yes, I’m afraid the January doldrums are setting in already. But I’m hoping to distract myself from this by adopting a meaningful New Year’s resolution for 2018. Like most people, I have sort of a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. I like the idea of starting a year with a goal of some sort. But I dislike my usual inability to follow through by the time February rolls around.
Nonetheless, I’m thinking I may have come up with a realistic one this year — and one that I think can make a difference in my whole family’s life. Instead of making a resolution to get by body in shape this year, what if I make a resolution to get my HOUSE in shape?
Replace holiday decor
First of all, part of the post-holiday blues comes from taking away the pretty decorations and returning the house to its normal “blah” status. What if I could find a way to spruce up the living room with accessories that could brighten up the place for the other 11 months of the year? It doesn’t have to cost a lot. Maybe all it takes is a potted plant to replace the Christmas tree, or some colorful throw pillows and non-Christmasy candles to add to some of surface space now vacated by holiday decor.
Schedule small purges
Second, and maybe most importantly, having a clean and relatively tidy house definitely helps to brighten my mood. So as part of my resolution for this year, I think I will promise myself to set aside 20 minutes each week to purge a cabinet or a closet or a drawer. That’s totally doable, and the results will add up to a huge difference if I can keep it up for 52 weeks.
I’m also going to enjoy having my home professionally cleaned, without feeling one ounce of guilt about it. I know that cleaning is not my strength, so leaving it to the professionals ensures that it will get done right. My home and my family deserve it. If you feel the same, be sure to check out Immaculate Clean’s New Year specials, starting as low as $92! Text “New Years” to 410-549-0727.
Winter is here. And, so is the snow. While it looks beautiful when it’s fresh-fallen and white, we all know how dreary it seems when the ice builds up and the snow turns black along the roads and driveways. And, guess what? The same is happening to your floors.
Yes, that’s right. All of the snow and ice is being dragged into your house, as are all of the removal chemicals and compounds. Salt, sand, and other de-icing materials can wreak havoc on your hardwood and carpets. So, what do you do?
If you don’t want everything getting into your house, then start by removing snow, ice and mud from your sidewalks, driveway and front porch. The simplest thing to do—in the long run, that is—is to start shoveling as soon as the snow stops falling. The longer it sits, the more likely it will stick to the surface. Of course, shoveling is not always what you want to do at 5:30am, when it’s still dark and negative temps outside. So, keep some de-icing materials on hand. Salt and sand are the obvious choices, but people recommend everything from bird seed to coffee grinds. Everything has its pros and cons, so research what works for you. Just remember, whatever goes down outside, will most likely make its way into your house.
The first step in your house, both literally and figuratively, is right inside your door. Make sure you have clean doormats inside every door. The doormats work in two ways: first, they allow people to wipe their shoes (and preferably offer a place to remove them) and; second, they keep the moisture and grime off the floors. The best mats have a rubber or plastic bottom which prevents the elements from seeping through. Keep a few extras on hand so you can rotate them when they get dirty.
Dawn Fiscella, owner of Immaculate Clean, also suggests adding a few, inexpensive mats and runners to other high-traffic areas. Hallways and frequent walkways can be protected with anything from a decorative runner to a plastic mat that you throw down on the worst weather days. Of course, as Fiscella notes, these things can come in handy during the wet and muddy spring months as well. They may really be worth the investment.
Keeping the Floors Clean
Inevitably, despite the shoveling and doormats, stuff is going to make its way to your floors. Especially, when you have a dog and kids running in an out from playing in the snow. So, here are a few tips for keeping these areas from being totally destroyed this winter:
Hardwood and Other Hard Surfaces
- Sweep floors regularly to prevent abrasive elements from scratching them.
- Use regular cleaning products (we suggest Mr. Clean Professional Floor Cleaner) with a little added elbow grease.
- Wipe spots up immediately and use a soft rag directly on the spot before doing an overall clean.
- Vacuum regularly, just like with the hard floors. Not only does it pick up dirt, but the vacuum will also suction up some of the moisture.
- If mud gets on the carpet, let it dry. Break it up with something hard and then vacuum up the leftover debris.
- If a spot remains, follow the instructions from What’s Hiding in Your Carpet on spot removal.