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Renovation & Design

Cleaning tasks to tackle at home after the holidays

Brandon Smith / Angie’s List

Pull stains from your carpet without the use of harmful chemicals with a steam cleaner.

The countertops were polished and the floors all spic and span, and then came friends and family, trudging through the foyer with suitcases and gifts in tow. Or perhaps in your hurry to get out the door, you weren’t able to tidy things the way you usually do before travelling.

As the season of giving wraps up and twinkling lights go back in storage, take these steps to get your home back in shape and get a fresh start on the new year.

1. Steam your carpets

Do your carpets look filthy? Don’t fret. Steam cleaning pulls stains from your floor using heat and pressure, so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals in your carpet — or replacing parts of it because grape juice, wine and eggnog found its way into the bottom layers of the fibre. Rent a steam cleaner from your nearby supermarket to DIY this job.

2. Organize holiday decorations

As you remove Christmas lights or pack away the menorah for another year, make sure to do so in an organized way. Use empty egg cartons to store ornaments, and clearly label bags and boxes before you put them back into storage. If you need help lifting, carrying or removing decorations, don’t hesitate to call in a local handyman for help.

3. Clean the upholstery

This is an oft-overlooked but relatively inexpensive way to revive your furniture. Give your couch a good vacuuming to freshen things up and take care of crumbs and pet hair. Then, use a reputable upholstery cleaner — or mix up your own homemade version — for an even deeper clean. (Just be sure to spot-test first, and always follow manufacturer’s directions for your furniture.) If you’re having trouble with stubborn stains, call a trained professional in to help.

4. Scrub your appliances

Proper maintenance and regular cleaning is vital to keep your appliances running as they should. Give your appliances a thorough wipe-down and also take a look inside them.

Compost or toss out holiday leftovers from your fridge, and turn your oven on self-clean. Run your dishwasher through a hot-water cycle with a cup of white vinegar inside to tackle any grease and grime. Your appliances will be clean and you’ll feel refreshed.

5. Do a deep cleaning

You don’t have to do it all at once, but deep-cleaning your house is a perfect way to wrap up the decade. Bring in the new year with freshly cleaned carpets, sparkling bathrooms and comfort on every level of your home. If you need a little break, bring in some help.

When you’re finished cleaning, enjoy some R&R. You’ve just made it through another successful holiday season!

— TNS

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