Cleaning checklist for January

Some housecleaning and preventative maintenance tasks only need to be done once or twice a year. The problem is, we forget to do them once or twice a year.

The best plan is to break down annual and seasonal housecleaning tasks by month. Nothing gets too backed up; and things eventually get done. All without a major life overhaul.

1. let there be dark!

January’s arrival means it’s time to take down the Christmas lights over the garage.  These 3 garage storage solutions can help organize and store lights, decorations, and more until next December.

2. clear the clutter.

Very, very carefully, wrap and put away every ornament and every light and every Christmas decoration.

Very, very carefully put them in boxes and label them before putting them in to storage so you can find them more easily next year.

3. out with the old, in with the new.

Now’s the time to begin cleaning out your closets to make room for Santa’s bounty.

Share what you don’t need anymore with the less fortunate.

4. the party’s over…

So clean your holiday linens and put them away till next year. Ditto for those festive reindeer plates.

Box them all up carefully, placing cardboard between the dishes so Blitzen doesn’t wind up with a chipped antler.

5. soft stuff.

Scoop up all the soft stuff in your home and send it for a dust removing spin in the dryer.

Scoop up all the decorative pillows, the afghans, the throws, etc., and launder them or send them to the cleaners.

6. hard stuff.

Sanitize hard surfaces such as counters, telephones, laptop computers, etc. (It’s the cold and flu season, after all).

7. happy houseplants.

Clean, healthy house plants add a breath of fresh air to a room. Dusty houseplants contribute a more funereal tone.

Clean them and they will clean your air. Simply wipe the leaves with an electrostatically charged cloth. It works like magic.

8. yours are fake?

No problem. Blow dry silk flowers clean, or else pop them in a plastic bag with a little salt and shake vigorously.

9. more spicy info.

Clean your pantry. Toss foods your kids will never eat; foods that have long since expired; spices that have lost their oomph.

10. and on a cold, icky day when you’ve nothing else to do…

Clean all the electronics. Clean the CD player, the remotes, the HDTVs. Wipe down your video camera. Read the directions (finally) for your digital camera. Try storing all warranties and manuals in one file so you’ll know where they are.

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