Don't let messes leave you in a 'holidaze': Easy tips for post-holiday clean up
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Nov 21, 2013 | 19457 views | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - The holidays bring plenty of cheer and the arrival of family from all over. It's the most wonderful time of the year, after all. But with family visits and hearty meals also comes a big share of messes. After hefty helpings of gravy and chocolates, there will be plenty of cleaning required to get your home back in tip top shape for the new year. It's enough to leave anyone 'holidazed,' but with the right tools and tricks on your side, it does not have to.

Here are some tips to help get your home clean again after those pesky holiday messes so all you have to worry about is enjoying the season:

Create smaller tasks: Create a master list to help you break down cleaning into manageable chunks. Instead of tackling a full mess in one room, only to start again in the next one, complete the same task in each room. For example, dust every room before hitting them all with the vacuum. With this approach, you'll see a cleaner home in no time without making too many trips back and forth from the broom closet.

Donate unused items: With the holidays come gifts and housewarming presents. If you are on the receiving end of unwanted or simply unneeded gifts, why not donate them to someone else? Many organizations accept donations, including clothing and other belongings year-round. Consider donating that extra toiletries set, scarf or books to charity to clean up some clutter and help brighten someone else's day.

Put cleaning staples to work: You may think you need different cleaning products for different jobs, but just one classic cleaning product - Clorox Regular-Bleach - can tackle more messes than you think from laundry to helping sanitize and disinfect countertops, dishes and everything in between. For example, you can even use bleach to kill odor-causing bacteria left in your refrigerator after that big family meal and leave it smelling fresh and clean. Remove food from the fridge and wash the surfaces with a solution of 1/2 cup Clorox Regular-Bleach per gallon of soapy water. Let it stand for five minutes, rinse and then air dry for a few minutes before replacing the food. For more uses, visit

Organize holiday decorations: Before putting away decorations, invest in better organization and storage materials. It may take a few more minutes to put away lights if they are wrapped around a spool, but consider how much faster it will be to hang them next year. By spending a few extra minutes this year, you will save yourself the stress in the future.

In addition to these tips, remember to embrace the funny moments that come along with the mess. No matter what you're celebrating this holiday season, no one is immune to messes, and the holidays are rife with them from dinnertime spills to that family member who enjoyed a bit too much eggnog. Instead of letting the messes get you down, take a moment to step back and enjoy the happiness of family visits and the extra time together.

But because the messes will happen, remember to laugh at them. You can also share your best holiday messy moment at for a chance to win $20,000. In addition to great prizes, you can also find more of the know-how you need to tackle your holiday spills and houseguests (plus some laughs to get through it).

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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