Christmas is one of the most joyous times of the year. But there’s one aspect of the holiday that brings joy to few: cleaning up. The tree, the snow-painted windows and much more all present tasks that, frankly, we would prefer someone else deal with. If you can afford that, it’s one excellent post-Dec 25th Christmas gift you could give to yourself. But, if not, there are still several ways to make the job go a little easier.
No doubt, taking down the Christmas tree presents one of the biggest challenges for tidying up the home after the holidays. It’s had a couple of weeks or more to dry out and the needles seem to fly off the minute you touch it. Accept the inevitable but make the problem a small one. Wrap the entire tree in plastic before making a move.
After you’ve removed all the ornaments, just wrap a large piece of thin plastic around the entire tree. If you can tip it over onto a sheet then wrap it will be much easier. If you would dump too many needles that way, just get a ladder and start at any point. Hold the top while someone at the bottom moves around the tree, wrapping as they go.
And, don’t forget: putting down a big sheet before you place the tree in the first place will catch all those needles that fall during the holidays.
Many people enjoy painting decorations on the window. Sometimes the scene is as simple as a bit of artificial snow or ice crystals. For those with the time and talent, it may be an elaborate sleigh scene. In each case, though, the key to easy clean up is careful selection of materials beforehand.
Many types of spray-on artificial ice crystals are essentially glue. That can be very difficult to get off, requiring solvent and lots of elbow grease. Look instead for products that can be easily washed off with simple dish soap and water.
For some types of spray-on artificial snow, the task can be made easier by using a hair dryer to warm the window. That softens the small, white particles and the adhesive that is part of them. Then they just wipe right off with a wet towel.
Carpets and Floors
No doubt about it, walking surfaces get a much bigger workout during the holiday season. Here again the key is preparation. Invest in some throw rugs in high traffic areas. Then, when Christmas has passed, either throw them away or re-use them in the garage or on the patio.
It may sound like an expensive proposition, but when you consider the cost of cleaning materials and your labor, it’s a small amount. If it saves you the cost of a carpet cleaning from a spilled drink it will more than have paid for itself.
Of course, there’s still that ideal option. Maybe you should ask for a temporary maid as a post Christmas present.