As we end one year and begin another, our thoughts turn to starting fresh. Many people make resolutions, or set goals for the new year, and start to clean and declutter. New Years cleaning is a great way to start the new year with a calm, productive space.
New Years Cleaning
In most climates New Years isn’t a great time of the year to do a complete refresh of your house. It’s too cold to open windows, or air things out in the sun, let alone paint a room or closet. It is, however, one of the most popular times of the year to declutter. And there is still plenty of cleaning you can accomplish. There is something about starting a new year in a clean, organized environment that makes anything seem possible.
Most of us spend a lot more time indoors during the winter, and it can be one of the worst seasons for indoor air quality. That’s why it’s important to use non-toxic cleaners while doing your New Years cleaning. One of my favorite, and most-used cleaning tools that is totally non-toxic is Dr. Bronner Castile soap. I add a few drops of this in a spray bottle of water (and add essential oils if I feel like it) to clean almost every surface in my home. To actually disinfect I am in LOVE with Force of Nature. I’ve never found such an effective, non-toxic disinfectant. This also replaces stain removers and fabric refresher sprays for me. I use cotton flour sack dish towels because they don’t shed micro plastics like microfiber cloths.
The one area where I still use microfiber is Swiffer Dusters. I have severe asthma, so I attack dust with more determination than the average bear. These dusters pick up the dust without spreading it around better than any other I have tried. Reusable ones never hold up after laundering for me, but I would love to find a more eco-friendly option.
Individual cleaning tasks will vary, but some that I like to tackle around New Years are pulling out my furniture and vacuuming behind it, giving all trim and doors a thorough dusting, cleaning baseboards, etc. Cleaning during this season for me is all about controlling air quality and keeping germs at bay. Studies have shown that running a humidifier can help stave off the flu virus, so this is a great time to clean and disinfect that small appliance as well. This is another application where I love using Force of Nature. You can also check your furnace and air purifier filters and make sure your carbon monoxide alarm is functional. This is a great time to go through things like entertainment centers and night stands, not only to declutter, but to dust the interior contents. I’m sure it will only take you a few minutes to come up with several tasks you want to knock out.
It’s easy to get into decluttering mode when you are doing your New Years cleaning. This is a great time to tackle that junk drawer you shut and pretend doesn’t exist, or organize a closet to make the storage more functional. Write down the areas you would like to tackle and think about what storage systems might work better there. Often just decluttering the space makes existing storage systems work, so don’t be too quick to go out and buy a bunch of baskets and dividers.
As you clean and declutter, set up a system for how to delegate what you are getting rid of. I like taking 3 clothes baskets and designation them sell, donate, and trash. This makes it easy to haul to the dumpster, or load into your car to donate and removes the temptation to go back through your pile and keep things. My rule of thumb is that if it’s something that will be easy to sell and will make enough money to make it worth my while. Sometimes things are hard to donate because they seem valuable, but if they aren’t in demand they can take a long time to sell, if they ever sell at all. Sometimes I will give things a week or so to see if they sell, and if not I donate them. Find a system that works for you, but don’t keep things around longer than you should. It’s still clutter, even if you have a price tag on it.
New Years Cleaning Printable
To help get you started I whipped up this New Years Cleaning printable with sections to detail what you want to specifically tackle in your own home. Click the picture below to download your copy.
Happy New Year, and happy cleaning!