But it gets you thinking — you want to start the year off with a clean slate. But doing a New Year cleaning seems overwhelming and time consuming.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend the weekend scrubbing like Cinderella to give yourself a fresh start. In this post, we’re sharing five actionable ways you can create a space you love this year.
Powerful Benefits of a New Year Cleaning
Here are just a few of the ways a New Year Cleaning can help you:
Feel more energy and motivation. Clutter and grime around the house often leave you tired or stressed. Having a clean slate makes it easier to go after your goals!
Sleep better. When your home is tidy, your mind has fewer incomplete tasks to worry about. This can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more peacefully.
Save money. Taking some time to deep clean appliances extends their life. And you won’t have to buy another new hot glue gun because you can’t find yours.
Save time. Doing a periodic deep clean makes regular maintenance easier.
Promote good health. A clean home isn’t just good for mental health. It can also help reduce physical symptoms like allergies, asthma, or headaches.
With these benefits, it’s no wonder New Year’s Cleaning is a tradition in many cultures. For example, one Chinese tradition calls for a deep clean just before the New Year. This helps keep bad luck away and invites good luck for the new year!
Your One-Morning New Year Cleaning
Even if you don’t have time for a home-wide deep cleaning, you can still shake off last year’s dust and start over.
We’ve identified five high-impact areas you can tackle on a Saturday morning. This gives you the fresh feeling you need — while still leaving you time for everything else on your to-do list.
1. Clean Out the Fridge
Holiday leftovers have a way of sliding to the back of the shelf. Start off the year by clearing them out before they begin to fossilize!
First, remove all the food from your fridge and discard any unwanted items. Place the rest in a cooler to keep it cold. Next, fill a small bowl or bucket with a mixture of 2 tablespoons baking soda and a quart of warm water. Baking soda is one of our go-tos for removing odors and stains around the house.
Use a clean rag dipped in the solution to thoroughly wipe the inside of your fridge. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom. If there are stubborn food spots, wet another rag with the warm water and lay it over the area for a few minutes.
Let everything air dry or use a clean towel to dry completely. Then arrange your food in your sparkling clean fridge.
2. Declutter Flat Surfaces
Your countertop somehow turned into a mountain of receipts, holiday cards, and takeout menus. And you’re not alone. Flat surfaces are notorious for collecting clutter.
Clearing clutter is one way to simplify your life and reduce stress. It can help you create more physical and mental space in your routine. But just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, decluttering the whole house takes time.
Instead of trying to do it all at once, focus on an easy first target like flat surfaces.
Clear surfaces help promote clarity of mind — and make it easier for you to start and finish projects in a tidy space.
Sort items into four categories: trash, recycle, donate, or relocate. You can use bags or boxes to keep things organized. Once you’re finished, wipe surfaces with a damp rag and admire your freshly-cleared countertops.
3. Freshen Up Your Floors
With wet weather and holiday foot traffic, your floors take a beating in the winter. Give them some TLC and remove excess dirt from your home as part of your New Year cleaning.
If you have carpeted floors, remove any items too large for the vacuum to pick up. Vacuum the room as usual, then use the hose attachment to go around the edges and corners.
For hard flooring, sweep or vacuum thoroughly. Then break out your secret weapon: homemade floor cleaner.
How to Make Your Own Floor Cleaner
To make your own floor cleaner, add 1/4 cup of castile soap to 1 gallon of warm water. (About half a sinkful for most kitchen sinks.) You can also add 10-15 drops of essential oils like lemon, tea tree, or rosemary for a fresh scent.
If you have hardwood floors, be careful not to use too much water. You can even put the cleaner in a spray bottle and spritz the floor instead.
Start mopping in the back corner and continue through the room. Rinse the mop often. When you're finished, let the floor dry and replace rugs and chairs.
Then enjoy having immaculate floors (at least until the dog decides to come inside).
4. Brighten Your Bathroom
Even your bathroom needs some extra care from time to time. For your New Year cleaning, take care of these three areas you might normally skip.
First, clean out your bathroom cupboard. Toss the almost-empty shampoo bottles and old magazines. Discard any expired or unused medications, following proper safety guidelines.
Next, scrub the nooks and crannies. Areas like faucets, corners, and caulking tend to collect grime. Dip a toothbrush in warm soapy water and scrub, then use a damp rag to wipe away any residue. (Pro tip: label your cleaning toothbrushes clearly!)
Finally, give your toilet a thorough cleaning. Toilets are one of our specialties, so check out our tried-and-true method below.
The Secret to a Shiny-Clean Toilet
First, fill a small bucket with water and quickly pour it into the tank of your toilet. This lowers the water level in the bowl so you can get everything clean. Next, add toilet bowl cleaner to the bowl.
Spray the seat, lid, handle, and outside of the tank with disinfectant. Let everything sit for 3-5 minutes.
Use the toilet brush to clean inside the bowl. Start under the rim, then work your way down to the drain area. Flush after cleaning. Then use a rag to wipe the outside of the toilet. Don't forget the base, toilet screws, and the floor behind the toilet! Let the surface of your toilet dry completely before using it.
Finally, sanitize your toilet brush, wash your hands, and toss your cleaning rag in the laundry.
And just like that, you have the cleanest toilet of your life!
5. Wash Your Blankets & Sheets
When the weather is cold, you tend to use your blankets more often. But over time, fabric collects debris like dirt, dust, and oil. This can contribute to allergies or skin irritation.
As part of your New Year cleaning, collect your blankets and sheets and line them up for a trip through the washing machine. For best results, only fill your washer about three-quarters full. While they’re going through the spin cycle, make your own fabric freshening spray.
In a small glass spray bottle, combine:
One part rubbing alcohol or vodka
Two parts distilled water
10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil
Spritz your clean blankets for an extra touch. Then give yourself permission to bundle up in a warm blanket and kick back for a break.
The New Year You Deserve
Whether it’s January 1st, February 16th, or the middle of July, a tidy home can help you feel your best. And you don’t have to spend all day on chores to enjoy the benefits of a New Year cleaning!
If your to-do list is overflowing, we’re here to help. We offer a range of premium cleaning packages to help get your home back to its best and brightest shape. Then you’re free to relax (and make a fresh batch of cookies).
Visit our services page to find the package that’s right for you.