How to Win the Holidays, Part Two
The holidays are filled with warm family gatherings, fun and — in most homes — delicious food. Once your plates are empty and your guests have vanished, however, you may find yourself with a fairly significant holiday mess on your hands. Between cleaning up and writing thank-you notes, it’s easy to see why many people get the “post-holiday blues”!
If you’re already dreading the holiday aftermath, let our professional cleaning experts at Merry Maids® take the burden off your shoulders. While we can’t write all your Christmas thank you notes, we can ensure that your home is restored to its normal balance after the season is through.
In How to Win the Holidays, Part One, we reviewed some ways to prepare for the holiday season. Below are a few ways you can keep on “winning the holidays” long after the last party is over.
Writing Thank You Notes
In our fast-paced digital world, few people take the time to send handwritten cards through the mail. To show your appreciation for holiday gifts (or to thank your host for a wonderful holiday dinner), you should always send out thank you cards once the holidays have passed. Even if you typically communicate with your friends and family through digital mediums, it’s hard to beat the impact of a meaningful note.
Thank you notes should be in the mail within two weeks of receiving a gift or participating in a planned experience, such as a Thanksgiving dinner party or an overnight stay at Christmas. Because you’ll likely be writing dozens of cards through the holiday season, make sure to stock up on some beautiful and timeless blank card options – along with plenty of holiday-themed stamps!
Here are some tips for writing the perfect thank you note:
- Keep it personal. Give specific reasons for why you loved the gift or experience in question.
- Consider a draft first. If you’re not confident about your letter-writing skills, draft up your notes with a spelling and grammar checker first!
Stay Ahead of Post-Holiday Cleaning
No matter how much you love the holidays, it can be a stressful time of year when you’re hosting big dinners or inviting guests to stay over. Take a little anxiety out of the equation by employing these seasonal cleaning tips. You’ll have a much easier time coping with the post-holiday cleanup process!
1. Pay close attention to common areas.
During the holidays, people are constantly coming through your home, so communal spaces like living rooms, mudrooms, and dining rooms tend to get soiled faster than other areas. To avoid scrubbing stains on your living room rug right before your New Year’s Eve party, it’s important to stay on top of these areas throughout the holiday season.
Before the festivities begin, make sure everyone in the household is leaving shoes in the mudroom or foyer to help curb soiled floors. During and after the holidays, you should vacuum floors and furniture regularly and use an attachment to clean drapes or blinds weekly.
2. Dust your décor.
There’s no doubt that seasonal decorations invite the true spirit of the holidays. Know what else they do? Collect dust. When performing holiday cleans, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down cornucopias, menorahs and Nativity scenes at least once a week. While you’re at it, give mantles and tabletops a quick dusting too, so that your surfaces stay nice and shiny. Finally, when you’re packing everything up, do one final dusting and seal all your items in an airtight box.
3. Keep holiday dishes at the ready.
It’s easy to forget and leave dishes to the last minute once you’re immersed in your holiday cleaning or focused on basting the turkey. Unpack your holiday dishes the weekend before every big meal so you can hand wash special serving plates and polish platters. Then, make sure to clean and pack them again right after you’re finished.
4. Give guest rooms some extra TLC.
After you’ve prepped the guest rooms for visitors, you should vacuum and dust them every week, and consider keeping the door closed to prevent pets from napping on clean duvet covers or furniture. Do you have a spare bathroom that doesn’t get a lot of use throughout most of the year? Go ahead and add it to your regular cleaning schedule during the holiday season so that it’s ready to go should guests arrive early.
How to Avoid the Post-Holiday Blues
After the cleaning is handled and your home is empty, it’s sometimes difficult to avoid succumbing to the post-holiday blues – especially around the Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year. By taking some time out to engage in self-care and self-reflection rituals during the winter months, you’ll be better prepared for the busy year ahead.
Some tips for a more mindful post-holiday season include:
- Don’t neglect your workout routine.
- Take a brisk walk outside whenever you’re feeling down or overwhelmed.
- Set a goal to read at least one book during your time off work.
- Buy a sunlight lamp or two to boost serotonin and melatonin production.
- Take time each day to write about your experiences in a journal.
- Give yourself a spa day, complete with fancy bath salts, candles, and a glass of wine.
Kick Back and Relax After the Holidays
If you need help with the housekeeping before, during, or after the holidays, contact your local Merry Maids®. Our cleaning professionals are here year-round to lend a hand with the housework so that you can spend more time enjoying yourself with friends and relatives – and less time worrying about the holiday aftermath!
Call (888) 490-4227 to request a free estimate on holiday cleaning services.