Preparing for the New Year – clean house!

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If you’re like me, your house is a wreck after holiday preparations.  I can’t figure it out because I didn’t even have holiday company this year.

Nevertheless, the dining room table is covered with gifts to put away and a couple to return.  Bits and pieces of wrapping paper and Christmas decorations are lurking everywhere.

Here are some good tips from expert Sarah Aguirre on how to get motivated to get your house in order – both literally and figuratively before the New Year is welcomed in.

1. Invite someone over

This always works for me and forces me to go into the cleaning mode. Knowing that someone will be showing up at your home can give you a deadline to get things done. Suddenly you begin to look at your home as a guest might, and the undone tasks stand out waiting to be accomplished.

How It Might Backfire

If you invite someone to come over and don’t give yourself enough time to accomplish the things you need to do, you can end up with an embarrassing situation and a lot of stress. Make sure your deadline for yourself is realistic.

2. Try a New Cleaning Product

How It Helps

Trying a new product or cleaning gadget can be a lot of fun. Instead of looking at a chore as work, it can seem like an opportunity to discover a new tool that lightens your load. The next time you’ve got a job you are procrastinating, search for a new product that might help you get it done.

This worked me a few weeks ago when I discovered a product that worked wonders on my hardwood floors.  It’s called Quick Shine by Holloway House (available at Lowe’s)  and it cleans, protects and shines wood, tile and any hard-surface flooring such as marble and linoleum.  If you want instant gratification, this is your baby!

How It Might Backfire

Although cleaning gadgets are fun and interesting, make sure you get rid of products or gadgets that don’t perform the way you want them to. A cleaning pantry can quickly be filled with unwanted items that create clutter and prevent the useful tools from being easily accessed.

3. Try a New Scent

How It Helps

If you don’t want to try an 007entirely new product, try a new scent. Scent makes a big difference in our mood and attitude. Try a new one and you may find yourself more excited and motivated to accomplish your chores.

I can attest to this.  Brenda gave me a Berger lamp – these little numbers have a long wick in a pretty bottle.  You pour your favorite scented oil and light it for two minutes.  Blow it out and your home will be filled with a heavenly scent for hours!

I have had to call Brenda, my neighbor on more than one occasion from a football game to go and blow out a candle which I left burning at my house.  Problem solved with the lamp.  You can purchase them at her gift shop, Alma’s Attic, in Starkville.

001 There’s another fabulous product William gave me this Christmas. It’s a little square paper lamp that is battery operated and flickers just like a candle. It also offers several fragrances.  I think it’s by Glade. I couldn’t find it in Starkville but I’d like to get one for every room.  When you want to cut it off, you just adjust the paper cap which sits on a black base.

How It Might Backfire

Watch out that you don’t combine too many different scents. (Oops  I’ve got them coming from all directions.) Scents can sometimes trigger irritation from guests and family members. Combining too many different kinds increases the chances that someone may react badly to one, or the combination of several in your home. Change scents slowly to find the right one for your family.

4. Clean Out Some Clutter

How it Helps

Even if you find only a small space or area to rid of clutter, the feeling of watching unwanted items being removed from your home is invigorating and freeing. Even cleaning out a small area can help you get motivated to tackle bigger projects.

How it might backfire

Make sure that you limit yourself to a contained area or section of your home at one time. Trying to clear clutter from your entire home in one sitting is liable to be a big job and leave your home messier than when you began. Start in one room, or section of a room and get it clutter free and put back together before you begin a new project. Your motivation will keep you going, and it will be easier to leave off in the middle of a project and pick it back up later.

5. Rearrange a Room

How It Helps

Rearranging a room is a great way to create a fresh perspective and motivate yourself to clean and organize. Do a 15 Minute Cleanup in the room before you begin. Rearrange the furniture, rugs, artwork, and decorative items. Changing up a room often gives you more motivation to keep it clean and uncluttered. Seeing the results can often let your cleanliness spill over into other rooms of your home.

I read somewhere that if you’ll relocate 27 items in your home, it will produce a marvelous “feng shui” and a fresh environment.

How It Can Backfire

Don’t be fooled. To really get a fresh perspective by rearranging items, you’ll need to do some cleaning. You’ll be surprised what moving furniture around can lead you to find. If rearranging seems like too big a job, consider switching out just a few components of the room.

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