Popular wisdom says that the way you start a year is an indication of how the year is going to go. So, if you start the year with a messy home, you'll be dealing with that mess for the next 12 months. While I will most likely be dealing with messes anyway, I prefer not to jinx it.
So here is a small list of tasks that you can still do this week and that will help you start the year on the right foot. Tasks that go a little beyond the obvious everyday cleaning and that therefore, are more likely to be forgotten. Of course there were a million other chores that could have gone on this list, but realistically, neither you nor I would have the time for them, so lets just focus on the essential.
This has been my motto in 2015. I started the year with decluttering in mind, so it's only fair that finish it the same way. But really, the year end is the perfect opportunity to declutter. Actually, in Portugal, there's a tradition of gathering a bunch of old stuff to put in the trash in the night of December 31st. It symbolises the "out with the old, in with the new" and it's a way to help us all to get rid of things that we planned to toss before and never did until now.
Besides, if you received a lot of new things for Christmas, odds are you can replace some older items instead of just accumulating (toys and clothes immediately come to mind, but this works for lots of other things too).
For more ideas and suggestions on how to declutter, check The First 3 Steps to (Really) Declutter Your Life, 3 Basic Rules to Get Rid of Clutter and How the Holidays can Help You Declutter.
2. Clean your fridge
After the Holiday madness, we all have tons of leftovers in our fridge. During the rest of 2015 try to use up all those leftovers (be creative, check online for recipes using leftovers if you need) and once they're gone, deep clean your fridge This way you'll start the year with a clean fridge and fresh food.
3. Clean your oven
I didn't have time for a lot of Holiday baking, but my oven was still a mess by December 26. So, while cleaning the oven is one of my less favourite tasks around the house, I decided I couldn't let it pass. It was a lot of work, but now it looks like new and I'm really proud of my work. While it may not seem as obvious as cleaning the stovetop or the counters, it's definitely something you should not postpone until next year.
4. Put away Christmas gifts
Find places for all those new things you and your family received for Christmas. While we are often proud to show off all our gifts (kids in particular seem to enjoy to do this), it's been a few days already, and it's time for things to start returning to normal.
Set aside gifts that need to be exchanged, those that you do not want to keep (we all get some every year), and find space at home for the rest.
5. Clean your closets
While it seems a bit odd to put this at the same level as cleaning the oven or the fridge, it is the perfect task for this week (or what's left of it), because it will actually help you with points 1 and 4 above. While cleaning our closets we always find a few items to get rid of, and that will, in turn, provide you with room to store the Christmas gifts.
There are only a few days left of 2015, so it's time to get ready to welcome 2016! And what better way to start the year than with a clean, uncluttered home?
Enjoy the last week of 2015!