Down-and-dirty on keeping a clean home this winter

While it may very well be the most wonderful time of the year, winter is often also the dirtiest.

From all the germs we bring into our homes to all of the messes we make while having fun with friends and family during the season, December and January are tough months to keep a house in order.

But fear not!

Here are some ideas on how to get creative in the cleaning department all season long.

It’s a (re)wrap

While opening Chanukah or other gifts this year, put a little effort into carefully opening them and see all of the materials that can be reused for future gifting. Just think: Boxes, bags, ribbons and other packing materials can be used time and time again.

Do what’s right with left(overs)

Also, do you find yourself with a lot of holiday leftovers that might go to waste? Consider donating them. The local fire or police department are great options. Maybe an elderly couple in your neighborhood? Many people can benefit from leftovers, so don’t let them go to waste.

Can’t think of anyone to share them with? Then consider composting the items to create rich soil and use in a future garden.

An ounce of prevention

Before you find yourself with a big mess after entertaining, think of what you can do before the party to prevent the mess. Deep clean your fridge now. It may seem counterintuitive, but think of all the space you will create to store dishes people bring and the leftovers after.

Also, make sure to place clearly labeled trash and recycle receptacles throughout any high-traffic areas during parties (especially on New Year’s), as this will create less mess in the end. Have some masking tape and markers handy to label platters and dishes that come in from your guests. This will help prevent them from being left behind to clutter up your kitchen.

And don’t forget a large bucket with hot water and dish soap. As the dishes are piling up, this a great way to get utensils, tongs, spatulas and serving spoons soaking instead of piling up on the counter.

Have lots of clean and absorbent towels ready for cleanup. This will make the drying process much more efficient.

Read labels

We all want to lower our carbon footprint — but did you know you can do it in your everyday cleaning, especially when tidying up so often during the holidays?

Because water is not enough to get items clean, and vinegar isn’t always the best option (it can also damage some surfaces), we do recommend investing in products with the DfE (Design for the Environment) logo, which means you can use less to get better results.

You can use cleaning companies that do the following: group clients geographically to cut fuel use; use reusable bottles, buckets and bags; use phone/email versus paper; use efficient washing machines and washable, reusable microfiber rags that capture dirt, dust and allergens; use CRI Green label vacuums to protect indoor air quality; buy supplies in concentrated forms; pick environmentally friendly suppliers; train employees to use the correct amounts of cleaning chemicals and make responsible use of disinfectants on critical surfaces to protect client health.

Happy cleaning! JN

Brooke Richards is the regional vice president of the Maid Pro franchise team in central Phoenix and across the southeast Valley. For more information visit

Article Source: Brooke Richards | Special to the Jewish News

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