Prepare for Six More Weeks of Winter

Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his Pennsylvania burrow last week and saw his shadow, indicating — however unscientifically — that there will be six more weeks of winter. So far, the weather has been relatively mild in the areas of the country that get snow, but if the groundhog is correct, homeowners can look forward to more sloppy, slushy weather.

As noted in previous Quick Tips, snow and salt mean more dirt inside the home. People track through with wet, snowy shoes and boots, releasing a muddy mess onto the floors. Whether you have wood, tile or carpeted floors, a little meltwater can make them look dingy fast; if left unchecked, those stains can ruin them.

To protect your floors, first clean them completely, then place a tray or throw rug at each entrance to your home. Direct your friends and family members (politely but unflinchingly), to leave their snow-caked shoes and boots in that designated area, and your home will stay cleaner throughout the season.

Dust buildup is another problem in a closed-up, heated home. Wipe down ceiling fans, picture frames, electronics and other flat surfaces, and vacuum thoroughly. You’ll probably be spending much of the next six weeks indoors, and you don’t want to spend it sneezing.

When those tasks are done, you can take advantage of your indoor downtime by starting on a few of Style Guide’s 12 Winter Cleaning Ideas. First up? Going through your clothes and deciding what to keep. “If you haven’t worn it in two years and/or it makes you feel guilty, it’s a giveaway,” the story says. Bag those items up and contact for a pickup.

Other areas that could use some “cleaning” before spring include your budget, the site suggests. Tax time is coming up, and there’s no better time to plan out expenditures for the year ahead. Speaking of taxes, now is the time to gather up all of your receipts from last year so that you or your accountant can crunch the numbers. (Remember, that clothing donation is deductible!)

At the same time, organize paperwork and digital files so that you can continue to find the information you need when you need it. If you decide you don’t need some of those papers, so much the better: Toss them in the recycling bin.

If the weather is still miserable when you’re done with these tasks, you can get a head start on your spring cleaning by attacking some of the more detailed household chores such as cleaning windows, grout and upholstery. By the time you emerge from your burrow next month, you’ll be able to enjoy the warmer weather with a clean, organized home!

Don’t Let the Cold Keep You From an Organized Home!

Now that the holidays are over, we’re left to face the rest of winter. With how cold it’s gotten, it’s easy to neglect chores and curl up in front of the fireplace for the rest of the season. Tempting as this is, it’s the season for wet boot prints, cold days, and numerous coats, scarves, and gloves. If left untended, your home could accumulate dirt and clutter before you know it!

With this in mind, we’re here to help you stay motivated in your journey to a cleaner home. We checked out Martha Stewart’s “Winter Homekeeping Tips, ” to figure out how to fight off dirt and disarray this winter.

One idea Stewart offers up is to “winterize” your home’s entryway. This means having a welcome mat at the door where your visitors can remove their shoes upon entering the house. Not only does a rubber or carpeted mat prevent slush and salt residue from entering into your home, but it also signifies to guests that they should take off their shoes, which leaves dirt and grime at the front door.

Another tip for winter housekeeping is to rotate or turn the mattresses in your house. While this doesn’t exactly keep your home clean, it will help your mattress last a long time. Plus, it will help you sleep better, which will give you more energy to organize your house! Stewart recommends flipping your mattress every quarter for even wear.

One more idea that Stewart offers is to reorganize your kitchen. For some this might mean buying a spice rack so you know what spices you have on hand. For others, it means reorganizing your entire kitchen now that the holidays are over. While you’re cleaning and organizing your kitchen, remember to keep an eye out for pots, pans, utensils, and baking equipment that you no longer use.

If they’re in good shape, and you’re ready to part with them, donate them to us! Fill out our online donation pick-up form, and place your donation items in a box marked with “for donation.” Then, set the box out by your mailbox. We’ll come and pick it up for you!

What tips do you have for keeping your home organized and clean during winter? Share them with us!