Dust off the winter cobwebs

After weeks of catchy Christmas songs, dazzling decorations and excessive food and drink, the month of January can feel like a rather minimalist affair, and cleaning and tidying around the home can be a cathartic experience (for some). Whether or not you consider yourself to be a domestic god or goddess, January is still a great time to clean and organise your home. The weather is usually uninspiring, our purses and wallets have taken a hit and there’s not much else to do other than writing up our New Year’s resolutions - so why not crack on with the housework?

Pre-spring clean

With the extra visitors and gatherings, Christmas can be a busy period for entertaining, resulting in mince pie crumbs scattered around the room and Quality Street wrappers somehow stuffed down the sides of the sofa. On top of that, glittery decorations, worn out tinsel and the wrapping or unwrapping of gifts can result in more mess. Here are some ideas for getting a handle on it.

  • Deal with the aftermath of all the festive cooking by deep cleaning the oven
  • Once you’ve demolished the leftovers, clean the fridge out - veg drawer and all
  • Dust or vacuum your fireplace guard if you have one
  • If possible, move furniture to find hidden tree needles, remnants of wrapping paper and crumbs left over from the festive period
  • As you remove decorations from the ceilings or windows, dust forgotten corners and get rid of cobwebs
  • Check carpets and rugs for stains if you’ve thrown a party or two

Declutter your home

Have you received a rather hefty haul of gifts? Now’s a great time to take a look at the things you no longer need in your home, whether they’re items you’ve collected over the year or during the recent season.

  • Decide if you want to sell unwanted gifts on eBay or if you’d prefer to donate them to a charity shop
  • If you’ve received make-up, go through your make-up bag and double check the expiry dates on your old beauty products
  • Check the expiry dates on food in your cupboards
  • Review your wardrobe for forgotten favourites before rushing to buy things in the sales. Sort into four piles: keep, donate, sell, bin/recycle

In the garden

Getting out into the garden can boost your spirits, even if the weather isn’t perfect. Despite lack of colour and growth, there are some things you can do in January that will benefit your garden in the months to come.

  • Shred your Christmas tree and compost it
  • Alternatively, arrange for your tree to be collected by the council
  • Prune apple and pear trees
  • Put out food for hungry birds who may be struggling to find food - you can even make your own bird cakes
  • Remove leaves, twigs and other debris from flower beds
  • Double check that outdoor pipes and taps are adequately protected against freezing temperatures
  • Scrub patios and paving stones to remove any dirt and slime that may have built up over wetter months

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