Post-holiday cleaning hacks

Jennifer Y. Ross
Published on January 3, 2017

Post-holiday cleaning hacks


The holidays are officially over and millions of American’s are sitting, shell-shocked, in the massive mess left behind in their homes. From grease-spattered stoves and backsplashes to gift wrap and ribbon that needs to be stowed and a tree that needs to be un-trimmed, there’s work to be done to get your home back to normal.

We’ve scoured the Internet to find the best post-holiday cleaning hacks to help you get the job done.

Storage hacks

Your first job is to take down the holiday décor and get it stowed away. It’s a big, somewhat messy job, but we’ve come across some brilliant hacks to help you.

  • Fill a plastic storage bin with plastic cups – the large red Solo brand cups seem to be among the sturdiest. Wrap each ornament in tissue or newspaper and place each one in a cup. For added protection, fold the tree skirt and place it over the cups. Place the lid on the bin and it’s ready to be stored for next year’s holidays.
  • Sure, you can purchase those long plastic bins made specifically to store wrapping paper rolls, but a less expensive option is available from the local dollar store: a tall trash can. Use ribbon or rubber bands to keep the paper connected to the roll, then stand them all up in the trash can.
  • Avoid clogging the vacuum cleaner when you try to suck up pine needles left behind when you dragged the tree out of the house. Use a rubber broom (yes, even on rugs) to sweep them into a pile and then into a dust pan, Marie Stegner, consumer health advocate for Maid Brigade suggests to The tool also works well to pick up animal fur.
  • The folks at Good Housekeeping suggest winding your tree lights around empty wrapping paper tubes. “Loop the cord around the roll, starting with the side opposite to the plug, then insert the plug into the tube’s opening.”
  • Glitter has a tendency to land and stick to anything upholstered. Use a lint roller to remove it – even from lamp shades!

Kitchen cleaning hacks

  • Greasy gas stove? Place the burner rings and grates into large plastic bags or containers and add ¼ to ½ cup of ammonia. Seal the bag or container and allow it to sit overnight where the ammonia fumes will work their magic. Wear gloves to remove the stove parts from the bag or container and rinse in hot water. Use sea salt to scrub anything that stubbornly clings to the rings. By the way, never mix ammonia with other products, especially bleach as it will emit toxic fumes.
  • How’s the stove hood looking? If you did as much cooking as we did over the holidays it’s probably one big, greasy mess. We found a surprising but brilliant method to remove the grease: mineral oil (apparently, vegetable oil works as well). Use just a few drops on a paper towel and wipe the hood until it’s grease-free. We used a soft rag to wipe off the excess oil but a paper towel will work as well.
  • Squeeze a lemon into a large glass measuring cup and fill to within 2 inches of the rim with water. Place the cup in the microwave and allow it to boil for three minutes. The steam from the boiling water will loosen the grime inside the oven and the lemon helps remove odors. Dip your sponge carefully into the hot water to remove stubborn stains.


We’d love to hear about your favorite cleaning tips — feel free to share!

Hi, I’m Jennifer Y. Ross, a licensed real estate salesperson and your Westchester County NY real estate community and home expert.  I grew up here.  I live here. I work here.  To learn more about how I help my clients check out my bio video – video link.

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