Simple Household Tasks to Tackle During Holiday Downtime

I'm blessed (and cursed) with the luxury of working from home. The cursed part comes in when your significant other has two weeks off over the holidays while you still have to work! (I'm sure the same can be said for having the kiddos off from school or the in-laws in town.) If you find that all the distractions are making it difficult to work, why not tackle one (or all) of these simple house tasks when you're feeling less-than-productive. They might not be fun, but the project will keep you busy and the end result will be satisfying for months to come.

1. Perhaps you need a small hideaway to seek refuge in. This might be a good time to organize your clothes closet. You could start with just a thorough cleaning, hanging and straightening of your clothes. But if you've tackled all that and still have some time on your hands, considering organizing your clothes by type or color or gathering rarely-worn clothes to be donated away.

2. If the closet wasn't enough of a safe haven for you, consider fleeing the house altogether. Head outdoors for some fresh air and unwind while tidying up your outdoor space. If, like me, you still have your fall garden cleanup tasks to accomplish, hope for slightly warmer weather and get to work cleaning up all those fallen leaves and bare perennials. If you're ahead of the game already, consider cleaning and organizing your tools or shed or getting a jump on spring garden chores that you can tackle now.

3. Caulk… It's a messy, no-fun, tedious job, but somebody's got to do it! One holiday break a couple years ago, I decided to tackle removing the old bathroom caulk and replacing it with new caulk, and it still looks good! If you have house guests or limited bathrooms, this might not be the ideal time because you will need to let the caulk dry sufficiently before you can turn the water on. But don't let that stop you if you're armed with caulk! You can always reseal your windows or doorways to help reduce draft and keep your home toasty warm throughout the winter season.

4. Clean your painted walls, trim and baseboard. Believe it or not, this is one of those simple, mundane tasks that I actually enjoy doing! Grab a bucket of warm soapy water or my favorite tool, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Go room to room, inspecting your walls for all that dirt and grime that we tend to ignore on a daily basis. And if you really want to be thorough, take it one step further by grabbing your paint and paintbrush and touching up any painted areas that need a little TLC.

5. After all the holiday cooking and cleaning, it's time to give back to those that help make our lives much easier on a daily basis. Yup, I'm talking about our almighty appliances! Be it your dishwasher, oven, fridge, sink, or even your washer or dryer — they can all use (yet rarely get) a thorough yearly cleaning. Even if you only get around to tackling one, the finished product will be so rewarding you might decide to entertain the idea of cleaning another one!

(Image credits: CHI House Tour: Arthur's Long Distance Home; Time to Put the Tools Away via Shutterstock; Kate Legere for How To Recaulk a Bathtub; Katie Steuernagle for How To Paint Baseboards Next to Carpet; Kimber Watson)