Oh blah de blah de blah.

The house is in chaos. There are presents scattered everywhere. The tree is on its last legs. And seen as Christmas day fell on a Monday this year, laundry day went out the window. Time my ladies for a bit of housekeeperly action if we are going to greet the New Year in anything other than a glittery shambles.

1. Whizz about the house and throw out all bits of packaging, gift wrap, ribbon etc, etc.

2. Insist everybody puts their Christmas presents away. Away away. Not piled up in a corner or scattered around the house. Away!

3. Chuck out any half dead poinsetta’s, daffodils or Christmas wreathes.

4. Tie tired Christmas cards into bundles and put in bowls or give up on them all together and recycle them. Go on I dare you.

5. Divide presents into three piles: keepers, taker backers and charity shop donations.  Oh I know: I’m shocking- but truly neither my house or my life have room for things that make me cringe.  Just because someone bought something for you doesn’t mean you have to keep it.  Put the keepers away, and put the other two piles into bags.

6. Top up fruit, sweet and nut bowls.

7. Retire worn down candles and light fresh ones. Everywhere.

8.  Empty the fridge. Chuck out all half finished bits of this and that. And accept that the days of turkey leftovers have passed. Then get thee to the grocers and buy something scrumptiously fresh and most unfestive. Like a huge melon. Or some divine fish.

9. Scrub your kitchen sink. Put out clean tea towels. Top up the toilet rolls. Put out new soap and towels. And change all the beds in the house.

10. Put out new books in accessible places. Bring the bits of your life you put away for christmas out again (photo’s, craft baskets etc) and resolve to remove one major decoration every day till the twelve days of  Christmas have come and gone…

11. Take yourself to the flower shop and buy something pretty for the living room.

12. Take down dried up mistletoe and any decorations that are sending you nuts or indeed have become a liability. Re-decorate the mantlepiece so the focus of your room feels fresh again.

13. Try to take the focus off  Christmas by bringing a bit of Winter into your home. Layer everywhere with blankets, twigs, baskets of scented cones and rows and rows of forced paperwhites…

14.   Spray the air with something festive, then get the mulled wine bubbling all over again and lock yourself in the bathroom with all your scrumptious new bubbly things…

15. And finally take the time to spritz up the front door/path/entrance to your house so the New Year recognises a happy little house when it sees one…