Does it feel like you’re finally back on track and back to the basics in your daily routine? The winter vacations have come and gone, work is back in full force- no more holiday parties and short days. And the kids are back in school without long weekends. It’s time to take a deep breath and enjoy the calm of the basics. And while some might enjoy bouncing from project to project, here are a few tips on how to make what’s right in front of you sparkle the way it did back in the fall.

ChefCropBasic freezer work

Is your freezer filled with leftovers, holiday cookies, meat and extra ice from those weekend gatherings? It’s the perfect time to go back and label the goods! Make sure you know how long each item will remain edible so you don’t waste the freezer space with items you won’t consume. Grab a pitcher and put some of that extra ice inside and then store it in the refrigerator to melt into the perfect batch of cold, filtered water.

Basic cleaning

Take the time to get down on the floor and see if there are any spills or pieces of food, perhaps even dust that’s accumulated from extra guests. A quick wipe or a pass with the handheld vacuum might collect more than you thought lurking in those small spaces! A can of pressurized air can help blow out anything that’s beyond your reach.

Basic inventory

The beginning of the year is a good time to check salad dressings, refrigerated spices, ketchup and other condiments for expiration dates. Remember, the fresher the item, the shorter the shelf life! And things like mayonnaise and packaged chives are not always on our basic shopping list, so don’t forget to add them the next time you go shopping at the market!