Festive holiday decorations certainly have a part in making spirits bright. Throughout the season, the colorful lights, glistening ornaments, and treasured heirlooms bring cheerfulness into the home. But all of the extra embellishments can also bring (and leave) quite the mess.
It’s easy to neglect the cleanliness of holiday decorations. Their use is limited to one short season per year, which means that for the remaining months, they are collecting dust and mustiness in a storage bin.
Follow this guide to ensure that you’re decking and un-decking the halls in immaculate fashion.
Steps to follow before you décor.
- If you’ve chosen an artificial tree, it’s important to clean it before you put it up. While disassembled, unfold the branches and arrange them on plastic bags. Use a handheld vacuum on the lowest setting to carefully clean each branch. After, create a mild detergent by mixing water with a small amount of dish soap. Using a microfiber cloth, wipe each branch with the solution; lay the pieces to dry on a towel.
- Before adorning the tree, give your ornaments some tidying TLC. On traditional glass ornaments, spray glass cleaner onto a cloth and wipe gently. Use a clean soft paintbrush or a lint-free cotton cloth for porcelain and crystal ornaments.
- Don’t hang with stockings with care without considering how long it’s been since your seasonal fabrics have been cleaned. First, check the items’ tags to make sure that you’re following proper care instructions. Stockings that are cross-stitch, knit, or crochet can be hand washed; just use a gentle detergent, rinse well (without wringing), and dry flat so that they can maintain their shape. Velvet and felt stockings, as well as ornate and delicate tree skirts, need to go to the dry cleaners.
- Prepare your menorah for another special Hanukkah celebration by removing the previous year’s candle wax. In addition to using a wax-removing product, there are also a couple of alternative techniques. The first is to set the menorah in the freezer. When nice and cold, the wax can be easily chipped away. Another strategy is to place the menorah in a dishpan of warm, soapy water and wait for the wax to float to the top.
Steps to follow sometime between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day.
Okay, so we’re not here to tell you when to take your decorations down, but when you’re ready, here are some suggestions to help the un-decking go smoothly.
- Be smart about storage. Taking the extra time to store your items with care will save you stress next holiday season, and will help preserve the life of the decorations. Hang your wreaths on clothes hangers, cover with a plastic garbage bag, and then store in a closet or on a beam. You can protect your fancy candles from scratches by first tucking them into an old pair of pantyhose. An empty egg carton makes a great storage container for small ornaments and other tiny knickknacks.
- Make sure to wrap ornaments and other delicate décor in acid-free tissue paper.
- Between the extra guests, cookie crumbs, snow prints, and pine needles, the floors and other surfaces have undoubtedly accumulated some unwanted debris. Give your home a nice, deep clean and a fresh start. If you need some help with extracting those pesky glitter flecks, call The Maids; we’ll get everything sparkling clean, just in time for the New Year.