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Quick Holiday Spruce-Ups

Tips for avoiding a harried holiday season

  • Get a handle on the holidays with great ideas for keeping dirt and chaos under control.
  • Dust the decorations. Unpacking those holiday decorations can mean some unexpected cleaning. Depending on the item, the fastest way to get rid of dust on your decorations might be some gentle action with a disposable duster or wipe or vacuum using your soft dusting brush attachment.
  • Sparkle plenty! Clean windows and mirrors are a beautiful reflection of your holiday décor. Keep pre-moistened window wipes on hand to make smudges disappear in a wink. Besides glass, these are generally safe to use on chrome, stainless steel, plastic and vinyl surfaces.
  • Put out the welcome mat. To welcome the company in and keep the dirt out, install easy-to-clean mats at all the exterior doors.
  • Plan ahead. If properly stored, holiday decorations won’t need preseason cleaning next year. As you take them down, clean them and then store them in closed bins, boxes or plastic bags that are clearly marked. If possible, group the decorations in categories like “dining room,” “mantel,” “front door,” etc. That way, you can avoid the decorating frenzy by tackling your home one area at a time.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel! If you particularly like the way you’ve decorated the door, the mantel, the staircase, etc. this year, take a picture and pack the photo away with the appropriate decorations.
  • Soak `em. When you set the holiday table with your best linens, it’s a natural invitation for spots and stains. For small stains, keep a stain stick or stain wipes close at hand. Or, once the meal is over, clear the table and pretreat any stains with a prewash stain remover. Fill the washing machine with soap, warm water and bleach that’s safe for the fabric, toss the linens in, and let them soak overnight. If you missed a stain, soaking will generally remove it. Run the wash cycle in the morning.
  • Multiply your cleaning supplies. Now’s the time to stock up on your favorite cleaning supplies in small, refillable sizes and/or easy-to-use configurations that can be stored in multiple, convenient locations. Think creatively. For example, during the holiday season, it might make sense to have a cache of window wipes, an electrostatic dust cloth, a roll of paper towels and an all-purpose spray cleaner tucked away in a cupboard in the family room. The less time you have to spend fetching cleaning supplies, the faster and easier it is to get the job done.