In last week’s Part 1 post, we shared tips for thinning out your holiday decorations and cleaning the more delicate pieces that you want to keep or donate. This week we’ll share tips for cleaning less delicate items and also throw in a few “Hey, now that’s a good idea!” tips.
Sometimes we run into cleaning dilemmas during the holidays that don’t come up at other times of the year. For example:
♦ Use a large damp paint brush to clean fresh greenery if it needs dusting while on display at the holidays. This would actually work well year round on any of your house plants.
♦ To remove hardened candle wax from a candle holder or other small item, place the item in the freezer for a while (20 minutes or longer, depending on how thick the wax is) and the wax will break off easily.
♦ To remove candle wax from washable fabric, pour boiling water through the fabric over a sink. For fabric that can’t be washed, sandwich the spot between white paper towels and go over the area with a warm iron, changing out the towels as the wax comes out.
♦ Tree sap should be removed from carpet and upholstery as soon as you notice it. Be sure to blot rather than rub the area so you don’t spread the sticky sap further. A good solvent like Speed Cleaning’s Stain Assassin, “the James Bond of stain removers,” should do the trick. Sturdy white cotton cleaning cloths are a great choice for this task rather than paper towels.
And for those “good idea!” tips:
◊ When storing your holiday decorations, use a separate box or bin for each room. Label the box for that room and include notes or even photos if you particularly liked the way you had something arranged.
◊ When returning the boxes/bins to storage, put them back in the reverse order that you’d like to start your decorating the following year. Think “Last in – first out.” If you want access to the Christmas tree ornaments first, put that box in second to last. Why not last? Because . . .
◊ There’s almost always a decoration that doesn’t get packed away, something you don’t notice until a week or two later. Or you acquire a decoration after everything is packed away. The last thing to go into storage can be a small empty box labeled something like ‘Holiday Extras,’ easily accessible to hold these items for the following year.