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Smart Home

Do this one thing before storing your holiday decorations

Make next year's decorating so much easier with this one tip.

Alina Bradford/CNET

There's nothing that ruins my holiday cheer like unpacking dirty decorations. This year, to save you some future cheer, be sure to clean your wreaths and garlands before you pack them up. You're future self will thank you.

I know storing away decorations is tedious enough without cleaning, but trust me. I've got some tips that will make cleanup quick and easy.

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Dried flowers

Dried flower wreaths and garlands are delicate and all the nooks and crannies can be hard to dust, giving you very few options on how to clean it. Instead of shaking them, hoping the little bits of fuzz and lint will fall off, try your blow dryer. 

Put your wreath or garland inside of a large trash bag. Set the blow dryer on a low, cool setting, then wave it a few inches of your wreath inside of the bag. The blow dryer will liberate the dust and lint and the trash bag will catch the debris so it doesn't float around your home.

Plastic wreath and fake garlands

I love wreaths with plastic decorations and synthetic garlands for one reason: they are super easy to clean. All you need to do is place it in the bathtub or sink, spray it with warm water and let it air dry. Just be sure it is totally dry before you put the wreath in storage.

Special circumstances

You may notice some greasy grime on your decorations, especially if you used them in the kitchen. This type of gunk takes a little extra cleaning time. 

For synthetic decorations, spray them down with glass cleaner. Let them sit for five minutes and then rinse with warm water. As usual, make sure the decorations completely air dry before packing them up.

Dried flower decorations should be placed in a paper bag. Then, pour table salt over the decoration and close the top of the bag. Gently shake the bag for a few minutes. The salt will soak up the grease and loosen the dust from the decorations. 

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