Christmas
Clean & Care

Simplify your holiday preparations: Our guide offers practical suggestions to make pre- and post-party duties go smoothly.

Andrew McCaul

Make it shine

Before the holidays arrive, spare some time to attend to those oft-neglected but necessary chores such as polishing the furniture and the silver.

Silver care

To slow tarnishing, store silver away from heat, sun, and salt--and never wrap it in plastic. Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths have polish incorporated into each cloth. The economy size includes a pair of gloves and a buffing cloth; capecodpolish.com.

Furniture care

To revive furniture new and old, apply a quality product, such as Howard Naturals Wood Cleaner and Polish, then buff gently with a soft cloth to remove built-up dust and grime. Made with all-natural ingredients, the product comes in three pleasant scents; howardnaturals.com.

Your cleaning calendar

Make a date to clean house with an easy plan from Linda Cobb, host of "Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean" on the DIY network. Starting two weeks ahead of time, box up clutter. Your house will look tidier and you'll make room for holiday decorations. A week beforehand, look over your linens to ensure they are clean and wrinkle free. Then get the dishes and silver out of storage and clean them. A few days before the event, dust, vacuum, polish furniture, and clean the bathrooms. Now you'll have time to relax and enjoy your guests.

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