Five ways to guarantee a damage-free Christmas

Posted by Tom on 12th Nov 2021

As Christmas fast-approaches, you might be starting to think about decorating your home. And, after last year’s low-key festivities, who could blame you for going all out? But, if you’re not careful, you could be doing more damage to your property than you think.

To ensure this doesn’t apply to you, we’ve explored the top ways to enjoy Christmas without fear of mess, disorder, or damage. We also spoke to Lindsay Arliss, Dog Behaviour and Training Specialist at Wood Green, to discuss the best ways to dog-proof your home over the festive period.

1. How to hang decorations without damaging your walls

Over the festive period, you’ll likely be hanging seasonal decorations around the home. But it’s important to take steps that ensure you’re not damaging your walls. To protect your surfaces, you could use:

  • Self-adhesive cable clips: these allow you to hook hanging decorations.
  • Self-adhesive cable ties: these allow you to tie bulky decorations to your walls.
  • Double-sided tape: this is an effective solution for lighter items, but will struggle to hold up heavier decorations.
  • Washi tape: this peels off very easily, and doesn’t damage your decorations or walls.
  • Duct tape: this offers extra strength, but be careful not to take off wall paint or wallpaper when you remove!
  • Sticky putty: more on this below!

2. How to remove tack marks from your walls

Part of your Christmas decorating process might involve the use of Blu-Tack or sticky putty. However, without the proper care, you can be left with oily marks that quickly ruin your home aesthetic. Fortunately, we’ve got the remedy to save your walls! Either:

  • Make sure to give your surfaces a good wipe with a citric solution when removing sticky putty, to break down the leftover oiliness.
  • Using a small brush and washing up liquid, lightly scrub the affected area.

Make sure to test whichever method you choose on a small, discreet part of your wall, to ensure you’re not causing any damage to wallpaper or paint.

3. How to make sure your tree doesn’t ruin your carpet

A Christmas tree can be a gorgeous addition to your home over the festive period, but it’s important to protect your carpets against permanent weight marks. You can achieve this by placing your tree on top of a sturdy piece of plywood.

Alternatively, if you have hardwood flooring, place a non-skid matt underneath your Christmas tree stand, to avoid scratching.

4. How to clear up Christmas dinner spillages

Countless families across the UK will be celebrating the build up to Christmas, and indeed the big day itself, with feasts complete with condiments and sauces. However, this means that spillages can easily happen! Fortunately, we’ve outlined how to clean up the most common Christmas dinner stains.

How to clean up cranberry sauce

After cleaning up the bulk of your cranberry sauce spillage, you’ll need to create a solution that stops staining. Mix one tablespoon of washing up liquid with two cups of cool water, dampen a white cloth, and blot the stain. Repeat these steps until the stain disappears. Once the area is clean of cranberry sauce, go over with a clean cloth.

How to clean up red wine

Red wine will leave an obvious stain if left untreated for too long, so it’s important to attend to spillages as soon as possible. Simply blot the stain with cool water, before continuing with a mixture of one tablespoon of washing up liquid, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water.

How to clean up gravy

Once you’ve mopped up as much gravy as you can, attend to the remaining staining by sprinkling baking soda or corn starch over the affected area. Leave this to stand for around 15 minutes, before vacuuming up. If there’s any marking left over, combine one tablespoon of washing up liquid, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water, and sponge the stain with a white cloth.

How to clean up oil

If oil finds its way onto your carpet, don’t try to rub the staining out; this can push the oil deeper into your fibres. Instead, remove as much as you can using a dull knife, before sprinkling baking soda or corn starch over the affected area. You should then be able to vacuum up after around 15 minutes.

Next, mix one tablespoon of washing up liquid, one tablespoon of household ammonia, and two cups of hot water, and wet the staining with a sponge. Finally, blot with a paper towel until the marking has disappeared completely.

5. How to dog proof your home this Christmas

Dogs can be excitable bundles at the best of times, but things can go up a notch over the festive period. Dog Behaviour and Training Specialist, Lindsay Arliss has offered top tips to dog-proof your home this Christmas.

How to prevent your dog from damaging your decorations

If you have a particularly inquisitive dog, consider putting up a puppy pen around your Christmas tree to restrict access. Not only does this protect your presents, but also prevents unnecessary falling needles as they brush past.

You could also consider purchasing a slightly smaller Christmas tree than usual, and placing it on a unit or table, out of reach of your curious pooch. You should also make sure hanging lights, tinsel, and candles are out of reach.

What to avoid for your dog’s safety

If you have a dog, it’s important to consider the types of decorations you choose carefully, especially if they have a tendency to chew! For instance, most plastic or metal items can pose a danger if consumed.

If you’re opening presents with your dog, avoid decorative glitter or ribbons and opt instead for plain brown paper or cardboard. They’ll have just as much fun tearing open the package, and it’s much safer! Finally, and potentially most importantly, berries from sprigs of holly or mistletoe can be toxic for dogs, so we recommend you decorate with artificial versions.

What to do if your dog consumes Christmas decorations

If your dog has consumed any decorations, or any toxic festive foods (mince pies, Christmas pudding, chocolate), give your vet a ring right away. Let them know what your dog has eaten, and they’ll guide you through the next steps.

As your unpack your Christmas decorations for another season of festive magic, make sure to take our top tips into account! For even more helpful guidance, check out all the latest from us over on our blog