Every year it is the same. The turkey is barely digested when “BOOM”… it is time to shift into Christmas season. For many, this means putting up holiday decorations. While we love the results, the process can be exhausting. Here are my tips to keep the process smooth.
Make each year work for you.
Just because you have a huge collection of Charles Dickens houses doesn’t mean you have to put all of them out every year. Don’t have time to put up the full display of lights? That’s ok! Each year brings its own activities and challenges. Traditions are wonderful, but feel free to leave a few items in storage if that frees up much-needed time.
Remove year-round décor to make space for holiday items.
Simply adding to what is already on display will make your space feel cluttered. If you have room in nearby drawers or cabinets, stash the daily décor inside. If not, you can always empty your decorations bins and put the everyday items of these. When it comes time to pack holidays pieces away, it will be easy to reset with your typical pieces.
Label supplies by location.
Label anything you use in multiple locations (extension cords, strings of lights, etc.) These often get packed into one big box, and if they aren’t labeled, you have to reinvent the wheel each year. Simply use a Sharpie to write on the bottom or side where each piece is used in your display.
Store tree decorations in their own boxes.
We often decorate the tree on a different day than the rest of the house. To keep the clutter at bay, these boxes can be left in a corner or garage until it is time to trim the tree.
Leverage the camera.
If you tend to forget how you set up decorations up from one year to the next, do yourself a favor and take a photograph of each vignette as it is completed. You can either store digital photos in a folder marked “Holidays” on your computer, and/or print the photos and store them in the box with the room’s décor.
Designate holiday storage zones.
The holidays mean we have new items in our space, such as stuffed reindeer, holiday videos and books, cards, “festive wear,” candy, etc. Set out containers to hold specific items and let the family know what goes where. For example, a canvas bag on a hook for the antlers and light-up necklaces, and a basket on the floor for holiday stuffed animals. Also, decide how you will hold/display holiday cards (for more ideas on cards, click here.)
Re-pack decorations by room.
To make life easier next year, pack decorations back into boxes that are labeled by room. Label each box to indicate what is inside and where it is displayed, such as “Santas for Family Room.” To make labeling boxes easier, consider these adhesive pouches. They stick to anything and you can change the label over and over:
In addition, make a list of anything you need to buy for next year, such as “new candles for the advent wreath” or “batteries for the talking snowman.” Stores often have sales on holiday supplies in January, so stock up and pack these in with the decorations.
Consider investing in quality storage.
Decorations can be stored in cardboard boxes, but there are some wonderful storage products available today that really do make life easier. Here are a few ideas to whet your appetite and perhaps give you some Christmas gift ideas.
* * * * *
Remember, decorating is meant to enrich your holiday, not drain you or leave you feeling inadequate. It is your house, so do what brings you joy.
What ideas do you have for simplifying holiday decorating?