Day 5 - Holiday Decorating Tips {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 5 - Holiday Decorating Tips {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays}

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Day 5 - Holiday Decorating Tips {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays}

Do you decorate for the holidays?  I always find it helps make my home more festive, but it can be overwhelming dealing with all the decor items. Today I'm sharing a few tips to help make Christmas decorating easier.

1.  Before you decorate, take a picture of the inside of your bins

Pulling all your decorations out of bins is fun.  But putting them away after the holidays is never as much fun.  Somehow it always seems harder to fit everything back in those bins, even if you didn't accumulate any new decorations this year!  To make the "un-decorationg" process easier, take a picture of the contents of your bins so you can see how everything goes back in!

As an example, here's the bottom of one of my bins with Christmas glasses, mugs, kitchen towels, etc.  Last year I wrapped the breakable items in some of the towels to keep them safe and save space.  And I put glasses inside acrylic cups for the same reasons.  I wanted to make sure I remembered to do this again this year, so I took a picture to remind me when I'm packing them back up in January.

2.  Store some of your day-to-day decorations

During the holidays, when you have Christmas decorations in your home, pack away some of the decor that you have around your house during the rest of the year.  Photos, knick knacks, flower arrangements, and other general decor items can be stored for during the holiday season to make room for your holiday decorations.

I usually gather up our day-to-day decor items and gather them in one spot.  Then, after I unpack our Christmas bins, I pack up the general decorations in the empty bins.  Then I do the reverse after the holidays.  I even pack away some of our daily dishes, glasses, mugs, towels, and soap dispensers from our kitchen (and bathroom) to make room for the Christmas versions.  It doesn't take long and it means I don't have to fight for space in my cupboards and drawers all month!

3.  Keep it simple

Holiday decorations are beautiful!  And they help us enjoy this festive season.  And for those of you who love crafting, and tablescaping, and being creative when decorating, you love this time of year!

But too many decorations can be overwhelming in a space.  And it can actually make your home feel cluttered.  Keep it simple so you can really enjoy the decorations you put out.

Also, it takes less time to decorate when you keep it simple.  And less time to un-decorate and pack everything away after the holidays!  The holiday season is typically one of the busiest times of the year for most people so make it less overwhelming by keeping your decor simple.

Another advantage of simple decorating is that you need less space to store everything all year.  As a professional organizer, I've seen a lot of cluttered storage rooms, basements, attics, and garages that were overflowing with holiday decorations.  You can claim some of that space back for other items you need to store to free up space in the rest of your home for the other 11 months of the year!

Here are a few ideas to help you keep your decor simple:

  • Stick to a particular colour palette  
  • Display collections of items together, rather than all over the place
  • Emphasize traditional decor that you can use year after year, rather than buying the latest trends every year (unless you're purging the old decorations every year to make space for the new ones - see point #4 below).  

Decor is a personal preference, and I'm not trying to tell you how you should decorate your home for the holidays. But within your personal style, look for ways to keep it simple.

4.  Purge every year

I usually do this before I decorate and again after the holidays.

I always find some things when I'm unpacking our bins that I can declutter:

  • Things I don't care for anymore
  • Items that we have multiples of and we don't need all of them
  • Decorations we don't have space for this year if our furniture or the layout of our home has changed (for example, we changed our big huge entertainment unit for a smaller TV cabinet this year when we got a larger TV, so we lost a large surface that we used for decorations before).

I like donating or Freecycling Christmas items before Christmas because people are able to use them right away.  There are always people who are just starting out and are looking for affordable decorations, so why should I keep things in a bin that we're not using when someone else can enjoy them?!

After Christmas, I purge again.  Anything we didn't use is fair game for decluttering (unless there is a specific reason we didn't use it... like some of our fragile decorations when the kids were younger).  There's no sense in storing things we didn't use, because chances are, if we didn't use it this year, we won't use it next year either... or the one after that.  We only have so much space to store or Christmas bins, so it doesn't make sense to hang onto things we aren't using.  I also purge to make space for any new Christmas items we received or bought this year.

You can see more tips on decluttering decorations in this post from last year (click the picture to go to the post).

5.  Don't buy new decor at all the after-Christmas sales

Deals are everywhere after Christmas because stores don't want to have to store all that leftover merchandise for a whole year.  If they don't want to store it, why should you?  And just because something is 75% or even 90% off, doesn't mean you need to buy it.  Chances are after it's been packed away all year, you may not even want it when you decorate next year.

Only buy what you know you'll need and use the following year (and purge some of your current decorations to make space for it - see a theme here?!).  There are lots of pre-Christmas sales anyway, so if you really need something next year, you can probably find it for a good price, and you'll know at that point what you really need or love.

So, if you haven't decorated yet, keep these tips in mind as you do.  If you have already decorated, go back through your bins and purge the items that are left in them that didn't get put out this year.  And put away some of your daily decorations to give a less cluttered feel in your home.  If your decor feels at all overwhelming, look for ways to simplify it, so you can really enjoy your festively decorated home this Christmas!

If you're looking for other holiday organizing ideas, check out previous posts I've written on the subject in the Organizing tab at the top of the page - choose the Christmas submenu. 

Do you like to decorate for Christmas?  Do you find the process overwhelming or fun?  What tips do you have to simplify holiday decorating?

Happy organizing!

Here are all the posts in the 12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays series!

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