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Take some stress out of the holiday season with these tips for simplifying your holiday decorating.


It’s that time of year when we all start getting out the holiday decor! We all love it, but it can definitely get overwhelming if we have too much stuff or try to accomplish more than we have time for.

The spirit of the holiday season is to celebrate and spend time with family, right? Keep that in mind when decorating for the holiday, and follow these simple tips for managing your holiday decor so you can relax and enjoy it!

1. Start decorating as early as you can.

One of the reasons we get overwhelmed by the holidays is we try to cram too much activity and expectation into a short window of time. I’ve found that when I start decorating a bit early and only attempt a little bit at a time, I enjoy the season much more. I can do as much as I want or have time for, but I fully enjoy decorating each area of my home and call it done whenever I run out of time or it ceases to be fun.

simple holiday decorating items twine scissors pine cones

2. Embrace simplicity.

This is a beautiful season, and one of the most fun components is that our homes can reflect our decorative holiday traditions. But at the same time, our lives are busier than ever. If we don’t enjoy the activity of decorating itself, it is time to reevaluate. You may have three or four sets of holiday dishes. You might be storing ten or twenty boxes of little Christmas houses or snowmen figurines or lights that you put up every year without fail. Those decorations may be part of your family’s tradition and the stuff of many happy memories. But, ask yourself if you actually want to put them all up this year. Do you have the time or help to get it all done? If you do, go for it! But if you feel overwhelmed at the thought, maybe just set up a few or give yourself permission to not use them this year. Traditions are wonderful as long as you are still enjoying them!

3. Clear surfaces before you begin.

Every year before I start my holiday decorating, I clear the surfaces in the areas I plan to decorate. The mix of usual decor and holiday decor is just too much and can feel cluttered. In order to fully enjoy the festive items I want to use, I take as much away as I can before displaying anything new. As I unpack a holiday decor box, I put away the everyday items. Then, when it is time to put away the holiday decorations, I can bring back my year-round favorites.

Read Also: The Ultimate Guide to Home Organization

simplify holiday decorating use natural decor pine needles pine cones cranberries

4. Go natural.

I love natural decorating. While traditional decorations or collections can be fun, they do have to be organized and put away after the holidays. There is something simple and beautiful about decorating with fresh greens, pinecones and trees. Take a walk through a forested area (if there is one nearby) to look for fallen sticks or boughs. Create festive tablescapes by combining these natural elements with pops of color. Add lights throughout the house for sparkle and bows for a jolly atmosphere. You can also purchase small live trees and plants at the grocery store that will be beautiful all winter long!

5. Give some away.

Every year I seem to use less and less of my Christmas decor. If you have excess items you no longer use, consider giving them away to a family who has nothing. There are many people in need who would be grateful for decorations you don’t use. As you unpack each box, start a new box for what you can give away. Then call a local church or social services organization to find a family to donate it to, or simply take it to a Goodwill store or drop-off site. You’ll feel so much more organized for next year and have less to store.

Read Also: How to Use the Four-Box Technique to Pare Down Your Belonging

Happy holidays!

Updated from an article originally published 11/25/2013.

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About the Author

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels is the author and creator of one of the top home decorating blogs on the web, The Inspired Room. She has been featured on such sites and publications as, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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