Decorating for Christmas is one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit. It transforms your home into a winter wonderland and can spark some joy into an often cold and drab time of year. But, like anything, it can become a hassle if too many challenges are in the way. How many times have you struggled with tangled tinsel or broken ornaments ruining an otherwise perfect decorating experience? That’s not how you want to spend your time during the Christmas festivities. If you want to make your decorating as stress-free as possible, we’ve got some tips for you.
Before you get all the boxes out and start unpacking, take some time to plan out what you’ll be doing. Now, you don’t have to draw up pages of plans, diagramming where everything will go, but you should take a little time to discuss a few items that may help you stay organized. As you begin unpacking and decorating, that organization can go a long way to helping find decorations, knowing where they go, and streamlining the process.
You should take a little time to discuss a few items that may help you stay organized.
These items should include any themes or decorating styles you want to follow — think rustic Christmas or silver and gold. Then, you should come up with a basic layout for any major decorations — like where the tree will go, an antique nutcracker, or anything that will be a major focus of a room. Finally, take some time to make sure everything is working while you’re placing ornaments or lights. If there is anything that isn’t working or broken, set it aside to fix or throw it away.
Share the Work
There’s no reason to do all the decorating work by yourself — unless you prefer it that way. If you live with other people, spread the decorating joy around (and take some weight off your own shoulders). Not only is it an opportunity to make holiday memories together, sharing the load makes the decorating go quicker and means you don’t have to do all the work.
Assigning duties gives everyone a real sense of ownership over their task and helps them feel included.
It may even help to give everyone specific tasks so they have something to focus on, especially if you’ll be decorating with young children. This gives them a real sense of ownership over their task and helps them feel included. Just make sure it’s something they can handle. You wouldn’t want your five-year-old grandson climbing ladders to put lights up, for example.
Keep It Fun
It’s important that throughout your decorating, it doesn’t feel like work or a chore. In many ways, decorating for the holidays should be like the opening of the season for you. You can help this by setting the mood a bit. Put on some Christmas or holiday music to set the scene a bit. It can help to find or build a festive playlist of music. If you are decorating around a television, put on a holiday movie to watch as you decorate. You’ll find as you finish more decorating, the Christmas vibes will continue to grow, getting you even more in the mood.
Don’t be afraid to give yourself a break occasionally.
Of course, all the scene-setting in the world may not stop it from becoming a drag sometimes. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a break occasionally. This can be for a few minutes, running off to get a coffee or watch some TV, or a day, picking it up tomorrow. Remember, the decorating should be fun. If it’s feeling frustrating or like something you have to do and not something you want to do, come back to it later.
Decorate in Stages
Piggybacking off the importance of taking breaks from decorating, you may find it helpful to decorate your home in stages. For some, this may be decorating room by room. It can be an effective strategy, especially if each room has a different theme. If you plan to do the whole house in a single style or would rather decorate rooms as a group, we suggest breaking it up into four stages: fundamentals, extras, assessment, and finishing touches.
Fundamentals, the first step, includes the essential decorations that are the centerpieces of the room. We mentioned a few of these earlier, like a Christmas tree or the antique nutcracker. Get these placed where they should go, along with any lights, garlands, or figurine villages.
Once these have all been placed, look around the room and see where there is space that needs filling with extras. Be careful not to go overboard, sometimes a little space is good. But, where there is space, you can add the little decorations that accent the major ones. Think of it like decorating a Christmas tree. You want to fill space but not so much that you can’t see the tree underneath.
You could stop here and call it a day, but it’s a good idea to assess the room. Take a step back and see if there is anything that needs to be replaced, whether it’s an old decoration that’s seen one too many Christmases or something that’s broken. There may even be something missing from the room, especially if you’re trying out a new theme this year.
After assessing the room, it’s just a matter of getting the finishing touches and placing them where the go. This way of dividing your decorating into steps keeps the process organized with obvious times for breaks if you need them.
Pack with Next Year in Mind
This final section is less about the decorating this year and more about preparing for the next one. The kindest thing you can do for yourself in the future, in terms of holiday decorating, is to pack everything up with next year in mind. It may be tempting to just put stuff in boxes and let it be next year’s problem — we’ve certainly been guilty of that. Anyone who has had to untangle a string of Christmas lights will know the frustration this attitude can bring, though.
You would be surprised how little time this adds to your tear-down efforts but how much it saves you the next year.
Take a little time while you’re packing away everything to organize and pack things nicely. Wrap the lights so they don’t become tangled or get an organizer that keeps them wrapped. Place items that go in a room together so that you can unpack them at the same time without having to search for them. You would be surprised how little time this adds to your tear-down efforts but how much it saves you the next year.
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Decorating for the holidays should be fun, but the barely contained chaos of it all can quickly get out of hand. Whether it’s untangling a string of lights that somehow is knotted yet again or not agreeing on where the tree should go, it can all add up to an unpleasant experience. That’s not the way to kick off your festive celebrations. With these tips, you’ll get your home dressed up for the season with ease, giving you more time to enjoy it.