Not every holiday has or needs decorations, but most of the mid-winter holidays have some sort of seasonal “equipment” that goes with them. No matter what you are going to put up or change around, there are some basic ideas that can make this a bit easier.
Decorate By Region
“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The key to breaking down any overwhelming task is to make it into a group of smaller tasks. Instead of approaching holiday decorating as an all-or-nothing thing, break it into rooms or areas, and decorate in smaller chunks.
You already have an idea of where you will put up decorations. Perhaps you have special dishes, table linens or candle holders in the dining room. Or a tree and wreath in the living room. Make a list of the rooms where you will put out your decorations, and a general idea of what decorations will go in them.
The simplest way to do area decorating is if the decorations are already stored together by area. You may not be there this year, but if you keep this in mind as you putting things away at the end of the season, you will simplify next year’s decorating greatly.
All hope is not lost if you haven’t done this, though. Just pull out everything into an unused bit of space and go through a box at a time. Don’t try to do it all at once. You will end up with chaos.
If you can place the decorations in the room they will reside in, then decorate each room in turn, the disruption will be limited.
As you are pulling things out, evaluate the decoration. Is it in good shape? Does it have meaning? Do you hate it? Do you love it? Does it have a special story? For years I inherited cast-off decorations from my mother. I felt really good when I got rid of many of these things that did not fit my home or taste.
Most people have too much stuff in general. Things that get stored away are a target for clutter because we go through them once a year. If you don’t use it or love it, consider getting rid of it. Do you really need six sets of holiday-themed place mats? What about the lace tablecloth you don’t use because it is too much to care for?
Is It Time To Downsize?
Ask yourself if you want to downsize your decorating. For years we have had a monster tree (16 feet) that takes two people to set up, and a ladder to decorate. My husband and I agreed this year we needed to downsize. Along with a smaller tree means we can give up ornaments. So as we decorate, I will be setting aside ornaments to give away.
One really nice thing to do as you are pulling out decorations is to note any special story behind them. Perhaps the ornament you hung up was your great-grandmother’s. Or the menorah was a gift from an uncle. Preserving these memories on paper can provide a history for those generations that follow.
My husband and I both documented the ornaments from our childhoods, and I wrote up a piece about a creche that my grandfather made (but which does not come out during the holidays).
Decorating doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Declutter and organize to get a handle on what you have. Share the special things you use and the stories that go with them for a holiday tradition.
Photo by topher76