Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or have celebrated the holiday season in your home for many years, festive decorations can make your home feel cluttered. It’s easy to get carried away, and there is a fine line between tasteful maximalism and overkill. When you’re ready to deck the halls, here are 15 ways to decorate for the holidays without feeling cluttered.
Just because you used a decoration last year doesn’t mean you need to use it again this year. Be mindful about how you decorate, using only what speaks to you each year. As you unpack holiday decor, get rid of what you haven’t used in several years.
If you’re listing your house around the holidays, clutter can hamper a home’s sale. Buyers want to imagine their own cherished decor in a space. Plus, purging unused holiday decor will make your moving day easier.
If you’re holding on to items for sentimental reasons or as keepsakes for other family members, pack them in a separate box with a label so you don’t have to dig through them every year.
2. Take Your Time
In the rush to get the tree up and the house decorated, it’s easy to forget the simple pleasures of preparing your home for the holidays. Pour yourself a mug of tea or a glass of champagne, make some delicious snacks, and take your time decorating. Decorating becomes a much more inviting experience when you’re not simply checking it off a to-do list.
3. Start With a Welcome Mat or Wreath
Start the ho-ho-holidays out right with an appropriate welcome mat or seasonal wreath on the front door. Keep it simple. There’s no need to cover the door in wrapping paper or add a ton of frilly details. A few elegant pine boughs and a bow will do the trick.
4. Keep a Consistent Theme
Pick one thematic element and carry it throughout your house, whether it’s snow globes, ribbons and bows, snowflakes, or decorated trees.
5. Choose Simplicity
An elegant bit of greenery tied with a red bow and draped over a stair’s railing is a simple way to decorate that doesn’t add to the chaos and clutter.
6. Don’t Use Damaged Decor
Unless it has sentimental value, toss that figurine with a crack, the Santa with a smudge, or the door swag that’s more wire than foliage.
7. Use a Neutral Color Palette
If you don’t want a riotous clash of color in your home, consider a neutral color palette in pale tones of white, gray, or beige accented by splashes of color. If you can’t resist color, use a single strong focal color with metallic and neutral accents.
8. Replace Without Adding
Instead of using your regular hand towels and holiday towels, replace the everyday towels with the holiday ones. The same goes for holiday plates, wall art, and any other decorations that are used this time of year.
9. Think in Textures
Swap out that fall cotton throw for a fuzzy faux-fur blanket. Switch out couch pillows for a more luxe holiday fabric.
10. Keep it Natural
Nothing says winter wonderland like bright red berries, pine swags, and bare branches. Use these simple, natural elements to set the tone.
11. Engage all of the Senses
It’s amazing how easily scent can get us in the holiday spirit. Use atomizers, candles, or a simple stovetop potpourri mixture to bring in the aromas of the season.
12. Make Presents Part of Your Decorating
If you’re saving money for a big purchase, such as a house, this holiday season, there may not be much in the budget for decor. If that’s the case, use presents as decor. Stack them strategically by the door, array them thoughtfully in the living room, and accent the powder room with a small gift or two. Not only does this add a little sparkle, but your holiday decor is packed away as soon as each present is given.
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