Basically, I am a minimalist when it comes to decorating my home. But when the Christmas holidays come around, I tend to go all out. However, each person is unique. And how we feel each year about decorating our home for the holiday can be different. It’s important to listen to yourself and decorate as much or as little as feels good.
How much is enough?
The year after my husband died, I was not going to mess with the tree and decorating for the holidays. Fortunately, others intervened, and that tree went up. I have one client who is decluttering her home. She has decided that this year she does not want to bring out all her holiday decorations because she feels it will just set her back on her progress. Next year may be different for her. I have another client who has several artificial trees. She has decided to go with just one of her smaller trees inside and concentrate on her yard decorations.
Decorating for the holidays can take a lot of time and effort and cause stress. Extra stress is the last thing we want right now. So, no matter how much or how little you are decorating this year consider these eight strategies.
Why are you decorating?
Consider your “why”? I know that I want to decorate for the holidays because the decorations give me joy. They also give me a connection between Christmases in my past and ones yet to come. I love coming out each morning to my living room, turning on the lights of the tree, and enjoying that first cup of coffee. It centers me and helps me get ready for the day ahead. Knowing your why is your motivation.
What is your vision?
When your home is decorated for the holidays inside and out, what do you want it look like? How do you want to feel? I want to see and enjoy my decorations. I still don’t like clutter so some items that are out now will be put away. I want to feel at peace.
What is your timeline?
The holiday decorations don’t have to all go up at one time but know when you want to say, “done”.
Where are you decorating?
Make a list of all areas you are decorating for the holidays. For me this would be some greenery and lights outside – not a lot but enough that will make me smile when I come home. I want a tree in my living room as well as my advent candles. There will be a few other holiday items as well. My kitchen will have some holiday decorations as I will swap out my regular coffee mugs for some holiday ones that are stored in my decoration box. A couple of items in my office, bedroom and bath and I am done.
What are your tasks?
Make a list of all the tasks you need to do to complete your holiday decorating. For me this starts with bringing out all the boxes of decorations and staging them in the guest bedroom, bringing out the early advent decorations like the creche and advent wreath, buying the greenery, putting up the tree and greenery, decorating the tree, placing the other items in various rooms.
Use your calendar
Assign a date to every task. When are you bringing out the boxes? When are you buying the greenery? When are you putting up outside decorations? When are you putting up and decorating the tree (and for me this is two different days)? By assigning dates you can keep from getting overwhelmed. This does not have to be a two-day marathon. Spread out the tasks and enjoy the results as you go.
Put away your normal décor
As you pull out your decorations, put away some of your day to day decorations. When I put out my creche, I put away in the box my tea service. As I put out my holiday mugs, I put away my everyday mugs. As I put out a decorative Santa, I put away a piece of sculpture. This allows you to focus on and enjoy your holiday decorations without extra clutter.
Decorate mindfully. Look at each piece. Are you just putting it out because you always have? Maybe it’s time to retire some pieces that no longer give you joy. Now is the perfect time to give no longer wanted decorations as donations because people are decorating for the holidays. Think about putting your standard items you use every year in a different location in your home. You will notice them more.
Take your time. Enjoy decorating for the holidays as you go. If you feel stressed stop and ask why. Stop when you have your home decorated in a way that meets your vision and really enjoy the feeling you get from your festive holiday décor.
Use these eight strategies to reduce stress and enjoy decorating your home for the holidays!
If you are struggling with scheduling things like decorating for the holidays, consider joining the Clear Space for You online support group. Follow Jonda on Facebook for more helpful tips like these.