Five Steps to Simplified Christmas Decorating - Countdown to Christmas

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Convert Holiday Decorating from overwhelming to a memorable, joyful and creative experience.    Just be sure to take enough time to formulate a clear vision, articulate your plan and follow these FIVE essential steps to minimize the stress of the holiday period.

1)  Focused Clutterbusting – Just the “Hot Spots” (link to The Organized Life).

2)  Open the Cupboards Early and Give a Quick Spit and Polish  (link to Universal Stone and C is for Clean and The Shine Shack).

3)  Prepare your Holiday Decorating Tool Kit  ( Link to Home Hardware)

4)  Do a Room-by-Room Assessment with an Outsider’s Eyes  

5)  Decorate the “Hot Spots”

1) Focused Clutterbusting

·       Set a goal of December 1 to purge your home of clutter.  Especially in the “hot spots” where your guests will gather: front hallway, living room, dining room and kitchen.

·       Clutterbust the Hot Spots: Remember that your kitchen is the hub of your home especially during the holidays.  Always clutterbust the kitchen first.  Minimize the clutter in the room where you place your Christmas tree as it will also be an activity hub. Outerwear and packages compete for space in the front foyer so this hot spot should be clutterbusted prior to the start of the festivities.

·       As you clutterbust, remember to keep only the possessions that you love or that you use.   The key to a Clutterbusted house is to get rid of anything you do not love or use. Give it away, sell it, donate it, dump it.  If possessions are sentimental but not particularly useful, find ways to refresh and repurpose them.   

·       Clutterbust your Holiday Décor by mid-November.  Eliminate dated décor that no longer suits your needs, taste…or looks tired.   Give it away prior to Christmas as most of the charities will not take it after the holidays.

2) Spit and Polish: Open Your Cupboards Early 

·       Open your cupboards now.  Drag out your precious heirlooms, serving dishes, candlesticks etcetera. 

·       Polish up that silver, sparkle up the crystal, and iron those linens… (or better still; send the linens out to the dry cleaners to be pressed…).  

·       Try deep cleaning one room per week along with your regular cleaning.   No time for deep cleaning?  Remember a decluttered house looks cleaner than a cluttered but clean house.

·       Cleaning Essentials: C is for Clean for almost everything and Universal Stone for the toughest stains.  

3) Prepare you Holiday Decorating Tool Kit

Don’t be caught mid stream without the proper tools.  Pull together your own decorating kit before you start.  In a small tool box dedicated solely to this purpose, include the following basics:

·       Scissors

·       Wire cutters

·       Green 26 Gauge Florist Wire

·       Fishing Line

·       3M Command Hooks and Ornament Hooks  

·       Thumb Tacks and Push Pins

·       Hammer and Nails

·       Measuring Tape

4) Room-by-Room Assessment Checklist

Complete an assessment of your home, indoors and out, to come up with a pared down list of the essential holiday decorating opportunities your home offers.

Begin by spending a few minutes early in November and take a walk through each room in your home.   Try your best to observe it as an outsider would.    

5) “Hot Spots” for Christmas Decorating

Concentrate your energy, time and budget on the key “hot spots” of your home.   This decluttered, simplified approach will result in a higher impact more successful look.   Focus on the:

·       Entrance – Front Foyer Table and Mirror

·       Staircase Banister – or just the newel post

·       Living Room – Tree, Coffee Table and Mantelpiece

·       Kitchen…Centrepiece for the table, fresh flowers on the counter.  

·       Dining Room – Centerpieces for the buffet and table, boughs above the china cabinet, garland the chandelier…c’est tout!