When Xmas decorations take on a life of their own
Christmas is my favourite time of the year. And a big part of that is the Christmas decor that pops up everywhere, signalling the end to another year. The fairy lights, dark greens, rich reds, cosy vibes – even though I live in Australia and there ain’t nothing cosy about 35 degree days! To me, the atmosphere leading up to Christmas is the most exciting part and the decorations are the visual to kicking off that Christmas vibe!
Working with clients over the years, I have seen the HUGE collection of Christmas decorations people have that are no longer used or loved OR simply take over the whole house – and not in a tasteful way, but more of a “well, I have it so I may as well put it out” approach. For Christmas decorations in my own home, I have noticed how quickly the collection can build up. At the time of writing this, we still rent and so I do need to be strategic about what is purchased, to invest in pieces that will work in multiple rental properties!
Here are my three top tips when it comes to managing the Xmas decor in your home:
1. Choose a classic theme
We live in an age where shopping has become a pastime (see my free Declutter 101 course for more information about this!). Choosing a theme that you can continue to build on over the years instead of switching colour palettes every 2-3 years will mean a whole lot less waste in the world and also, a super fun and creative journey for you. To me, Christmas is all about traditions. There is something wonderful about bringing out all the trinkets, delicate decorations and home-made keepsakes to decorate the tree and the home. They are memories of times gone by, and revisiting it every year is always a great conversation starter.
Investing in a classic theme does not mean it needs to be old fashioned or traditional. It is simply taking a long-term strategy and investing in decorations that will not only LAST for the years to come, but a colour or tonal palette that you will want to develop over time. You may see all the blush tones in-store and love them, but that doesn’t mean it needs to go in YOUR home.
As an example, the theme I have adopted is what I would call ‘Scandi’. Simple decorations, muted greens, whites with subtle pops of red and ALL the fairy lights. Last year, I invested in some extra greenery to put on mantle pieces and wrap around staircases. Although I am tempted to buy many of the gorgeous arrangements in-store, I always stop to think if it fits within my own theme. Hence, saving a whole lot of time and money that could be spent on other things.
To start out with your theme, look at what you already have. Chances are, you have purchased items you love and there may already be a strong theme in your current collection. If there are one or two items that throw the collection off, you can always remove them to create a more cohesive look and feel. And there’s nothing wrong with going for a general ‘eclectic’ look either – lots of sparkle and colour!
2. Buy 1-2 max investment pieces per year
As much as I love Xmas decor, I now put a limit on what I buy each year. Having chosen a classic theme that works for me (and I know I will love for more than just 1 season), I look forward to slowly building it over the years to come. Only purchasing 1-2 items per year means I have essentially given myself permission to finding those cute investment pieces (and believe me, I look in all the shops!) and appreciating the new ranges, rather than feeling any FOMO. It may sound overly simple, but putting a cap on how much you buy each year will avoid your collection from taking over your entire home within a few years. So if your tree is new and looking a lil’ bare – rest assured it will get there as the years go by.
When buying 1-2 pieces per year, you want to ensure that they already fit within your theme and that they’re also good quality. There is nothing worse than seeing your Christmas decorations fall apart January 1! Some items may be purely decor, like a bauble or tree decorations, or it may be the start of a tradition like stockings or present bags for the kids. Take the time to slowly build your collection over the years with beautiful items that are meaningful to you.
3. Gifted or Inherited a whole range overnight? Sort it out ASAP
If you have inherited or been given a whole lot of delicious Christmas decor and you are feeling both excited and slightly overwhelmed at the same time, my number one tip is to sort it out stat!
So often we put off decisions thinking there will be a better time, but usually, delayed decisions about what stays and what goes will result in all that extra stuff just entering the circulation with everything else.
Be ruthless about what you keep and what you either bin, donate, or sell. You don’t have to keep someone else’s entire collection to hold onto the special memories. A small handful of items that are meaningful to you is more than enough.
If you have been gifted an item that really doesn’t fit within your decor or you simply don’t like it, you can donate it or sell it so someone else can enjoy it. There is no point having it collect dust in your attic when someone else may absolutely love it in their home.
There is an endless supply of lovely and cute Christmas decor. And with each year, your collection can change and grow. Just aim to do it at a pace that means you aren’t simply creating clutter in your home. You want to enjoy Xmas – not feel like it takes control of the home every year!
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Anyone you don’t like, tell them it’s terrible.