Simplifying the putting up and taking down of holiday decorations can feel like an arduous task - sometimes so much so that people dread the process instead of enjoying it as part of the seasonal celebration it is. We recommend putting on a Bing Crosby Holiday Album, cracking open a bottle of egg nog and really getting into the spirit, BUT that kind of lightheartedness is only accessed when we simplify our responsibilities and get to the heart of what truly makes us feel happy and celebratory.
For us, it’s two fold:
O N E
Make sure to pare down your decorations to what you truly love (yes, as Marie Kondo would say “spark joy”). Impact can be made with less, if it has the impact and presence that speaks to you.
T W O
Have a system for putting things away that makes it easy on both ends of the project - wrap up cords neatly and store them together with the extension cords you use, put everything that goes with/on the tree together, etc.
This is all completely logical, we get that. But it’s surprising how often in the stress of everything going on pre & post holiday that we all just shove things out of sight wherever, which is NOT doing our future self any favors and we are likely to damage and lose decorations in the process.
Here are a few photos of our simple, Scandinavian-inspired Christmas decor. The garlands inside are faux (but we think it looks pretty real!) for the sake of re-use and lack of stray pine needles, but the tree is a real Nordic Spruce, chopped down locally. Keep in mind - this is what works for US, in OUR SPACE.
I can’t emphasize enough how much longevity I’ve found with my neutral decorations that have worked in a variety of settings, and as my tastes evolve. Having quality items means they'll stand the test of time and having items that tend toward the classic/simple rather than trend forward means they’ll always work effortlessly together or with any new pieces I bring in. I love having touches of the holidays around the entire house, so including garland in the bathroom and hanging snowflakes in all of the windows allows the joy to be spread without it ever feeling overwhelming or hard to maintain.
During the off season, I have a small shelving unit in the basement dedicated to holiday storage and employ four of these IKEA boxes in white to keep the decor organized.
B O X 1 / Everything displayed on the mantel, minus the faux garland - but including battery powered lights.
B O X 2 / Ornaments, stockings, Nutcrackers that are displayed in the kitchen, faux mistletoe
B O X 3 / Large wooden snowflakes that hang in windows, wooden village we display on our shelves
B O X 4 / Indoor & Outdoor Lights wrapped neatly into tight coils, as well as extension cords and timers.
We leave our faux garlands and wreath out of the boxes to insure they don’t become damaged, as well as our holiday door mat - and Ta daaaaa! The holiday decor has been successfully (and safely) put to bed until next December.
Here’s to a fresh new start — and a reminder to be kind to your future self.