Christmas decorations add twinkle and sparkle to our homes, and many happy memories may be held in the decorations you've used over the years. That little shepherd your child crafted from a peg, cloth and a pipe cleaner; the 1960s bauble you've somehow kept in one piece from your parents’ or grandparents’ tree; the first set of baubles you bought for your first home - all of these can invoke that warm, festive feeling and brighten otherwise dark, winter days.
The shops are full of yet more twinkle and sparkle, though, and it can be challenging to resist buying more ornaments, Christmas lights or decorations to add to those you already have. Too many decorations can lead to clutter, and whilst a winter wonderland may look appealing in the shops (or the North Pole), it can be a bit much in your living room!
Here's how to decorate your home for Christmas without creating a cluttered, overstimulating mess!
1. Choose which rooms to decorate.
Decorating our homes for Christmas kick-starts us into the season - as soon as the decorations and tree are up, it feels like Christmas is here and we can start to get excited!
You don’t have to go wild and decorate every room in your house, though, and you also don’t have to use every item
of Christmas decoration you own!
The key areas to decorate are:
This is the first place you see when you come home, and it’s where you greet visitors who may be staying for Christmas or just calling round for mulled wine and mince pies.
Decorating your staircase with some twinkly lights and baubles threaded onto ribbon and wrapped around the bannisters and balustrades can look great. They don’t take up any space and can make the whole hallway seem Christmassy without being overwhelming.
Add a Christmassy scent by drying some sliced oranges (sprinkled with some cinnamon) in a low-temperature oven and displaying them in a bowl on your hallway table or plugging in a seasonal air freshener.
The living room
This is where you’ll probably gather as a family to watch Christmas films or just relax in the evenings, and it’s likely to be the best place to put up your tree. Whether you have coordinated baubles, beads and tinsel or a hodgepodge collection of baubles and hanging decorations you’ve gathered over the years, your tree will be the focal point of your living room. You might also choose to add ornaments to your mantelpiece, but be careful not to overwhelm the space!
Think about where you’re going to display the Christmas cards
you’ll no doubt receive - these are the fiddliest, most annoying things to display because they take up lots of space when displayed open, and the slightest draft can knock them over!
Rather than stand them up on your mantelpiece, you could utilise the back of your living room door to store your cards. You could do something as simple as pin a length of ribbon or string to hang from the top of your door and peg your cards to it. There are loads of great ideas for displaying Christmas cards - choose an option that fits your level of motivation and your taste in Christmas decor!
The dining room/kitchen
You could add a sparkly runner to your dining table and a string of Christmas lights to the top and sides of the wall closest to your table to ‘frame’ the setting for your Christmas dinner. If you have a second, smaller Christmas tree, the dining room can be a lovely place to display it.
Some people have a separate set of crockery and accoutrements for Christmas. To save storage space, next time you decide to replace your usual crockery set, you could choose a set with silver or sparkly detail and use that all year round as well as at Christmas.
2. Put away non-Christmas ornaments and decor.
Your rooms will already have furnishings and decor you use all year round. Adding Christmas decor and ornaments will create clutter and make your living space feel crowded and uncomfortable.
So, when you’ve decided which rooms to decorate, go through each area and store anything non-seasonal that you won’t use over the Christmas period.
For instance, you might have candles, figurines, and photo frames on your mantelpiece or living room windowsill and a plant or other centrepiece on your dining table. You might have excess shoes cluttering up your hallway and books on your shelves where you’d prefer to display Christmas decorations for a few weeks.
All of these could be boxed up in the boxes where you currently store your Christmas decorations. You could put them in your loft or wherever you usually keep your Christmas decorations. If that’s your spare room, and visitors will use it over Christmas, it might be easier to rent a small self-storage unit for the Christmas period instead.
3. Decorate before you buy anything new.
Once you’ve cleared the decks and made room for your decs, go through your existing stock of Christmas decorations and decide what you want to display this year. Be ruthless and get rid of anything broken - if you find that a particularly sentimental bauble has been broken, you could place the broken bits into a clear plastic DIY bauble and hang that up instead! You can always take photos of things your children have made in the past that are broken or too tattered to display now, so you’ll still have the memories, if not the actual object.
From what’s left, you might decide only to use specific colours - perhaps you could use blue and silver in your living room, red and gold in your dining room and green in your hallway. Or you could just choose one colour scheme for the whole house and only use decorations that fit that scheme.
Once you’ve put out your existing decorations, you might feel that you want to add a few more ornaments that fit your chosen colour scheme or decide that you’d like to change the colour or tone of your Christmas tree lights. That’s the point at which you can go shopping and enjoy choosing some new decorations that you can enjoy for years to come.
Self storage at Christmas
If you don’t use all your Christmas decorations and/or have furnishings and ornaments you want to store safely until New Year, you could rent a self storage unit
for a few weeks over December to free up plenty of space at home.
When the time comes to take your Christmas decorations back down, you can easily retrieve your year-round decorations and restore them to their usual places. You could store your Christmas decorations back in the loft/under the bed or wherever else you usually keep them, or (once you realise how useful it can be to have extra, clutter-free storage
!) you might decide to keep your self storage unit all year round! You could use it for your Christmas decorations and other seasonal items like garden furniture, camping gear and sports equipment.
If you’d like a no-obligation quote for self storage for your Christmas decorations or other household items, contact our friendly elves, who can help find the right storage solution to suit your budget.