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The holidays are coming and you're dreading the thought of crouching into the crawl space to pull out boxes of old Christmas decorations. You know the lights will be tangled and the ornaments will be crushed. No one in your family wants to pack everything up when it's over, so you just end up throwing it all in boxes. Sound familiar?
You can decorate your house for Christmas the way professionals do with a little care and planning.
First off, make a plan for how you will store decorations even before you get started this year. If you repeat the cycle of stashing your ornaments haphazardly, you're going to have the same problem next year which is always stressful, on top of buying holiday gifts but that's another story...
Experts buy tubs in red and green so they can easily spot their Christmas decorations from among the other things stored in an attic or basement. These boxes go on sale around the Christmas holidays and are on clearance come New Year's Day. So pick a few extras up.
Keep the boxes your bulbs came in. That way, they have a safe home and you'll know if any are missing when you put them away!
Now, go through all your decorations. Throw out any that are broken or beyond reasonable use. Has anything molded or rusted in storage? Toss it. Any broken glass should be bagged up carefully to avoid cuts. You surely have things in your boxes that are unwanted and unloved. You may have a ceramic reindeer with a broken antler. It's time for it to go.
Or you may have a set of Nutcrackers that you got as a gift which are just not your style. Those can be donated to charity for someone else to love.
Experts also label their boxes. If you want to have an easy time of decorating, label each container with what's inside. Simply writing "Living Room Angels" is enough.
Image by CarbonNYC on Flickr
You'll remember and you don't have to get crazy with an itemized inventory list of each box. A quick few words will save you lots of digging in the end.
Once you have weeded out all the broken ornaments and busted light strands, you'll feel good about what you have left. Professionals design rooms, they don't just slap up a few decorations and call it a day. They take time to find items that complement each other and work nicely together.
If you have mismatched ornaments and lights in colors that don't work with your decor, give them away. If they have sentimental value, or if they were Christmas gifts of years passed, consider working them into your decoration and making the most of their appearance.
Start fresh by purchasing your Christmas decor at the department or big box retailer. Each year, these stores come out with entire collections that are designed to work together effortlessly. Which is always nice in the long run, and especially for the years to come.
Brand name collections are known for offering collections each year that work with the ones from the year before. So you don't have to buy new every year.
Pick a theme. Maybe this year you want to do all snowmen or all silver and white. Or maybe you want all vintage Santas or reindeer. It's up to you. Then choose ornaments and decor that sticks within your theme. Don't grab that multicolored lit wreath if you only want to do silver this year. It will clash. But you can spray paint anything that you love and have already that doesn't match.
For instance, you might have some Christmas trees that are perfectly good but in an awful color. Spray paint them gold and they'll fit in with just about any theme. Experts don't use items that don't work in a room. They are selective for the most dazzling results.