7 Mistakes You’re Probably Making When Storing Your Holiday Decorations

Christmas

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It’s all fun and spiked eggnog when it’s time to decorate for Christmas. But after the holiday is over you’ll probably hear crickets instead of clamors to help with the twinkle lights and wreaths.

Yes, the post-Christmas haze is exhausting. And the only thing you may feel like doing is tossing every ornament into a giant bag—and then stuffing it in the nearest closet. Unfortunately, doing this will guarantee you a load of frustration come next year

Take heart: Even home professionals can’t stand the thought of organizing their baubles.

“Honestly, it took a busted pipe in my basement for me to get my act together and store things in a reasonable manner,” admits Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP, a home staging and decorating company.

Don’t let your holiday finery become a hot mess! Here are seven mistakes to avoid when taking down and storing decorations.

1. Working solo

Like folding king-size sheets, storing holiday decorations with a partner makes things much easier, says Darla DeMorrow, author of “Organize Your Home With Sort and Succeed.”

“Having someone to help with carting the storage boxes up and down can shorten the process,” she says.

And who knows, she adds, you might uncover some things that will make you more efficient next year—like that one of you doesn’t mind schlepping boxes, while the other likes the tedium of packing things in bubble wrap.

2. Not properly protecting your decorations

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Pack up your decorations properly.skhoward/IStock

And speaking of bubble wrap, don’t gloss over this step.

“Not taking the time to protect delicate items is a big mistake when it comes to putting away holiday decor,” says Jamie Novak, author of “Keep This Toss That.”

It’s normal to want to rush through this tedious job so you can be done with it, but moving too quickly will just result in breakage.

3. Forgetting to cull (and donate) your decorations

If you didn’t put it up this year, what are the chances you’ll do it next year?

“Anything that’s in disrepair or out of favor I toss,” Gray-Plaisted says.

After all, it’s a good excuse to shop the after-Christmas sales—where you’re sure to find new items that you’ll actually want to display next year. And on that note, make sure to save room in storage for anything you might buy.

“You will get more, so don’t pack your bins all the way to the top,” Novak says.

Before you toss your purged decorations in the trash, though, consider donating them. Shelters, public libraries, health care centers, and other nonprofits might welcome the chance to give your used decorations a second life.

4. Tossing decorations in willy-nilly

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Don’t throw stuff into storage without a clear plan.Susan Vineyard/iStock

If you have garland in four different boxes, you’ll never keep track of it from year to year. Instead, store like with like.

“Put items to decorate the outside together, and place soft goods in their own bin, such as tablecloths, stockings, runners, and napkins,” Gray-Plaisted suggests.

And be sure to pack up the pieces, parts, and written directions for each item together.

“You think you’ll remember how to set up the tree, but you won’t,” Novak cautions.

5. Labeling your decorations vaguely

On a related note, once you’ve packed things together, get out that magic marker. Sure, you’ll write “lights” on the box of lights, but try to be more specific when it comes to labeling your containers. Are the lights for the mantel, mailbox, Christmas tree, or something in the yard?

Novak also recommends labeling boxes as “X out of X” (e.g., “5 out of 7”). If you do this, you won’t miss out on a box or search for one that doesn’t exist.

6. Cheaping out on organizational supplies

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Plastic storage bins filled with decorations for various holidaysChris_Soucy/iStock

Stop yourself before reaching for those brown paper bags!

“Make this the year to invest in sturdy containers for all your ornaments,” Gray-Plaisted urges.

“They may seem pricey, but good ones can last the rest of your life,” DeMorrow adds.

And as long as you’re splurging, opt for red and green containers that are easy to spot in a garage or storage space.

7. Not keeping notes

As you put things away, make notes on what needs replacing or items you need to add your collection (e.g., broken lights, stained cocktail napkins, or a bigger turkey platter for next year). With a detailed list, you can strategically hit those half-price sales in January and fill in the holes for next year.

Posted by Jennifer Geddes on realtor.com

 

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Sneak Peek! 10 Design Predictions For 2017

Bye, granite! Marble is going to take over in a major way for 2017.

Bye, granite! Marble is going to take over in a major way for 2017.

Find out the biggest decor trends now, before they dominate on Instagram.

Although it hasn’t arrived yet, 2017 is already shaping up to be an interesting year for decor. There’s a sea change coming to our homes that designers have been sensing over the past few months, especially in areas that have long been dominated by one look. For example: granite countertops. For the longest time, you couldn’t watch five minutes of a real estate hunting–type show without hearing a potential homeowner wax poetically about the virtues of the pricey material. But a cursory glance through Instagram’s top design accounts shows a surprising lack of the ubiquitous material, which possibly signals the end of the granite era. Instead, trends for 2017 are all about options that express your unique perspective on decor — and this idea goes far beyond our kitchens.

“Home interiors and the concept of ‘living well’ [are] changing,” says New York, NY–based interior designer Heather Higgins. “It is less about opulence and fashion and more about comfort, ease, and a sense of personal style.” The emphasis on individualism is resulting in the rise of trends that are anything but traditional. Here are the top looks that have registered on the radar of design experts, along with a few formerly popular decor ideas that will be on the wane in 2017.

1. Cerused woods

Also referred to as a limed-wax finish, this technique adds color to wood while also revealing its unusual grain. It’s expected to be big for cabinets and flooring, especially in dramatic hues of black, “greige,” and dark gray.

2. Marble surfaces

If we had to name one of the biggest trends of 2017, marble would be it. In white or black, the material has jumped over from chic cafes and restaurants and into our kitchens and bathrooms. It’s not just for countertops, though: Look out for marble motifs in carpets, wallcoverings, and even fabrics.

3. Animal-inspired textures

Whether real or faux, leather, shagreen, and parchment will be hot materials for 2017. Mainly, these hides will be used as an unexpected pop of texture in accent furniture.

4. Statement headboards

Designers have noticed a pattern when it comes to beds: The emphasis is on a headboard rather than a traditional bed (the kind that comes with a matching footboard). And those headboards? They’re statement pieces with bold silhouettes and luxe fabrics.

5. Shiny metal finishes

Think shiny hardware is so ’80s? Think again. Polished brass and bronze knobs, knockers, pulls, and faucets are back in a big way. It’s a trend that’s easy to bring into your home — just swap out your current hardware.

6. Matte appliances

Stainless steel has long been the default choice for stylish kitchens everywhere. Not in 2017. Following the trend in beauty, matte-finish appliances in dark hues bring an element of drama into the kitchen.

7. Patterned wallcoverings

After years of solid walls, wallpaper is poised for a comeback. Designers are seeing an interest in all-over, dramatic patterns like paisley, overscaled florals, and abstract designs. You’ll see these wallcoverings in small spaces, like powder rooms, often in darker hues.

8. Jewel tones

No longer are homeowners (and renters with understanding landlords) content with blank white walls. Jewel tones like emerald and amethyst add warmth and personality to a space, particularly in entryways and small spaces. It’s not just about hue but also intensity. Even neutral paint colors like gray can go bolder.

9. Nailhead details

You’ve seen them on sofas for ages, but now nailhead details jump to accent pieces like storage chests, credenzas, and even light fixtures. They even form their own patterns — no longer limited to the edges.

10. Overdyed rugs

We’ll never see sisals and solids go out of fashion, but there is something new in the world of rugs. It’s all about an overdyed effect that features rich, saturated colors. These colorful showstoppers are practically pieces of art for your floor.

Posted by Brie Dyas on Trulia

 

How to Decorate Simply for the Holidays (With Big Impact)

Focus on these three areas to maximize your decor efforts.

You may have dreams of decorating your home like it’s a display window at a fancy department store, but then reality strikes: You’ve still got gift shopping and wrapping to do, holiday parties to attend and host … not to mention your everyday life to live.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Go for intentional minimalism. Some years, less is more.

Simple decor can still have a big impact — not the least of which is relieving you of some holiday hustle and bustle. All you need to do is hone in on sprucing up three key areas in your home.

Target your tree

The most obvious place to start is your Christmas tree. For an easy, fuss-free tree, go with a monochromatic color scheme.

Metallic ornaments give your tree extra glitz and seasonal sparkle.

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Metallic ornaments give your tree extra glitz and seasonal sparkle.

Another option is to use all neutral colors so you don’t have to worry about balancing a color palette or tree placement — it will coordinate with any room’s normal decor.

Make your mantel magical

If you have a fireplace in your home, the mantel is an ideal spot to bring a little holiday cheer, but don’t make it too complicated.

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Cotton branches intertwined with silver artificial garland.

Choose a statement-making garland to hang or drape across the top. Place some candles on the mantel to light at night, and you’re good to go.

Top off your table

The holidays are a prime time for entertaining, hosting, and gathering around the table. So bring seasonal flair to your table with a beautiful garland, which can go a long way as a table runner.

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A garland made of magnolia leaves and evergreen creates a dramatic table runner.

Make the decor as simple as placing a lush garland in the center of your table and mixing in candles for added ambiance.

Decorating for the holidays has never been so easy. Focus on these three spots, and your home will feel magical and holiday-ready in no time.

Photos courtesy of White Buffalo Styling Co

Posted by Lindsay Jackman on Zillow