Organize Seasonal Decorating
by Rachel Paxton
I don't spend a lot of money decorating my home. Many people don't want to spend the time or money to decorate with the seasons, but over the years I have learned some ways to creatively seasonally decorate that have cost little or next to nothing.
Because I work a lot, I don't spend very much time decorating my home. When I'm updating my home to a new seasonal theme, I don't spend more than a couple of hours arranging and rearranging to get a nice seasonal effect. Here are some of the ways I've learned to organize my seasonal accessories:
I store my seasonal decorations in several large stackable Rubbermaid containers: two for Christmas, one for Easter/spring, and one for autumn/Thanksgiving. When I'm ready to change themes, I get out the one(s) to put things away in, dust or otherwise clean the area(s) where the new decorations will sit, and then get out the new decorations. The storage containers get put back away, and everything is still organized for next season. Make sure you mark the containers in some way to know which one is which. Color coding them buy buying different colored containers works well.
You will inevitably forget to put something away and stumble across it when you're cleaning another day. In each bathroom I have a corner of a closet shelf reserved for miscellaneous seasonal decorations. Or if someone gives you a seasonal gift you don't have anywhere else to put at the moment, this is a good place to put it.
If you find the task of re-decorating your entire home overwhelming, look for certain areas of your home that would be good for displaying seasonal decorations. In my home the kitchen, dining room, and living room are the focal areas of our home. There are certain areas where I concentrate when decorating for the seasons:
- Kitchen: I don't do a lot of seasonal decorating in the kitchen, but there are a couple of easy things you can do to liven it up a little. Seasonal dish cloths and hand towels are really cute, as well as seasonal floor mats. If you use the towels for decoration only, like hanging from your oven door handle, they will still be nice for the next year. Seasonal refrigerator magnets are also easy to update.
- Dining Area: Our dining room table is the focal point of our dining room. We have a long oak table that is great for seasonal decorating. A table runner makes a nice seasonal addition. I have one made out of Easter fabric for spring, a floral one for summer, and one of Christmas fabric. I just need to get one for autumn. You can accessorize with seasonal place mats, napkins, and napkin rings. These you can make yourself or pick up at yard sales or clearance sales off-season. I also like to decorate the center of the table for the season. A lot of times I will use a vase of seasonal flowers. For autumn I have a vase of artificial fall foliage. I accent the vase with Indian corn, gourds, and artificial fall leaves.
- Living Room: The main areas of the living room I concentrate on are the fireplace mantel and hearth, a corner curio shelf, and the entertainment center. I lay a garland across the top of the entertainment center that can be changed with the seasons: fall foliage for autumn, flowers for spring and summer, and evergreens for winter. On the shelves of the entertainment center and the curio shelves I rotate my seasonal knickknacks. The last place I decorate is the top of the piano. Sometimes I just decorate with houseplants and photographs, but it is also a great place to showcase collections, like my angels at Christmas or my bunny village in the spring. I also have a piece of fabric draped over the piano that I can change with the seasons.
- Other: Window clings are great for any season. Door wreaths can also be rotated any time of year. My grapevine wreath goes up in the autumn and is soon replaced by my Christmas wreath. You could have one for every season. Although I don't have one yet, a lot of people have seasonal flags or banners displayed outside of the house. These you could buy or make yourself.
These are just ideas to get in the mood of seasonal decorating. Learning to bring the outdoors indoors can be fun. There are many easy, inexpensive ways you can change the look of your home to get in tune with the seasons.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of five. For recipes, cleaning tips, gardening, frugal living, holiday hints, and more, visit her site and sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.creativehomemaking.com
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