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5 Tips for Stress-Free Decorating this Holiday Season

SMP Contributor

With the crisp in the air getting ever more pronounced I simply can't wait for evenings spent driving past beautiful light displays in my neighborhood. I love everyone's unique take on holiday decorations. However, the holidays can also be a stressful time of year in many ways.

Decorating and preparing for the holidays should be an enjoyable part of the season so I'm sharing five must-know tips for stress-free decorating.

Sometimes Less is More

Descending into the basement after Thanksgiving and unearthing piles of holiday decor boxes can be quite overwhelming. What's more, the thought of pulling out all those little trinkets and garlands can feel like an insurmountable feat.

No one said you have to use every single holiday decoration you have each and every year. The holidays are about family and the goes for decorating as well. Decide what's important to your family and leave the rest of the boxes for another year. No matter how many candles are on your mantle or how many evergreen garlands you drape, the family that helps place those items are far more important at the end of the day.

Undecorate First

I've always thought it's best to start any project with a clean slate. You do the dishes before you make your next meal, you pack up beachwear before you bring out your sweaters, so the same should hold true for holiday decor.

Instead of adding more decorations to an already fully styled and decorated house, take some time to undecorate your place first to give yourself a blank canvas to outfit for the festivities. While it may seem odd to take down some of your staple home decorations, doing this will help you feel more at peace and your seasonal decorations will truly shine.

Utilize Fresh Elements

I'm a sucker for the seasonal section in all my favorite stores. While I may already have enough ornaments to decorate all the Christmas trees in my neighborhood, I always find myself enamored by new holiday trinkets. Inevitably, I accumulate a few new decor items every year and after a while, all those little items start to add up.

What I love about utilizing fresh elements in your seasonal house styling is that you don't have to worry about post-holiday clutter. I am a die-hard fan of fresh Christmas trees and appreciate the fact that I don't have to store a fake tree for 11 months a year. The same goes for fresh wreaths and evergreen garlands.

Concentrate Your Focus

Where do you spend the majority of your time during the holidays? In my family, we cycle between the kitchen and the living room all winter long. My favorite place during the holidays is cuddled up with mulled cider and a fire in the living room. I've come to realize it really doesn't matter how the bathroom, mudroom, or hallway are decorated.

While a nice spiced candle or small wreath is a quaint touch to any space, don't feel the need to go overboard on areas where people won't spend large amounts of time. Focus your energy on the areas you'll spend most of your time. In the end, that will bring you the most joy!

Highlight Your Existing Decor

My parents have a gorgeous mantle over their fireplace and curate a beautiful winter scene on the mantle every year. A few of my neighbors have truly stunning front stoops and spend a little extra effort on their potted plants and front door decor. An easy way to ensure you love your holiday decor is to play to the strengths of your favorite nooks and crannies in your house.

If you already love your dining room table during the other months of the year, it stands to reason that you would enjoy making a holiday tablescape to highlight the table's beauty. However, if you find yourself struggling to enjoy decorating your bar cart during the spring or summer, don't let yourself get frustrated decorating it this winter. Find the areas in your house that are most life-giving to you and focus on highlighting those areas!

What do you do to de-stress during the holiday decorating season? I would love to hear your tips and tricks for staying calm this year!

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Hannah Nowack is a freelance writer, calligrapher, and event designer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When she isn't working, you will find her decorating her Danish Modern-inspired apartment, frequenting the gourmet cheese counter, or enjoying a glass of Cabernet with friends.