With the arrival of October, everyone around the neighborhood has started descending into their basements, on the hunt for last year’s packed-up decor. Your next-door neighbor is plugging in lights to check bulbs, turning on blowers, and cleaning up leaves. If you’ve ever decorated your home for a holiday, you know it will take up most of your weekend. What can you do to prepare and make the day of setup as easy as possible?
1. Unpack, Test and Clean
Most of us keep all of our holiday decorations packed away for 11 months out of the year. Whether they’re sitting in an attic or your basement, the first step will be to pull them out of hiding. As you release your decorations from the dark corners of your house, take a moment to make an inventory for what you have. Are there any new things you want to try this year?
Clean any decorations that were exposed during storage – wipe away dust and scrub off any spiderwebs. Test all of your electronics to make sure they work properly; if you’ll have your setup on a timer, test it as well.
2. Go Shopping
Pick up any tools or electronic equipment you need to add to or replace in your decorating kit. Always keep spare light bulbs, strings of lights, and extension cords. If you use paper or styrofoam decorations for anything, be sure to purchase extra.
3. Prepare the Canvas
Think of decorating as an art form; whether you’re setting up a fabulous outdoor light show or simply livening up your home’s interior, you’ll want a fresh slate to work with.
Start by cleaning up your lawn – rake or blow your leaves off of your front yard, mow the grass, trim up any hedges or trees, clean your gutters, sweep your driveway. Don’t allow an unkempt yard to detract from your holiday excitement. Take this opportunity to refresh and revitalize your property, breathing life back into it before winter hits.
Inside the house, de-clutter and clean windows. Dust your baseboards and rearrange furniture if you feel inclined – a fresh perspective on the room will help you get a little bit more creative with your decorating!
Some artists are able to create masterpieces without any forethought, but most of us aren’t quite like that! Take some time to plan out where any of your large decorations will go. How will you address the windows, and how many of them will you decorate? Which trees and bushes will get lights so that everything feels even and balanced? Are there different ‘sections’ to your yard that you will be decorating differently?
Take the time to organize all of your decor and purchase any additional pieces. If you have to stop in the middle of decorating because you can’t find your fifty-foot extension cord, you’ll become frustrated and your sense of creativity may fizzle away. Organizing the pieces from your decorating plan will also help set-up move much faster.
4. Have Fun!
The holidays are an exciting, wonderful time; take your time and enjoy it! Take pictures as you make progress, and be sure to take a video that captures the big reveal! Each year will be different, and you can learn from past mistakes and failures. Above all, have a great time – get the family or some friends involved! This will help the work go by more quickly, and you’ll all have more fun doing it.