Today's post is not necessarily pretty. It is very practical. But hopefully, it will lead to a whole lot of Christmas pretty around you home!

I used to dread dread dread Christmas decorating. Not the actual decorating while Christmas music is playing in the background... but the rooting through the basement to find all those huge blue bins (that all look alike) stuffed with all sorts of Christmas decorations from the last 30 years or so. I moaned and groaned as I lugged  them upstairs to root through them some more. And in the end I usually left most of the Christmas content in the big blue bins and only used one or two items from them to decorate! UGH!

Now decorating is a breeze! It's so much easier than the decorating ghosts of Christmas pasts! I'm so excited to show you how I tamed my inner decorating grinch and all that blue bin decor to find joy and fun in Christmas decorating...this is the BEST Christmas decorating tip you will ever get...


This is my Christmas decor...all of it!







Last year I got rid of the heavy blue bins that held... the Rudolph with the light up nose... the collection of ceramic and cloth Santas... the strings of lights that didn't work...the cutsie Santa suite with the big black plastic belt... 10 Santa hats ( I kept 2 )...the nativity with the missing baby Jesus and camel... the dozens of snowmen... the red and white Christmas snack bowls... the stuffed moose that sings Rockin'-Around-The-Christmas-Tree while wiggling... the cross stitch Santa pictures...and all the festive chotchkies that were adorable 20 years ago, but now are just old and dated and tired!

My mantra was

BE RUTHLESS!

And ...

DON'T BE SENTIMENTAL


I gave much of my Christmas decor away to Goodwill (someone will love the singing, wiggling moose). And I thew away everything that did not work or was in bad shape.

I have one blue bin in the garage for my daughter and daughter-in-law to go through and what they don't want does not come back into the house... it goes straight to Goodwill!


After the great Christmas purge of 2012 I put the rest of my decorations in smaller, clear boxes and labeled them with my fabulous label maker. I organized like things together! Pinecones with pinecones... Christmas greens with Christmas greens etc.


I went from 30+ boxes and big blue bins to just what fits on two utility tables!








The boxes are housed in the basement on a shelving unit... easy to see... easy to get to.

When it's time to decorate, all the boxes come us and are put on utility tables in a corner of my foyer.

This is Christmas Decor Central!

Everything I need to decorate is right here... at my fingertips! Excluding the tree ornaments, large wreaths and Christmas pillow covers.

Because my decorating style has changed, I now use bowls of greens and pinecones and paperwhites and boxwood wreaths. Decorating for Christmas has taken on a much more organic and natural feel. And honestly, is a whole lot easier!










The boxwood wreath below is in the middle box on the left in the above picture... along with it's ribbon.

Easy to find, easy to decorate!









I also keep a small laundry basket and...








 a  tool box at hand.








I use the laundry basket to gather the decor I need from the boxes to put together the mantel or a centerpiece or a wreath....


And the toolbox contains all the things I might need to stick, cut, hang, tape, glue, bind, pinch, wrap and label!

This is a Christmas decorating life-saver!








Here's an example of how Christmas Decor Central works...


Last year when I was decorating my family room mantel...


I went to Christmas Decor Central and gathered the materials from the boxes I needed and put them in the laundry basket.

I then got the other items I need from around the house like, candlesticks, mercury glass containers and lanterns. They also went in the laundry basket.


I arranged the mantel and used the wire and snips from the tool box to add the bows and snowflakes to the white lanterns.

EASY PEASY!



Christmas Mantel 2012




This year I am adding more life-like faux greens to my Christmas decor. I love live greens, but they are a mess! So I'll be mixing more faux with live greens!

The new greens will have their own clear labeled box.

When I am done decorating, the boxes are returned to the basement and brought out again when it is time to put all the decorations away.

SOOOOOO EASY!!!!


This process has made decorating a joy!










I hope you start Christmas decorating by having THE GREAT CHRISTMAS PURGE OF 2013. Remember to repeat the mantras...

BE RUTHLESS... DON'T BE SENTIMENTAL... BE RUTHLESS... DON'T BE SENTIMENTAL...


Then go ahead and organize, label and set up a Christmas Decorating Central with laundry basket and tool box...


and get busy decorating and... crank up the Christmas music!!!!




Remember to

 
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