THBOrganize: The Ultimate Holiday Planning Guide (Part 2)

So in our last At Home with The Happiness Bucket, we talked about our keys for decluttering, organizing and decorating.  Today, we would like to share with you how we decorate for the various months, to minimize on the amount of décor that is needed in the home and how we prep our home for the winter.  We will TRY to do this in a systematic way…going month by month…so let’s get started!

September – In our home, this is the month that signifies serious football and the start of us switching our house over to a much cozier mood.  The weather gets cooler, so I want more blankets available around the house and we inevitably will need to pull a few coats out of storage as well.  Now, I hope that you would have gone through the coats at the end of the season last year, but if you are anything like me, you may have thought oh I can wear that one more season…but then the new season comes and you face the facts of…nope I need to let this go.  You also may want to get your coats and blankets washed/cleaned since they have not been used in a while.  This is also the time that I start considering pulling out the flannel sheets, but if you live in the South you know that in most cases this is too early, but who wants to wait until it is supposed to freeze to pull out and wash the flannel sheets???  Remember plan ahead.

What about the time…it also changes so it makes sense to change batteries, clocks and timers in the house to coincide with the time and it getting darker earlier.  You want to make sure to check your fire extinguisher levels and your fire alarm to ensure the batteries are up to date.  Close the vents to the basement/crawl space of your home and also winterize your irrigation system and pipes.

Most pumpkin patches start around this time and the trees begin to change so that helps guide our decorating.  We add decorations that bring out more of the autumn colors – reds, oranges, greens and browns.  To decorate we use many inexpensive items…fake leaves and potpourri, pumpkins and scarecrows.  We put out our fall tablescape as well, which includes changing the placemats and napkins (scored during the Dillard’s New Year’s Day sale).   In our home, we really didn’t have to take down any of our day to day decorations because we don’t really decorate for the other seasons of the year.  We might shift things around, but all in all it is just about adding items.

October – I will preference this by saying I don’t like having ghoulish items such as witches and vampires in our home.  I do however want to embrace my husband’s culture and educate our daughter regarding the day of the dead celebration.  So, I decided we would begin collecting pumpkins and happy scarecrows to put out as well as sugar skulls and photos that remind us of people who have passed on.  These items are just added to the décor I put out in September.

November is when we remove the items added in October and if available will add more of the cornucopia’s and giving thanks type of items. We use this time to declutter our October décor items that we no longer want and pack away the items we used during the season or purchased during the end of season sales.

December of course (really Thanksgiving night or the weekend after Thanksgiving) we begin removing all the fall items and add the Christmas items.  This of course is the longest decorating process we have because this is my favorite time of the year. I grew up in a home that was a Christmas wonderland and that is part of our family tradition and I want my daughter to experience the same feeling of joy. This like in November is the time when we declutter the fall/Thanksgiving items to ensure they should stay, we make note of any additional items we would like to obtain for the next season and we pack away the items in a way that they fall in the proper month order.

January, well…this is the time when we really focus on decluttering and organizing our décor items. Although we tackled some of the décor items in earlier months, if something was obtained after the fact, we forget to pack something up or we just don’t have a lot of time to go through the items due to life happenings, we pick this time to do it all. As I mentioned in our last post, we have containers that we use for each season, but if you don’t have any that’s ok…grab used boxes from work or a big box store and pack away your items. Make sure to protect them properly with packing paper if necessary and label the containers so you know what is in each box.

As you put items away, take a little longer look at each item. Did you use it this year? Do you like it? Is it broken or damaged in anyway. See Holiday decluttering is one that we don’t do often enough…these are the items that hold the most memories in them…this is where Clutter tends to come to stay and it is ok because they represent memories of your life…right?!?!?  Well…really that is a big ol’ cop out that we need to stop…it’s hard, but you can do it. Think, can someone else benefit from this item that you keep boxed up each year? Or is your house overflowing with stuff you put out for the holidays…to the point where people don’t have a place to sit? A perfect example, I have this motorized Mrs. Clause Doll that I have put out every year since I got it twelve years ago. In the past three or four years, family members have told me it creeps them out. It now has become a joke in our family and this year I really didn’t want to put it out. I decided, that I should get rid of it because I don’t care for it anymore and apparently neither does my extended family lol. Since it seems to creep out adults, I’d hate to traumatize my daughter by putting it out and scaring her. These are the types of decisions you need to make during this month. Let the items go…

I know you can do it, so don’t fret…get in there and tackle that clutter! Organize those decorations and start your year off knowing that next September will be that much easier because of what you have already accomplished.

In an upcoming post, we discuss end of the season sales…how to prep for them and how to be successful.

About Dana LaRieal Morales

Dana LaRieal Morales is the Founder of The Happiness Bucket where she coaches individuals and teams on having a better work-life balance. She is a Certified Project Manager, an Alum of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she earned her degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and she is also an Alum of Tennessee State University where she earned her Masters in Public Administration, She uses her vast organization, project management and process improvement experiences to help those around her be their best selves.

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