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Holiday Decorating Tips that Save Time, Money and Stress

It seems that in the process of getting the house decorated for the holidays that there is a level of caution – whether it’s fear of hights putting up the lights, where to place precious keepsake decorations and how to limit pine needles from falling.

Trust me, I feel it too! That’s why over the years I’ve come up with some solutions that reduce my holiday stress. This post is not about decorating on a budget or being frugal. It’s about preserving your sanity when it comes to decorating for the holidays.

1. Keeping the Christmas Tree “Alive”
I once worked with a girl whose father owned a Christmas tree farm and she passed along this really helpful tip. You know the screws that are in your Christmas tree sand? Well, if they puncture your tree trunk, it’s like putting a hole in a straw – the water isn’t going to get up the tree. That is why stands come with those plastic green knobs that fit over the ends of the screws. Yes, the same green knobs that disappear every year.

I have made a habit to replace those plastic pieces with a portion of a wine cork. This is an excellent reuse idea for wine corks because it will preserve your tree’s health, attaches nicely to the tree stand screws and is environmentally friendly!

2. Protecting Against Smashed Light Bulbs
My absolute favorite holiday decoration is the candles in the window. But for the years that my kids were really little I didn’t put them out because I was afraid they’d knock them off the windowsill. Then when they were old enough I sternly explained to them that they break easily and not to knock them off. As I finished my speech, I turned around, hit the candle cord and one of the lights smashed against the hardwood floor. My 2-year-old son lovingly rubbed his hand on my back and said, “You’re a bad boy.”

After that I came up with the idea to put a rubber-band around the base of the candle and close part of the rubber-band in the window to secure it. You can also use a scrap of decorative fabric. I have never broken a candle bulb since implementing this trick.

3. Putting up Lights without using a ladder
I love the look of lights draped in an outdoor tree, but how exactly do you get to some of those high, far-out branches? Me, I use a clothes pole. Hook the string of lights into the notch in the top of the clothes pole; extend it toward the high branch and place the lights onto the branch. This will save time and the hassle of moving the ladder from limb to limb.

4. Erasing Errors on Photo Cards
Recently I received back a card that I sent out. Not knowing the person’s new address, I decided I’d reuse the photo card. One problem: I wrote a personal message on the back.
To remove the pen ink, I put a few drips of hand sanitizer over the message and scrubbed it off with the green side of a sponge. Then wiped the excess ink off with the yellow side.

5. Music Therapy
For all other areas of stress during the holidays, I’ll share with you a little jingle I made up for myself.
Sing to yourself to the turn of “Let It Snow”
Let it go
Let it go
Let it go
I really do swear by it!

Wishing you comfort and joy this holiday season!

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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2 Responses to Holiday Decorating Tips that Save Time, Money and Stress

  1. Jen@smallroomideas September 2, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    Thanks for the great tips! especially the one with wine cork, will try that with my Christmas tree this year!
    Jen@smallroomideas recently posted…10 Small Home Offices in The Kitchen To Inspire YouMy Profile

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