Monday, November 26, 2018

Holiday Decor... (Becoming Minimalist)

Last year, I was looking for CALM everywhere, for my unsettled heart, and wrote an entire blog series about it.  This year, however, it seems that I'm still basking in the joyful glow of what becoming more of a minimalist is doing in my life... so I'll continue writing about that here as it pertains to holiday décor and holiday plans, etc.  Funny, but there are a lot of ways that having a calm holiday and having a more minimalistic approach to them go hand in hand. Over the last two or three years, I have worked to pare down all of our holiday décor.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, because I was already moving toward simplicity in all other facets of life so this one fell right in line with that quite easily.  I've actually gotten our stored holiday décor down to one bin and every item in it has meaning, is loved, works in our home and is ONLY what I actually want to keep!

I started with the obvious things...  broken items, old items that never got put out for various reasons, or things we didn't choose for ourselves. (Think- wedding gifts, cast offs, things that worked in the old house but don't have a good spot in this one, items that looked great at first but got cracked or chipped over time, etc.) Later, I moved toward the harder things... things I perhaps actually loved, but never had found "just the right spot for" in our home. (Why do we hang on to things like that?)  One items comes immediately to my mind... I had a little deer that I kept moving all season long, for the last two years, because it drove me crazy every place I put it... but I LOVED it so I kept it. I once had a desk that it worked perfectly, sitting on top of, but I no longer own that item so it just didn't have a home.  I felt actual relief putting it into a consignment bin this week because I don't have time or space in my life to constantly be touching and managing things that aren't working right now, today.




I realized (and kept reminding myself) that I tend to prefer fresh decorations, over just about any other types and that helped me get serious about the sort.  I pushed myself to keep only those things that came out every year, that had a special, perfect place, or a memory attached, and that really represented the look and feel that I wanted to convey for my holiday home.

I strive to be a different (and hopefully encouraging) voice here, set apart from the flashing lights of constant excess this world seems to want to offer us.  You know the one... that voice that says you can't be happy with small, or less, or simple. That voice lies and convinces women to buy and shop and acquire and stockpile and store.  (And they aren't happy most of the time, when they get it "all,"  because they often hire people like me to come in and take it all away.)  I'm just finding that any forms of excess don't resonate or work for me in all of life, and if you're in a trap that seems to be magnified with the added EVERYTHING of the holidays... perhaps I can gently encourage you with this mindset.

Last summer, I wrote about capacity and home curating, here, which was the kick off to many more posts on becoming minimalist and what that meant to me personally. I stated, that each of our homes have a capacity and it's different for every person.  When the holidays arrive, we often burst way past our capacity levels and wonder why we are longing to undecorate on December 15th.  (I know I'm not alone in ever having felt like that.)  Instagram doesn't help! I'm seeing excess in so many homes displayed there.  (The day that the follow trains or home tours come out, my eyes often want to explode.)  So few people show a real life approach to "just right" and it honestly raises my own personal stress level to look at it. Can you relate?  


The way I decorated this year, was by mostly keeping our home the way it always looks, but removing a few things if a holiday item was added into a spot. This my friends is key!!  Don't just "add to"... take away something first, if you're adding something holiday-themed to a spot.  Tuck those every day décor and wall hangings away in a bin and enjoy the simplicity of your holiday items without the added clutter. In our home, I added greenery everywhere and that will either just be severely crunchy by Dec 25 or I'll refresh it half way through the season.  It's an inexpensive way to decorate that I love and feels fresh and clean without that overdone feeling closing in on me.


Minimalism makes us pause, ask; why we want it.  If we need it.  Where we will put it.  And will we treasure it... just to name a few of the questions it gives us time to stop and think.  I've noticed that if I do happen to be out shopping and see something that wasn't on my list (a very rare thing for me in and of itself these days) I naturally stop, hold the item, and visualize where it will go in my home.  I think through it's use and how it will blend with the items around it, etc.  Nine times out of ten, it goes back on the shelf, even if I love it.  If it has no purpose, I can't see it in my space and I really don't need it... what is the point?  There is deep freedom here. Knowing your own personal capacity and your home's capacity is hugely helpful for this quick mental exercise and your checkbook will thank YOU for taking the time to know yourself and your limits. (Ha! Ya don't hear those words much around this time of the year, do you?)

I guess our take-away from all of this is to take a look around as we decorate for the holidays this year and consider.  Is it my style and taste? Do I love it? Is it too much and just in need of a little editing? (Just because you have it, doesn't mean it all has to get put out, but that begs the question, if you're not putting it out... do you need to keep it?)  Let your holiday mindset be the same as the one you practice throughout the year and see what kind of CALM that brings. So much comes from the mindset of our homes.  Peace or chaos, it often starts right in our own homes.  I'll be sharing more home pics with you soon and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic in comments! 


10 comments:

  1. As we are moving in a couple of weeks, we've found ourselves drastically paring down and getting rid of things. And it is SO freeing. We're downsizing by about 1200 sf, and won't have the space, but beyond that - we've realized we've held on too thing for far too long just because (basically) we've been too lazy to deal with them.

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    1. You're not alone. So many people acquire tons of things over the years! Good for you, for doing the work... it seriously feels like weight loss! Haha!

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  2. Hi,
    Your home looks wonderful, as always. I love your greenery. Here in Australia we just don't have access to most of that, but I do have lots of artificial pine sprigs that have fallen off our vintage tree over the years, and some real pine cones, so I sprinkle them around my usual displays, over the years I've leaned to whites and a few pastels thrown in and I love that look, sometimes with a few tiny fairy lights added. I'm hoping to have some agapanthus blooms in the house this year, which we associate with Christmas here.
    I wish I had your resolution when it comes to ornaments, though. I have so many that I love. Too many to put on the tree, though, so each year I aim to get rid of some of the older, less attractive ones ... will see if I can actually follow through with that plan this weekend, sometimes I run out of energy by the time I reach the less-favoured ornaments at the bottom of the boxes!
    Your minimalism is inspiring me, and I like the way you are describing that it has been a process - that gives me hope!
    Enjoy December!

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    1. Everything looks prettier with lights, this time of year! Love that. Thank YOU for the encouragement... I'm so glad you're feeling inspired and you're so right, it is a massive process. Has taken me years to get here but so WORTH all the slow work.

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  3. Love this Sasha! Clearing the clutter from my home helps clear the clutter from my brain--thanks for reminding me that I can do that even during this time of year. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Oh yay! Yes you're so right... it really does help especially this time of year. You go girl!

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  4. Absolutely love, love this space. Your talent for making your home inviting and cozy is amazing!

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    1. Thank you Sara!! That means so much to me, to hear. I so appreciate your kind words!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your story and your space! Your blog brings me peace and joy : ) May I ask where you purchased the white curtains in the bedroom?

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    1. Hi Lisa, thank you! I'm so glad to hear that it's a soft place to land in the internet world out there. :) The curtains are super old and came from a friend who got them at Ikea. I don't know if they still sell this particular type, but they do have many cute alternatives that are fairly affordable. I hope you're able to find some!

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