Organization ideas, simplifying, great storage ideas, creative gifts, gardening and lovely outdoor spaces, creating and decorating on a budget, repurposing and making the old new, and loving shabby chic. Being able to find what you need when you need it. Take back control of the "things" in your life, love where you are and love what you have so you can enjoy the ride.
Organize Simplify Create Design
It is perpetual, living life and keeping it simple. Peace of mind comes from having a place for things. As I watched "Horton Hears a Who", with my grandchildren I thought about no matter how "tiny" the thing, it deserves a home. So I live by the old adage, a place for everything and everything in its respective place...
Step 1- Set up your tree with lights. Years ago, we finally bit the bullet and bought a beautiful artificial tree. I put up three trees normally and have my mind on a pencil type tree for our master bedroom this year, we shall see. So whether you have a real tree, pre-lit tree or artificial tree you have to put lights on this is your first step after setting the tree up. I begin assembly at the bottom of my tree and add the lights as I go. As you can see I like a lot of lights. I also place plug strip that is wired, (zip-ties work great for this) to the tree trunk, place it about a third of the way up the tree so as you string your lights together you don't end up bogged down with extension cords. Your lights usually have a warning as to how many strands you can string together. (Sometimes as few as three) So now you have a place to plug them in hidden from view. I also plug in one of those step on plugs at the bottom, so a toe tap turns the whole tree on or off. :) Another huge helpful hint that will be hidden by a tree skirt is go buy yourself a set of furniture floor glides. The ones we have are for hard floors, but they sell them for carpet too. I got mine at Lowes.
Waxman 4-Pack 5-in Round Reusable Felt Hard Surface Sliders
Item #:36797 | Model #:4713395N
Step 2 - If you want garland, ribbon or beads on, now is the time. You can measure your tree height and add a few feet, cut all your ribbons the same length, string them from the top, maybe from a bow, or let them fall across the tree tucking as you go like mine is done here. I just have a spool of wire handy. Just step back occasionally to be sure they are spaced properly. No perfection, remember you'll have decorations on soon.
Step 3 - Layout your decorations on the table or island. (I have a big island, the floor even works) Now if you haven't stored your tree trimming things in a bin, buy one now, so at the end of the season everything goes in the bin or bins for the tree you are designing. Organizing tip.. :) If you can't afford a bin this year and cardboard box is fine. No matter what you use, LABEL IT! In my opinion the tree is the first thing to go up. So you can go right to that box when it's time. Put all like items together in piles.
Step 4 - Gather your hooks and try to keep same size items close to each other. The small ornaments become filler.
Step 5 - Pull the tree out from the wall or corner. See how those little glides help? Lowes sells them or you can even get them at Amazon. These are Waxman Reusable Furniture Sliders. It is sheer magic how easily the tree slides in and out. Get your ladder out and you are all set.
Step 6 - If you like clusters on your tree, preassemble them. I use my hot glue gun to glun down those pesky ornament tops that like to pop out when you want to bundle them together. Hot glue those hanger tops on, work in threes, choose to bundle them with ribbon, raffia, mesh, whatever you like, but start with wire to keep them secure. Assemble as many large bauble groups as you have. Then you'll know how to place them on your tree.
Step 7 - Begin to place your ornament groups. Begin with the first one at the top. It helps to know now what will go on top of your tree. Be it angel, bell, special tree topper. Don't place it just yet, but know how much room it takes and if it trails down at all. Allow for that as you place groups. Place your next grouping near the bottom opposite the one you placed at the top. Continue going up and then down opposite to create balance. Stand back and adjust if you need to.
Small groups of baubles are next, glue the tops and wire them together. Place these the same way you did the larger bundles, filling in between where the others go.
Step 8 - Leafy or feathery filler is nice to tuck in beside the small ornament groups. Choose colors that compliment your color groups. The thing I love about these is that if I decide to add in a new element of color in future years, this is an inexpensive way to add that pop of color to make it new as my tastes change, or my mind, which ever comes first. :)
Step 9 - Specialty ornaments This can be specially themed ornaments. I have used butterflies, dragon flies and other insects, just because we love the outdoors, adore our wild birds and such. This is very individual. I always place these randomly about the tree, however, each piece holds a prominent place that can be seen as the tree is gazed upon. Other individual ornaments are chosen because of their ability to bring out the colors of the tree and are used to fill in bare spots. Many of mine clip on the tree branches.
The photo to the right shows the special hangers I use. Target even sells these if you can get there before they sell out.
Here are a few of the themed ornaments I have collected through the years. My red butterflies are stored away for a year when my reds come back. I switched to aqua a few years ago and still like having my tree done to match my accent aqua pieces in my home.
I like glitz and bling. Your tree does not have to include these. I use this same design principles on my traditional tree I set up in my dining area. I also have a Beach themed tree that is set up on the patio.
Step 10 - Add your tree skirt, or gathering of Lam'e, or burlap, you can even arrange a table cloth to hide underneath. Now you can add your tree topper. Ours is an old angel that had been our girl since our first Christmas. Again this is a personal choice. You can put a bow up there, feathers? Pinterest is full of ideas. Now sit down and admire your lovely tree. (confession...i find glitter until about July of the following year, it's like fairy dust?)
Now you can go about adding the rest of your favorite things to the house.
Be sure to visit my earlier blog post "How to decorate your tree like a pro", more photos, more hints. Spreading out your decorating so it's enjoyable....
Do your mantle, entry. Front door and guest bath. Pull out your favorite things first. I like a little Christmas in every room.
Lamp shades don't mind bows, and neither do clocks. I put this here and my husband said "Oh that looks good there!" So I left it.