13 Holiday Decorating Mistakes ... and How to Avoid Them

Follow these tips and your house will be the talk of the neighborhood for all the right reasons.

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December 03, 2018

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The Mistake: Dry Christmas Tree

There's nothing sadder than a Christmas tree that starts to wither away before the big day arrives. Alternative and plastic trees are fine but how do you make sure your real tree lasts through the holidays?

The Solution: Water Frequently

Fresh-cut Christmas trees require a lot of water to stay fresh so it's best to keep the bottom few inches of the stump submerged at all times. Follow these tips if you want to keep your living tree for years to come.

The Mistake: Mass-Produced Decorations

It seems like big-box stores start selling holiday decor earlier and earlier every year and while there’s nothing wrong with picking up a few things here and there, you want to be careful to avoid turning your home into a replica of the store display.

The Solution: DIY Decorations

Make your own Christmas decorations, crafts and centerpieces this year for a festive feel that's unique to your home.

The Mistake: Pet Hazards

Around the holidays, it’s important to keep the safety of our furry friends in mind. The main things to look out for is your pet getting tangled in holiday lights and potential eating hazards such as the water in the Christmas tree stand, plants (poinsettias, holly and mistletoe), and candy left out in the open.

The Solution: Remove Dangerous Items

Avoid poisonous plants if you have pets and don't leave food unattended. Take every precaution you can for the safety of your pets as well as those who may be visiting because the last thing you want is an emergency trip to the vet.

The Mistake: Overpowering Scents

Have you ever walked into someone’s home around the holidays and immediately hit a scented wall of gingerbread or winter spruce? You can probably purchase a holiday candle in just about every scent imaginable but that doesn’t mean you should.

The Solution: All-Natural Fragrance

Instead of filling your home with synthetic winter scents, we recommend a natural air freshener that not only smells fantastic but also doubles as a great gift idea.

The Mistake: Lawn Inflatables

There’s always that one house in the neighborhood that can’t resist the giant inflatables for sale around the holidays. Kids love them but they almost always turn out to be more trouble than they’re worth and they’re expensive too.

The Solution: Traditional Curb Appeal

If you want more of a traditional look, avoid the 10 foot Santa Claus and go with handmade holiday flair for your curb appeal instead.

The Mistake: Naked Mantel

The fireplace is the focal point of any living room and the mantel is prime for holiday decorating. Too often though, the mantel is cluttered with snow globes and Christmas cards (or nothing at all) with no real direction or theme.

The Solution: Designer Holiday Mantel

Transform your mantel into an elegant centerpiece that will look great as the backdrop for your family photos.

The Mistake: Overloaded Power Strip

There are so many fire hazards around the holidays and one of the best ways to stay safe is to limit the amount of wires you plug into your power strip. Not only is a tangled mess of wires unsightly, but you run the risk of starting a fire if your power strip overheats.

The Solution: Power Strip Safety

Before decorating, plan out where everything will go and use multiple outlets to avoid overloading. If you feel a wire starting to get warm, unplug it immediately.

The Mistake: Red and Green Everything

There is certainly nothing wrong these traditional holiday colors but why stick to the same old thing when there are so many other color combinations to choose from?

The Solution: Try New Colors

Mix things up around the holidays and don’t be afraid to break out of the red and green box.

The Mistake: Too Many Decorations

Similar to the inflatables, you don’t want to be that house in the neighborhood that goes overboard with the decorations. There is such a thing as too many lights!

The Solution: Less is More

Cut down on the decor (and your electric bill) by trying these DIY outdoor Christmas decorations.

The Mistake: Glitter Crafts for Kids

Glitter is a great way to add some sparkle to a Christmas card, holiday decoration or even a DIY sweater but when it comes to kids’ crafts, it can lead to a mess that seems impossible to clean up.

The Solution: Kid-Friendly Crafts

We recommend setting up a candy crafting table for kids or having them try these glitter-free, kid-friendly Christmas tree decorating ideas.

The Mistake: Thinking Size Doesn't Matter

As much as people will tell you otherwise — when it comes to Christmas trees, size does matter. Newsflash: Bigger is not always better! A grand tree in a 900-square-foot apartment will feel overwhelming, while a mid-size tree in a large living room will appear out of place and awkward.

The Solution: Stick to Scale

Keep the size of your space, and the height of your ceiling, in mind when selecting a tree. For petite pads, try using a tabletop tree to create a festive vignette for your entry console. If you have soaring ceilings in your living room, but aren’t ready to commit to a 10-foot tree, get creative with your placement. Set up your tree in the kitchen — Santa will appreciate the convenience to his milk and cookies!

The Mistake: Haphazard Hanging

Don’t be that person who adds a glitter-clad ornament to the first empty branch they see. After all your hard work, the last thing you want is to step back to admire your tree and be greeted by a chaotic mix of colored baubles and candy canes.

The Solution: Plan Your Placement

Be methodical while trimming your tree — and don’t over-do it. Create groups of ornaments based on like colors or size, starting with the bulkier baubles first. Work from top-to-bottom, evenly spacing the ornaments as you go. Allow some of the tree needles to shine through, and take stock of your tree after adding each grouping.

The Mistake: Careless Christmas Storage

If you plan to store your new, gorgeous glass globe ornaments in a flimsy, cardboard box like this one – don’t even bother buying them. You’ll either lose them in a sea of storage in your garage or they’ll be crushed by the time you pull them out next Christmas.

The Solution: Streamline Your Storage

Create a storage solution and storage system that fits your personal needs. Small, round ornaments fit perfectly in reusable egg cartons — use this hack and organize the baubles by color family. For more delicate ornaments, purchase a sturdier set of containers and use a label maker or neat handwriting in permanent marker to indicate where each ornament is stored. Make a separate master list that coordinates with your storage to make inventory a breeze next year.

See More Photos: 14 Clever Holiday Decor Storage Hacks

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