How can i prepare our house for Christmas?(20 Posts)
My house is a tiny victorian terrace, the downstairs is basically long and thin. if you imagine south is the window and front door, north is the kitchen. We have two sofas and a coffee table, on the east wall, and on the west is the table, cat tree, kids toy box, sideboard/cupboard and the TV, there is a thin walkway down the middle from front door to kitchen.
Its packed with STUFF and lack of storage means we have nowhere to put stuff at the best of times, but we're having Christmas at home this year (first time in yonks) and i want to try and make it special and festive.. but there is so much SHITE around... kids, cats, paperwork.
Our living room is just that.. lounge, diner, office, shoe cupboard, games room, dressing room its all things to all people basically... then you add the cats and their stuff, tree, litter box, feeding station, toys & beds.
Its so poky, that over xmas, our Tree lives on the table, but we don't usually eat at home, or have eaten off laps the odd one we have been home.
I desperately need some ideas on how to make it special for christmas this year.
I am not sure what your colour scheme is, but I change my curtains to a red tartan for December (I have the Next ones) and add tartan and festive cushions to the sofas, drape warm cosy coordinating throws over the sofas and hang bunting from the picture rails (Sainsbury's has a lovely one). All that alone without any Christmas decorations instantly transforms the room and makes it feel very festive. Is your Christmas tree the best size or shape for your room? You can get really slim ones now if that helps.
How about fairy lights? Lights outside the house? Poinsettia? hanging decorations but not on tree? Or I saw some cool 2d trees at our garden centre/ ideas of felt Christmas trees online
reds and creams, i have very deep red curtains and carpet, sofas are black leather. we have dark wood ceiling beams.
Table/chairs are very old 70's wood things.. belonged to my grandmother and are older than me i think!
We have moved but my old house was similar.
I think you need to take 30 minutes or so out everyday specifically for clearing rooms. So get green black sacks and black sacks. Green sacks go to charity. Black for the rubbish. Scan paperwork in and shred the rest. Children's art. Keep one or two and photograph the rest. Be really ruthless. Super strict.
I did this in my last house. It took a good while (three months but I just took my time as I had everything from my old school shoes to wedding keepsakes)
Now I have one wedding memory box. A memory box for each DC. Another general memory box and that's it. If I want something to to go in them I will have to dump out something else.
I have a label maker and can now put my hand to batteries. Stamps. All sorts of things. Took ages.
Meanwhile - change cushion covers. Rug. Loads of fairy lights. Forget the tree.
Cushions, curtains fairy lights - I've got some lovely framed Christmas cross stitch a kind friend made me, and I bought some Christmas/ winter pictures really cheaply out of B&M's - they are a bit twee but fun. When the kids were small, we used to buy canvases and get the kids to make a Christmas painting for the walls.
Also, partying/ panorama do scenesetters, which are Christmas wall frieses
when I loved in a Victorian terrace we had a small tree but made it look really lovely ..as the room was so small didnt matter. Wrapped presents in sacks by fireplace. lights and bunting on curtain poles etc. For now box things up if you REALLY do not have time to sort. Coat hooks under stairs and ikea shoe racks are also space saving. lots of cheap christmas throws/red cushions etc also helped
is your bathroom downstairs as I had the everyone dressing downstairs issue whe mine was..you have to be super strict as for coats and shoes ..one cost one pair shoes out no more
ye it is smelly, luckily its tucked away behind one of the sofas in like a little alcove of its own, alcove also has my dressing table and some shelving full of my crafting stuff and boxes we keep the shoes in, coat pegs are at the bottom of the stairs.
I like the idea of cushions and throws.. might try and change toybox if i can afford it.. its one of those ugly plastic towers and is covered in stickers.
I think that your type of home is lovely for Christmas. Tall ceilings etc. I personally like lots of twinkly lights. I put a tree in each of the two main rooms. I had a House of Bath magasine come through my door. In it was a very narrow Christmas tree in various heights.
You may need to read some Marie Kondo! If you spend most of your time downstairs can you move more stuff into the bedrooms for a while to give you the illusion of more space in the living areas? Eg cat litter tray in bathroom? Most toys in bedrooms apart from what is currently being played with? Like a pp said, all coats/shoes in owners bedroom apart from those in daily use ie one set each?
Reading this is making me want to optimize space for xmas! I need to de-child the living room! Toys need to go back upstairs (bedrooms need sorting to allow this if they're gunna need to move/breathe/sleep!!)
I'd start with that. Then festive throws/cushions. Fairy lights can transform any space! String them round the room, or stuff in jars. Poundland (did) do small strings that were battery operated. These work well for jar stuffing, or mine use them on small bedroom trees as I didn't want them plugged in and on all the time.
Can't you move the toy box to their rooms over Christmas?
Alternatively put a cloth over it and use it as a tree stand.
Put the "cat tree" in a bin bag and leave it outside over Christmas. They'll have more fun trying to pull down your Christmas tree anyway.
Some fairy lights strung along the wall. Paper chains off the ceiling. Small tree on the window-ledge rather than taking up space on the table. Or some window clings on the windows to make it festive.
YYY to warm, festive coloured throws and cushions making a big difference.
Is there any storage space upstairs? So even if the shoes and coats need to be downstairs, you could put some toys or craft things up there? Or anything that could go into the attic on a temporary basis for the season, and come down again in January when the decs go away and "normal life" resumes?
I'm working my way through sorting the bookcase in the sitting room, as the first step in decluttering. So taking 1 shelf a day, or finding 15 minutes at a time to tackle a small section of clutter - seeing what we actually use, and dumping (charity shop, donating to DCousins, school fair box, or bin) anything we don't need. I'm surprising myself with how much space I am creating - things that sat there for ages and we didn't realise DD had grown beyond or that we never looked at anymore etc. Old paperwork is getting filed or scanned or just burned (lots of it is so old its no longer needed).
Even if you can't get a new toybox yet, try and clean off the stickers, or stick Christmassy wrapping paper to the fronts of the drawers to make it less ugly?
We made our snug and kitchen look beautiful last year by hanging loads of 3d snowflakes from the ceiling. I used about 30-40 on differing lengths of invisible nylon thread. It looked fab.
This year I'm extending into the dining room by hanging a tree branch from the ceiling (as long as the command hooks don't let me down) which I am spraying silver and hanging baubles from.
both ideas which don't take up any space at all.
Instead of a tree, what about a fabric panel? Something along the lines of this - www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IKEA-Christmas-Tree-FABRIC-Decorative-Panel-XMAS-Wall-Hanging-VINTER-2014-/201444050774
It looks like you could easily pin real decorations on it, too. I might have to find one, myself, actually.
When I was little, my mother made a gigantic "fireplace" out of coloured paper and stuck it to the wall for our stockings. It was amazing.
tbh, i'm questioning the need for the tree this year.. i have 2 cats and the youngest likes to climb, i spent most of last year having to chase or grab him out of the tree... but he was only 5mo.. i'm not confident he'll be mature enough to resist this year yet though
My other option is to drop one of the leaves on the table and turn it, and put the tree between it and the chimney.. the litter tray is tucked down right now, but it could be moved over the other side temporarily with some re-jigging. Can't put it in the bathroom, its freezing in there so the door stays firmly shut!
i can move some stuff upstairs, but need to do a major decluttering as we have STUFF everywhere.. its driving me potty tbh.
do you have a school Christmas fair that you can donate old toys/books/ household things to?
Give each family member 2 bin bags (1 green & 1 black), put the timer on for 30 minutes and get them to declutter a room each. The kids can clear their own rooms and hopefully you'll get 2 hours of decluttering done in an hour.
ive got a tiny house too and it fills up very quickly so I do the timed declutter on a monthly basis.
I think candles, throws, scents, cushions in tactile fabrics can make the house look and feel festive.
Put a bowl of oranges and nuts or similar out on the table.
Do you have tableware, crockery in festive colours? That's another in expensive way to continue the
festive theme. You can buy
inexpensive pieces in supermarkets,
charity shops & the £ shop. You
don't have to spend a lot of money
to make things look festive.
You can get flat-packed artificial trees (half a tree ) which can be hung up.
Or a small pre-lit tree like this
But I think the key thing is decluttering. I feel your pain.
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