The holidays are coming and for minimalists, this can be like a tiny form of a nightmare. Presents are coming. Decorations are coming. In-laws are coming! I’m only kind of teasing about that last nightmare. For myself personally, I have started struggling with anxiety during the holidays because of the added clutter. I’ve made my peace with Grandma and Grandpa’s presents and accepted the fact that my tree is going to be total chaos but I cannot accept the added clutter of decorations. If you totally get where I’m coming from, don’t worry, I have come up with some ways to manage clutter during the holidays and I’ve gotten some ideas from other minimalist friends! If you’re desperately looking for minimalist ways to decorate your home for the holidays to avoid clutter, then this is a must-see post!
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Take a vacation
This is my biggest dream right here. Although, for our family it would still require decorating. I dream of waking up Christmas morning and then taking off for a vacation.
You could skip the clutter completely by planning a Christmas vacation ahead of time for your family. It’s a great way to still spend time together without having to worry about all the hustle and bustle that can go along with it.
Stick with one color
Sometimes the biggest stressor with all of the decorations is that there are so many bold colors, bright lights, tacky knick-knacks and all things awkward. At least in my house. We have decorations from grandparents, our childhood, and new ones that we let our kids pick out. Nothing matches.
Even if you don’t have many decorations, all of the colors can quickly make everything feel very cluttered and messy. Take the minimalist approach and just stick to one color for decorating. Maybe that means all whites, just blues, or a calming red. This is a great way to make your surroundings aesthetically pleasing and trick your brain into not seeing clutter and chaos everywhere.
Decorate the walls
If you don’t want to add a bunch of knick-knacks and clutter to your entertainment center, dresser, and coffee table, then don’t! Stick to simple decorations (like these gorgeous tin letters) that can hang on the walls.
You could turn wall decorating into a fun family project of paper snowflake making.
Another great idea from Little House of Four is to re-do your gallery wall for the holidays. You can take down your regularly used pictures and decorations and swap in some Christmas goodies.
Adding a wreath is such a simple and low clutter way of decorating all year long. Having a piece of decor out of sight and out of mind can still tell the world that you care…in a minimalist way.
To enhance the holiday spirit you could purchase a wreath for a good cause from a boy scout or one of the million other people who will be trying to sell you one this time of year, or grab a simple, natural one you can use all year long.
If you prefer a more minimalist wreath, you can always make your own like this one from Treasures and Travels.
Spruce up the table
Another elegant way to decorate for Christmas is by adding some simple decorations to your dining table. Maybe that means a pretty table runner or a simple centerpiece.
These little touches stay mostly out of your way, keep your house cleaner, and make family dinners a little more enjoyable.
Stick to the basics
You could forgo all the crazy decor clutter by getting intentional and just stick with the basics. For Christmas that could just be a tree and stockings. Don’t fuss with the lights everywhere, leave the knick-knacks in their boxes.
It’s crazy how we sometimes have to give ourselves permission to do things like this. That guilt can so quickly creep up telling us that we need to put out all our decorations even if it makes us end up hating the holidays. Ignore the guilt trip and just stick with what works.
Other posts to read:
- Minimalist Living with Kids: Simple Tips for Toys and Keeping Life Fun
- Easy Last Minute Christmas Treats
- 14 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids
- Minimalist Christmas List. The Best Six Gifts for Lasting Joy
Remove decorations before decorating
This is what I finally realized works in our house. Chances are everyone else has caught onto this by now but cut me some slack. My kids love decorating for the holidays. That means Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. They enjoy decorating so much that I can’t bear to make them stop. After all, these days are mostly for them and I know they won’t be around forever.
I let them put out all the decorations with one exception. When one decoration goes out, something has to go in. This Halloween we set out our spooky mummy candles and put my vintage cameras away for safekeeping.
Instead of adding extra clutter, we’ve found a way to just swap decor. Now I actually enjoy seeing all the decorations come out!
Spread it out
If you have two Rubbermaid bins filled with decorations, who says they all have to be put smack dab in the middle of the living room? Why not spread them out a little. Let the kids do some in their rooms and add a few little touches to the guest bathroom.
Not only will spreading out your decorations make the mess seem less messy, but it will also help spread holiday cheer throughout your home!
A great way to be environmentally friendly and minimalist is by having a rule to only allow natural decorations during the holidays.
Find a quality tree farm that you feel is environmentally responsible and take a day to cut down a tree together as a family. Sticking with only natural decorations can be such a fun way to decorate your home, spend a day together and keep the clutter down. Just remember the needles will definitely require a little extra vacuuming.
If you would like some additional natural decorations beyond just a tree, check out these gorgeous ideas from It All Started With Paint.
Decorate the railings
If you are not a fan of pine needles or decorations taking over all of your shelves then decorating places that won’t be in the way at all are a great idea. Something like decorating your railings is a great way to spread Christmas cheer while keeping clutter off your floors and furniture.
The pinecones above might even be a great option.
Glowing Mason jar
You have to admit, Christmas lights are pretty great to see but they can be quite a mess to use when you are decorating. If you still want to find a way to use those gorgeous lights but don’t want to deal with the crazy, tangled mess, consider putting them in a Mason jar!
Skip the tree
While the tree might seem like a huge Christmas season must-have, more and more minimalists are skipping the tree altogether.
One option is having no tree at all. Maybe to you Christmas doesn’t need to revolve around a tree. Perhaps that means no decorations at all, or maybe it means all the decorations but not the tree. Before you go thinking this means less family cheer, let’s talk about some other ways you can skip having an actual tree but still have a beautiful tree decoration.
A lot of people are creating beautiful tree decorations on their walls with strands of lights or pallet boards. There are a gorgeous variety of ways that you can create that illusion of a tree while saving space and being really creative.
If you haven’t seen the gorgeous Christmas tree wall hanging from Ikea, take a quick peek at it here on Ebay. I haven’t been able to find it on Ikea’s actual site which is a real bummer because the minimalist community absolutely loves it!
When you have a house full of little ones but want to skip the tree, a felt tree is a great solution. The tree can easily go up on the wall and kids can still decorate with felt decorations. They can also keep rearranging them over and over again.
If none of these options sound quite perfect enough for you then maybe you could consider quitting minimalism. No, not quitting completely. That’s not who you are. But this is me giving you permission to quit for the holiday season.
A lot of minimalists avoid clutter all year long but when it’s time to celebrate the holidays, they put those minimalist practices aside.
If you love decorating, you need the tree and love the lights, don’t let anything hold you back. Minimalism doesn’t have rules to it. It’s about living for the things that bring you the most joy and if that’s decorating like a crazy person, then don’t hold back!
No matter what you are celebrating this time of year, just do it with a happy heart!