Friday, December 23, 2016

To Decorate or not to Decorate: the Renter’s Holiday Dilemma

As we dive into yet another holiday season many of us are pulling out weathered boxes of lights and decorations from our attics and crawlspaces to adorn our homes with seasonal decorations. This tradition of decorating, however, is a little more troublesome for those of us who are renting. When living space is at a premium, and when storage space is already devoted to the objects we use everyday, it becomes a big question as to whether or not we want to sacrifice some of that space for decorations used only a few weeks each year. Decorating, however, need not be the storage nightmare to which we are accustomed.

One solution is to make your own decorations. Popcorn strings and paper-angel chains are both classics, but there are countless craft and DIY tips out there that allow you to make and display some really interesting holiday flare. By doing it yourself you avoid the expense and the storage hassles that can come with store-bought decorations, and as an added bonus the DIY route is a nice way to creatively engage with the season.

For those of us a little less crafty, a good storage-friendly option is the “less is more” approach. By being selective and minimal in your decorating you can maximize your holiday joy and minimize your storage woes. Rather than buying boxes of lights, or plastic garlands or wreaths, use candles and pick up a natural wreath or seasonal floral arrangement from one of those ubiquitous winter craft fairs. At the end of the season, your candles are still useful to you, and your wreath can find its way into the compost just as it begins to lose its lustre.

If you do happen to be a lover of those more bulky, ready-made holiday decorations, there are ways that you can have your cake and eat it to. Renters are getting increasingly savvy about storage solutions, and there are lots of tips out there on finding space you didn’t know you had. More shelving, flat bins that slide under beds and couches, and storage bags that hang sneakily behind bathroom or bedroom doors are all great places to stow those decorations that bring the season home to you.

Decorating allows you to creatively transform your own space and to connect with your traditions. By being creative, selective, and resourceful renters can get into the holidays without over-burdening their already limited storage options.

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