When it comes to decorating for the holidays — be that Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Diwali, New Year’s Eve, or the winter solstice — you may be a minimalist or a maximalist. Your celebration may be a simple, spirit-filled observance or a sumptuous festive frolic. Whatever makes you and your family happy is great!

But there are housekeeping consequences either way.

A popular decorating magazine suggests using collectibles to create tablescapes for the holidays — vintage books to hold flatware for Thanksgiving, fancy decanters as place cards for Christmas, assemblages of old glass with botanicals for New Year’s, and more.

Their photographs are gorgeous, and you might be inspired by this or some other magazine article, Instagram post, or Pinterest board to follow their advice and hit garage sales and thrift stores looking for broken lighting fixtures to use in the project.

Wait — really?

Yes, really. If holiday decorating is a creative outlet for you, something which brings you joy and makes you feel accomplished, you shouldn’t have to resist the impulse just to avoid having something else to dust.

But think about a few things first.

Will it make you happy?

We may see ideas like this, just as we can see outfits on the fashion runway or fancy cakes in the pages of a cookbook, and imagine how it would feel to have the look. But how would it feel to do it? Researchers tell us that we humans often make bad decisions because we aren’t good at predicting how things will make us feel.

However, we have some good sources of information. These same researchers have discovered that there are two excellent things to look at that give us surprisingly accurate ideas about how decisions are likely to work out for us:

  • Our own previous experiences
  • The experiences of other people who have tried it

So how are you on big projects? Do you have a pattern of collecting lots of supplies but not following through? Do you finish the project but feel stressed? Do you back off from projects and then feel disappointed that you didn’t make the effort? Honor those experiences.

Ask your friends, too, whether they’ve done this kind of thing. How did it feel? Does that sound like something you would enjoy?

A little exploration can help you decide whether the project will be good for you or not.

Make a plan

If you decide to collect lots of old glass and broken light fixtures, find a suitable box, choose a place to store it in, and fill it up.

When it’s full, stop. If you see a much better antique glass decanter, you must take something out or repack the things you’ve already collected so they still fit the space. Make a firm deal with yourself that you will not bring any broken light fixtures into your home and stash them on the dining room table to deal with later.

Have a plan for after the holidays, too. You might want to save the materials and use them again next year, adding to your collection throughout the year. Maybe you’d rather donate them to an organization that you support and just keep your photos and memories.

Any plan is fine. Just make sure you have a plan.

Lean or lavish, your holiday decorating can be a pleasure without leaving you overwhelmed by mess.

And when it’s time to clean before your entertaining or after it, contact A Beautiful Day and get some help. We have bonded, certified professional cleaning technicians who can make a big difference.