Back in my 20’s and early 30’s, I loved loved LOVED decorating my home for the holidays: Halloween was my fave and then Christmas came in at a close second. And for Christmas, I’d religiously put all the crap up on December 1st and take it all down on New Year’s Day.
Between the two holidays, I had at least 15 or so of those large Rubbermaid storage bins FULL of decorations to the point where it was tough getting the lids closed. We eventually had to get a small shed to store those bins since there wasn’t any spare room left in the house. Can you relate? 😩
One crazy life event abruptly turned me into a holiday minimalist when I was 33. I’m gonna tell you why that event changed me and why I happily never looked back!
THE LIFE EVENT THAT CHANGED ME FOREVER
Image Source: Emily Henderson
In late 2004, The Hubs and I were finally financially able to do some remodeling to a house we bought back in 2001. We were so excited to turn that small 2-bedroom home into a 3-bedroom home by adding a new master bedroom addition to the back of the house. We also were doing a lot of cosmetic changes to the rest of the house because it needed some serious updating.
One thing that we really lucked out with during the renovation was that we were able to rent our next-door neighbor’s house since they only lived there part-time. We made sure to factor those rental costs in with the overall budget for the renovation project.
A little bit of advice: Do not live in your home while going through extensive renovations. I guarantee you will end up regretting it. Not only will you grow tired of all the endless dust everywhere and the constant noise, but it will wear on your relationships. It’s not worth the additional stress and anxiety for you and your loved ones just to save some money.
Image Source: Nalle’s House
I’m giving you this advice from my own personal experience with our renovation project. Due to unforeseen delays, the construction project was pushed back about 5 weeks and the rental contract with our neighbors was about to expire.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t extend it because they already had new renters lined up for the day after we were moving out. We had 2 cats and a dog and couldn’t find another short-term, pet-friendly rental home on such short notice. OMG – talk about stress and anxiety!
We ended up staying at a Residence Inn conveniently located only a few blocks from our home. It was tight living with all 5 of us and our crap crammed into that small room. But since it was so close to our home, we were able to walk over there every day to check on construction progress which was a plus.
Image Source: Danielle Moss
However, after only 1 week, The Hubs was completely stressed out by the cramped living situation and the unexpected costs and wanted to move back home. We only had 4 more weeks left until construction was finally done but he just couldn’t handle the stress anymore and it was starting to affect our relationship.
So we lugged ALL our crap back home, pets and all, and had to live with the ongoing construction, dust and mess for those 4 weeks and IT WAS EFFING MISERABLE. I worked from home and couldn’t get anything done because of the constant distractions, and the pets were always stressed out. It was hell.
To top it off, this was all happening right before Christmas so I wasn’t able to put up any of my decorations. But you know what? I actually felt SO much peace because of that! I can’t explain it but it was such a freeing feeling knowing I didn’t have to spend hours putting up decorations and then taking them all down a few weeks later.
After our house was done, I donated almost all of my Halloween and Christmas decorations to Goodwill (I kept a few bins of my faves) and I’ll be forever grateful for that entire life-changing experience.
LESS IS MORE – FOR REALSIES!
Image Source: Kristina Lynne
We’ve moved 3 times since that house and I donated more holiday decorations every time I was packing for each of the 3 moves. By the time we moved into our current farmhouse on Thanksgiving 2017, I had it down to one bin. ONE BIN! 🥳
It seriously is so liberating to get rid of stuff and let someone else love it for a while. When we celebrated our first Christmas in our new house in 2017, I bought a few new ball ornaments for our minimalist tree and that was it.
Since then, I self-imposed a rule that I’m only allowed to have 2 medium-sized bins for holiday decor and THAT’S IT. And I’m happy to report, I stuck to it and have no intention of buying anything else any time soon.
Image Source: The Haven List
I think all of the inspiration images in this post do such a beautiful job illustrating how truly gorgeous and impactful minimal holiday decorations can be. They prove that bare does not equal boring and they each nail the look so effortlessly and beautifully.
So when it comes to holiday decorating, are you a maximalist or minimalist and why? I love learning about other people’s experiences!
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