Post Holiday Design Streamline


Every year around the first of January, I am ready to get rid of the holiday decor, put away the Christmas gifts and get about the business of taking a deep breath and getting my house back under control. This year, I seem to be dragging my feet. If you read my last post you know I didn’t even have a tree until mid December.

Anyway, I am about to get started. As I’m writing this, it’s January 2nd so I am sure several of you are ahead of me. Once I get started, I am always amazed at how cleansing putting away all of the holiday stuff can be. It is the perfect opportunity to pare down, reevaluate and streamline your decor.

I have posted before about Myquillin Smith’s book The Cozy Minimalist Home. In it she goes into great detail about her step by step method for pairing down. It is an excellent resource with lots of “take-aways” no matter what your style. I recommend it to any of you that are interested in living more with less. I am just condensing some of her principles in this post.

I am NOT a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination. I love lush fabrics, beautiful trim, art and all the things that, for me, make up a beautiful home. However, I do get very overwhelmed in a chaotic environment and there really is something freeing about living with less stuff. The older I get the more I feel this way. I am trying to surround myself with things that are really special to me. So one of my goals for 2019 is to refrain from buying “place holders” or “just for now stuff” and to only spend on what I really love. If this resonates at all with you, I encourage you to try the following experiment as you put your home back together after the holidays.

When you take down your Christmas decorations your house can look bare. This is the perfect time to keep cleaning and get rid of the clutter.

Start with one rooM

Along with the holiday decor, remove all of the accessories and extra stuff. Warn your family. It will look like you are moving. In a sense you should think of it as if you are moving. If you have ever put a home on the market, surely you have had a realtor advise you to lose the clutter. Your house looks more inviting and is so much easier to keep tidy. Why wouldn’t you want to live like that all of the time? ,,,

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Take out all of the “extras” and let your room breath for a day or two.

Now, look at your floor plan. Is it working? It’s fun to change things up a bit, so consider moving things around. It won’t cost any money and you may discover a whole new arrangement, thus your room will feel fresh and new.

Keep in mind, there is beauty in a totally cleaned off table or a blank wall. Your eye needs a place to rest. Plus, my people seem to clutter up the house anyway daily, so the less “extra” that’s around the easier it is to keep tidy.


I love an empty kitchen island! It is somewhat of a unicorn. This is why it doesn't need a large centerpiece or a bowl of fruit, as soon as your kids get home from school or someone wants a snack it will be covered with all kinds of stuff.

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Slowly start to add your stuff back, but only if you love it.

You don’t have to be a minimalist to believe in surrounding yourself only with things you love. It doesn’t mater what your style is, it will work. Plus, there will be less to dust!

If all this feels like too much, take baby steps and start with your bedside table, coffee table, or if you are feeling ambitious, your built-in shelves (that’s a whole post in itself)

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While the stack of books on my daughter’s bed side table pictured above are pretty for this picture, they are really in the way. Without them she has room for the book of the moment, her journal or whatever she is really working on.

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I love this little painting, so it’s worth the real estate it occupies because it makes me smile. My reading glasses, a book and a jewelry tray are the only other things I keep on my nightstand.

Always Add Something Living In Every Room

I always try to have something living or organic (think bowl of lemons, cut flowers etc.) in every room. If you’re feeling a post Christmas void in your house this will really help. I am by NO means a master gardener and a lot of my stuff dies, but I keep trying. I have the best luck and most longevity from white orchids and ferns, so they are always in my home. I had some beautiful lemon cypress topiaries over the holidays and now they are deader than Elvis. No big deal, they weren’t terribly expensive and while they were alive, they smelled great and were so lovely.

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Check out my post How to Create a Living Centerpiece. It will walk you through creating the above arrangement. It is so easy-I promise.


Ultimately, the process of editing what you have is the best way to have a home that looks and feels like you. Your home will begin to look collected and to have a “soul”, if it’s filled over time with things that are meaningful to you. Those are always the best kinds of houses!

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So, give yourself the gift of clearing out the “extra” and you will enjoy the things you treasure even more.

Happy New Year!