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Hacking Your Way to a Chic + Organized Holiday | Part 2

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The Baer Minimalist Blog -- Tips, Tricks and Hacks on LIVING a more ORGANIZED + STYLIZED Life

Hacking Your Way to a Chic + Organized Holiday | Part 2

Maria Baer

 Learning about hacking your way to holiday happiness. | Photo Credit: Char Cota

Learning about hacking your way to holiday happiness. | Photo Credit: Char Cota

We’re back with Part 2 of our guide to hacking your way to a Chic + Organized Holiday Season. If you missed last week’s ideas, hop on over to learn the importance of a Holiday Checklist, best practices for hosting and attending events first.

These ideas are the brainchild of Caryn O’Sullivan, CEO of Drapery Street, Char Cota, Assistant Designer at Drapery Street, and myself and were presented to an amazing crowd at the Indiana Design Center on November 8.

 Gift Certificates can still be presented in a fun way! | Photo Credit: Char Cota

Gift Certificates can still be presented in a fun way! | Photo Credit: Char Cota

Experiential + Consumable Gifts

  • Consumable gifts don’t add clutter to your recipient’s household and they allow the receiver to experience or indulge in something versus having another thing to dust or take care of.

  • Think about who you are buying a gift for and find something tailored to them: a food tour, a calligraphy class from Manayunk Calligraphy, the chance to learn how to make macarons at Gallery Pastry Shop, or the opportunity to make their very own candle at Penn & Beech. Stumped on what to give? Here is my 2017 Consumable Gift Guide!

  • The options are endless and can still be wrapped up beautifully to create a thrill around opening!

  • For those that love cold, hard cash, get creative by filling a balloon with cash + lottery tickets. Or tape all of the bills together and roll into a cute box (a Kleenex box works perfectly).

  • For gift exchanges, have FUN! Create a theme that everyone can enjoy – Starts with ‘A’, “Treat Yourself,” Has to Be Edible, Handmade Ornaments, the options are truly endless.

 Pull out your mom’s china, and add modern elements. Never forget a treat at each seat. | Photo Credit: Char Cota

Pull out your mom’s china, and add modern elements. Never forget a treat at each seat. | Photo Credit: Char Cota

Holiday Decorating

  • Presents can be décor, and can fancy up a tablescape or decorate the front of your fireplace.

  • If you attend several different holiday celebrations consider wrapping all gifts for each celebration in their own paper. Another option is to wrap each of your kids gifts in their own paper. To make things a bit more exciting, don’t write names on the packages and then on Christmas Eve, give each of them a small gift in their coordinating wrapping paper so they know which presents belong to them.

  • See what you have an hand to add flair to packages. Initial stickers can be a fun addition or a sprig of an evergreen tree.

  • Pick your Christmas color palate and carry throughout the home. Like in design, you can change the emphasis in each room to create interest.

  • Considering pulling nature in using readily available natural items such as holly, cranberries, candles.

  • Garland, garland, garland! Not only is it disposable at the end of the season, but it can be used throughout winter.

  • Keep your family’s Christmas cards year after year and string them up as garland over the mantel or tape them into the shape of a tree. Automatic décor.

  • Mix in the holiday decorations with winter décor, so you don’t have to decorate twice during the season.

  • Holiday collections can be very meaningful to display each year. Make sure to store items together for easy set-up and tear-down.

  • When choosing serving platters, consider a consistent theme, but mix textures, patterns and heights to create a stunning display.

  • Table runners visually connect the centerpiece and serving dishes commonly placed along the center of a table. They are a great way to protect your table from heat and moisture and add pattern and texture to your table. One of my favorite tricks is to strategically fold fabric, burlap, or even faux fur to add dimension.

  • If you like to keep your décor consistent year after year, snap photos after you’ve decorated that you can refer to the following year. This is also a way to get the job done and have the family involved (if they have an example to look at).

 Solo cups and cardboard can help keep ornaments in tip-top shape from year to year | Photo Credit: Char Cota

Solo cups and cardboard can help keep ornaments in tip-top shape from year to year | Photo Credit: Char Cota

Holiday Decor Storage

  • One of the items that seems to gather a ton of dust throughout the year are holiday decorations. Generally these are stored in a basement or garage and are brought out for just a few weeks a year.

  • This year my challenge to you is to take time to look at what you don’t put out. Open up all the boxes, take out all of the bins. Why are you holding onto these items? If they are family heirlooms, by all means keep them and find new ways to style them.

  • If items no longer work with your home or fit your style, consider donating items to a homeless shelter or a family in need at the beginning of the season (once you’ve done your decorating). Here is a big ole’ list of great donation resources in Indianapolis.

  • If you’ve recently moved (especially if you’ve downsized), assess at all your décor and decide what will make the cut in your new space.

  • Store wreaths on basement walls using command strips, rather tha stacking them on shelves.

  • Breakable ornaments can be placed inside solo cups prior to being put in a storage container. Add a layer of cardboard to the top to add flat ornaments - maximize ever inch you’ve got.

  • To store lights, cut slits in a wrapping paper tube OR tape and wrap around a piece of left-over cardboard, for an easy, untangled solution.

  • Label your bins as you put them in storage and remember to store like with like!

  • Consider purchasing bins that match the colors of the holidays – it makes it easy to have the kids bring things out of storage and help decorate!

  • Take an inventory of your wrapping supplies (paper, tissue, tape, bows, gifts tags) at the end of the season and buy discounted materials for the following year. Keep these materials with your holiday décor, so they don’t clutter up your general wrapping supplies for the other 11 months of the year.

Cheers to your most beautiful and relaxed holiday season yet, with the first holiday sneaking up this Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving to all - I sure am thankful for each of you!

 Cut up cards to create your own gift tags. And shop for wrapping paper on December 26! | Photo Credit: Char Cota

Cut up cards to create your own gift tags. And shop for wrapping paper on December 26! | Photo Credit: Char Cota


The Baer Minimalist helps busy families create ORGANIZED + STYLIZED spaces and events throughout Indianapolis. 

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