4 Reasons I Stopped Buying Seasonal Decorations – And my House Still Looks Amazing
Let me begin by stating that I know you are out there. People like me, who love to decorate, keep things fresh in the house to shake off the waning previous season, and look forward to things to come.
BUT – we also hate it.
Maybe I love the idea of being this amazing and inspiring interior decorator. The idea of magically acquiring the most tasteful of seasonal pieces that fall into place and set the stage for a glorious [insert social media-fueled unrealistic standard here] photo.
If only it were that simple.
Since it is most certainly not simple for me, I have STOPPED buying decorations for each season. Here’s why.
First, I don’t want to wander endlessly up and down décor/hobby/retail stores with my kids (who generally give up cooperating the moment I inform them that we will not be covering the living room in unicorns). I’m holding this and that up in front of me, arms outstretched as if I’m judging the characteristics of a large chicken or rabbit at the county fair. Then I have to imagine what said chicken/rabbit will look like in my house.
This is not my forte, never has been, and never will be. Someone out there knows what I’m talking about.
Then the price tag floors me; I’m looking at a $30-$40 door wreath I will get to display for three months at best, $25 for a vase that I will probably forget I have by next year, and OH BOY this lantern is super trendy right now but $50? No thanks.
I also have been forced to consider that living in a high(er) cost city like San Diego, rent is high and storage space is low.
Good weather, but I have no place to store or organize my off-season decorations. A gathering of more than two friends, and we’re taking the party outside (luckily we have the weather thing going for us).
My more utilitarian belongings get first dibs on the cabinet and closet space.
And finally, I am suddenly aware that my lack of storage space and intolerance of over-priced décor has led me down the dark path of exclusively purchasing cheap, disposable pieces that barely make it across the finish line to the end of the season and made my house look like the set of children’s game show.
So I’m done, and maybe you are too. What I haven’t stopped doing is getting my home ready to welcome and enjoy the next wonderful season with amazing decorations. This could not be possible however, without some help.
Problem 1: I have no time (or desire) to shop
As a mom of two spirited young daughters and working full time, gone are the days of carefree strolling of the aisles in the final days of winter to collect an appropriate array of spring tablescapes, centerpieces, and vignettes. My time with my family is precious to me, and shopping no longer seems like a good use of that time.
Solution: I’m really loving the recent ‘kitting’ evolution of the consumer realm. My outfit, my food, and now even my décor can be curated for me by someone else. Attempting to get décor pieces to integrate well using only my imagination then hoping it works once I get home is stressful to me. In the end, I want to show off good taste and I am not particular about whose good taste it is. Sure, I want to choose which kit makes it to my house, but compliments are compliments, and thank you, I agree my spring-themed mantle setting – the one I didn’t spend a single minute in a checkout line for – is amazing.
Problem 2: The cost of doing business (in this case, decorating my house)
It usually goes that if you want your house to look like a million bucks, that’s about how much you spend getting it there. If you want the good stuff – the set-up you see only in magazines and Pinterest – it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.
Solution: There are alternatives to buying high-priced retail, all with varying levels of effort required to finding them. Wholesale is an option for those with (usually) a seller’s license, but there are typically minimum order quantities required, and beware of stores and websites that claim to be wholesale but charge just as much (if not more!) than retail.
One amazing trend that is starting to pick up steam is the based on the premise of the Sharing Economy; the idea that consumers can temporarily access goods or services, or in other words, renting. As of this article in 2019, clothing rental services for everyday outfits are pretty much mainstream at this point, and other sections of the retail industry are following suit. Here at frillist we are on a mission to make beautiful home décor something that can be enjoyed for the season for a fraction of the cost of buying the same pieces.
Problem 3: Where am I going to put this stuff when the season is over?!?!
Like I mentioned earlier, I hail from a city where real estate is set at premium prices and climbing every year. This means if I want living space, storage space is deprioritized. Sadly, for most residents this also means that only basic, year-round décor makes its home on shelves, tables, and walls, never to come down because there is nowhere to go. Don’t get me wrong, I have some favorite pieces that belong out on display for every season, but there is just something special about being able to change up the scenery of my home several times a year that keeps my spirits up. Isn’t that why we love decorating in the first place? It’s a chance to celebrate the coming of something new but also familiar and comforting.
Solution: The solution may sound easy but implementation might be trickier. The key is to have someone else handle the storage. You know what’s better than someone else curating your décor for you? Having someone else deal with the off-season storage hassle too! But unless you want to shell out extra money on rent for an off-site storage unit, a little more creativity is needed. Renting décor from frillist means no more lost closet space for decorations 11 months out of the year. Just think about it, that garage you have might actually be able to store your car!
Problem 4: Cheap decorations look cheap, then head to the landfill.
This one is a double-whammy. In order for me to keep the costs low on my seasonal décor, I often find myself wandering the dollar-aisle looking for anything that shows a little bit of holiday cheer and effort (remember I hate going to stores for this stuff too? Triple-whammy!). Once the season is done and gone, my pieces are looking pretty tattered. Here I stand in my living room in mid-January, holding a glittery garland that may have looked good 4 weeks ago, but somehow looks downright mangy. I’m staring at this thing, try to figure out if I have an empty cardboard box I can shove it in for the rest of the year or whether I should just end it right here and send it to the trash. Well, here’s another thing to think about, and something I think about often. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, American household waste increases by 25% during the time between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. That’s an additional 100 million tons of waste ending up in the landfills every year!
Solution: A little bit of planning and mindfulness can go a long way to reduce your household waste during the holiday season. DIY gifts and décor are a great way to reuse, recycle, and revitalize items that may have had a previous and less glamorous life. Not that crafty? Décor rental companies like frillist can definitely help to spread that holiday spirit through your home, without adding to clutter when the season is over. frillist has specially-designed storage systems for holiday decorations to make them last through the years. And the best benefit of all? Reducing that holiday household waste!
So there they are, my problems with buying seasonal decorations. It just isn’t for me, and now I know that there are viable solutions for each of my issues. Hopefully you’ve felt a slight kinship with me while reading this article. Like I said, I know you are out there, so let’s spread the word to others that decorating for the season (and still rocking a living room that’s got the right vibe) doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or wasteful.