When you get the itch (or have been asked) to decorate the outside of your house for Christmas, it is important not to just haphazardly grab some lights and other adornments and “go to town.” Decorators will want to have a plan for what they are going to do. Make sure you can answer these questions.
- Where do I want to put my decorations? People decorate the outside of their homes in a variety of ways. You might consider stringing lights around an existing pole in the yard, around your bushes and trees or along the roofline. Additionally, perhaps you would like figurines like reindeer, Santa or a nativity scene. Think of where you want these around the house.
- Do I have enough or can I get enough materials for what I want to do? You might, for example, have strings of lights from the previous year. If so, you best ensure that there is enough to accommodate this year’s project. If you don’t have any lights, measure the space to be covered to get an idea of how many you’ll need. This would include the length of your roof, the diameter of a bush and the distance to a power source. If the nativity is more your style, make sure all pieces are there, otherwise consider replacing it.
Once you’re ready to decorate, head to the nearest home store for everything you need. The following items are essential for outdoor decorating.
- Lights and Decorations. Since this is what the shopping trip is all about, make sure you buy what you need! Lighting options include white, multicolored, blinking, icicle lights and more. Also decide between LED or incandescent lighting. Additional decorations can be tricky, as you don’t want them to look gaudy. It may be wise to stay away from things like blow-ups, as they tend not to hold up well. A few nice wreaths may add a touch of class, however.
- Tools. To affix your adornments, you will need a few items. Screws/nails and a hammer may be necessary, hooks to hold wreaths in place and a staple gun to hold down light strands could prove useful. Work gloves are also advisable to protect and keep your hands warm.
- Ladder and cords. Assuming holiday lights will go on the house itself or you will be hanging bows and wreaths on upper windows, a ladder will be absolutely essential to reach your target. Extension cords might be needed to plug lights into outdoor power sources, too.
Now that everything is bought and ready, it’s time to get down to business. Figure out how to tackle the task ahead.
- Work during good conditions. It may be getting colder, but try to plan your decorating for a day with decent weather. More obviously, decorate during the day, as it will be easier to see what’s going on and fewer accidents can happen.
- Untangle and test lights. Be sure your lights aren’t a mess prior to hanging them and eliminate any knots in the cords. Brand new or years old, test light strands to ensure that no bulbs are burned out.
- Don’t overload. To avoid overwhelming the outlets, try not to plug in too many light-up reindeer, light strands or movable Santas in the same power source.
- Hire an assistant. OK, maybe you don’t have to pay them, but working with a partner will make things go more quickly and ensure the safety of each party.
Following these suggestions will make holiday decorating easier and more enjoyable. When it’s all done, sit back and admire the beautiful work!