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Holiday decorating mistakes to avoid


It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the holidays approach — which means millions of Americans are beginning to deck their homes with festive and seasonable decorations.

Many already have.

What fun it is to adorn a home with tinsel, candles, holiday figurines, festive plants and a glorious tree.

Yet design pros caution that too much of a good thing can actually cause holiday woes. 

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To be best prepared for your holiday design game plan, here are five mistakes to avoid — and steps to think twice about before you plunge in for house and home, according to experts.

1. Purchasing holiday items you don’t need

The holiday season often brings on additional home décor, entertaining essentials and an influx of holiday garb. 

“Before you head out to the store, take a look at what is tucked in the back of the cabinets, so that you don’t bring duplicates into your space,” said Rachel Rosenthal, an organizational expert and Post-it brand ambassador based in Washington, D.C. 

Woman bakes holiday treat with children

For this year’s holiday decorating in anticipation of hosting family and friends, take inventory of what you already have in your home — this way, you won’t overbuy when you head to the store or shop online. (iStock)

After you take inventory of what you already have in your home, create a list of what you need this year.

This way, you won’t overbuy at the store or online.  

“You and your wallet will be grateful for the time and money that you saved just from the five-minute sweep.” 

2. Overlooking the scale of your Christmas tree 

The centerpiece of your holiday design-scape is your tree — which sets the stage for your decorating theme. 

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Sarah Ruffalo, a Christmas tree decorator with The Holly Jolly Box based in the Charlotte, North Carolina region, said that tree size is an important consideration.

“For a tree that suits your space and style, whether it’s real or artificial, it should typically be at least 6 to 10 inches below the ceiling to allow for a topper and a little clearance,” Ruffalo told Fox News Digital. 

Christmas tree in home

Measure the space where you plan to place your tree — make sure it doesn’t overwhelm the room, said one design expert.  (iStock)

To get a better handle on the scale of your room, she suggested measuring the space where you plan to place the tree — and ensure it doesn’t overwhelm the room. 

“You should have enough space to comfortably walk around the tree,” added Ruffalo. “If you are purchasing a real tree, it’s important to take a measuring tape with you when you’re shopping.” 

3. Over-decorating your space 

It’s always a special tradition to decorate your home with collectibles, family heirlooms and new purchases.

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However, there can be too much of a good thing, Ruffalo said. 

“Too many decorations and a tree that doesn’t fit in the space can make the home feel cluttered and overwhelming,” she told Fox News Digital. 

4. Going overboard on bargain purchases

It’s best not to go overboard on bargain purchases just because “the price is right.” 

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“When selecting décor, focus on key items like wreaths, garlands and candles,” suggested Ruffalo. 

Christmas tree

There can be too much of a good thing when it comes to decorating at home, said one design expert. “Too many decorations and a tree that doesn’t fit in the space can make the home feel cluttered and overwhelming.” (Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“These are often the central pieces of your décor, so do not be afraid to invest in a good quality piece,” she said.

5. Neglecting safety issues

Have safety concerns on your radar, said Walter E. Bennett, a professional handyman with Green Leaf Air in Richardson, Texas — even as the holiday season is the perfect time to get creative and transform your home into a festive wonderland.

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He cautioned that plugging too many holiday lights or decorations into an electrical outlet can lead to electrical overloads or even fire hazards. 

“Using open-flame candles without proper safety precautions can be dangerous, especially with curious kids or pets around.”

“The fix is using surge protectors and extension cords to distribute the load evenly,” he said.

little girl decorating gingerbread house

Plugging too many holiday lights or decorations into an electrical outlet can lead to electrical overloads or even fire hazards — be sure to keep safety in mind, stress design experts, during holiday decorating. (iStock)

Additionally, Bennett recommended LED lights, which are energy-efficient and generate less heat. 

Another concern is maintaining safety with candles. 

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“Using open-flame candles without proper safety precautions can be dangerous, especially with curious kids or pets around,” Bennett told Fox News Digital. 

“The fix here is opting for flameless LED candles,” he said. “They provide a warm, flickering glow without the fire risk.”

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He also said, “If you prefer real candles, use flame-resistant candleholders — and be sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets.”

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