The holiday season is such a stressful time, why not streamline your Christmas tree decorating and storage with Cheryl’s 5-step plan?

Best of all, you can shake up your stale Christmas tree decorations without ditching your sentimental favorites or breaking the bank.

5 ideas for decorating your christmas tree

1. the rule of thirds

The key here is to divide your tree into thirds: heirloom ornaments up top, kids ornaments down low, and the middle left open for a rotating collection of ornaments and color schemes. For added convenience, you can also store each section in a separate box, so you’ll always have the right decorations at hand.

2. up top

This is the area where you’ll want to place your most cherished, delicate ornaments and decorations. That way they’ll get preeminent placement, as well as stay safe and secure away from pets or young children.

3. down low

Here’s where you can cluster all of your playful, kid-friendly decorations. It’s low enough that the kids can help hang their favorite ornaments, and if something does take a tumble, it’s a shorter fall and less likely to break.

4. mix up the middle

This is the perfect place to showcase any new ornaments or experiment with new color schemes. Stick with timeless, seasonal and relatively neutral colors such as silvers and icy blues that will work well with a variety of other colors, and be sure to sprinkle a few new decorations throughout your tree to create visual consistency.

5. bang for the buck

If you’re on a tight budget, try just switching out your tree’s garland and skirt, which are both cheaper and easier to store that a whole new tree’s worth of ornaments. You won’t believe what a difference it makes swapping out traditional red and green garlands/tree skirt for more modern, yet still timeless colors. In fact, you could roll out an all-new color scheme every year just by changing out these two items.

Cheryl Says

Empty glassware packaging or wine case boxes make great, affordable ornament storage because they keep the ornaments in separate, stackable silos inside the box. Pick some up for free at your local crafts or wine store.