With the holidays in full swing, it’s never too late to put up a few outdoor decorations or add on to your existing scenes. A few strands of lights and some old-fashioned blow molds can go a long way in making your home seem more inviting for the season. Whether you are getting set to unleash a Christmas spectacle or you want to prepare a display for next year, here are a few tips that you can use to make your exterior decorating more organized and run smoothly!
SAFETY – Not all lights are good for outdoor use. Read the packages carefully before you purchase lights so you know what belongs indoors and what can stand up to the weather on your home’s exterior. If you toss the packages that they come in, simple make a tag and affix it near the plug or on the outside of the storage bag/container you will be using.
The same goes for extension cords. Not all cords are suitable for outdoor use. When you purchase extension cords, be sure to inspect the packaging so you understand the limitations of what you are purchasing. To keep them straight for the future, affix a sticker or tag to the cord so you know what you can use it for.
CHECK – If you are using lights you already own, inspect them for cracks or breaks and make sure any of the wiring is not frayed. Damaged lights can cause an electrical issue and pose a fire or shock risk.
TEST – Plug in any light strands or outdoor lighted displays to make sure they don’t need a new bulb or fuse.
PLAN – Decide what the overall focus of your holiday design will be. What is the focal point, the main attraction? Try to create a scene around this piece or create mini-scenes that play off of this main set.
MEASURE – Before you even haul everything into the yard, measure to make sure you have enough lights or long enough extension cords to cover everything. It would be disappointing to have to stop mid-set up because you don’t have everything you need or complete the job and not be able to see the fruits of your labor lit up.
SET UP – When hanging lights on your gutters or siding, be sure to use clips that are designed for such areas. You can purchase them at any home improvement store and they keep your siding and gutters in great shape. The last thing you want to do is put holes into your home exterior. This can cause moisture to seep into the structure and cause significant damage.
A bonus is that using the clips allows you more control of your display and reduces the time spent hanging decorations.
GENTLE – Be easy with all wiring and cords as they can become frayed or sever. Try not to close any doors or windows on cords because you can damage them. Take extra precaution to not puncture the wires otherwise this could cause an electrical hazard.
TIMER – Make sure you turn your lights off at a reasonable hour each evening. Bright lights can shine into neighbor homes and disrupt occupants. Be courteous and shut off the lights before 10 pm or midnight. To take the burden off of your shoulders, you can even install a timer that turns the lights on and off each night at specified times.
Another way you can make turning decorations on and off easier and much less strenuous on your back is by getting a Tree-Mote. These remotes can power your displays on and off with one simple push of a button.
If you notice damage or leaks in your siding, contact your local siding experts to remedy the situation so it doesn’t become worse. You can also check out these Winter Siding Care Tips to keep your home warm and cozy during these bitter cold months. The point of holiday decorating is to celebrate the season and have fun so go enjoy yourself!