How to Decorate for the Holidays Without a Lot of Stuff (or Money)

Living in Pennsylvania, we (typically) have four distinct seasons, and I love decorating for all of them! I find it cozy and welcoming when our home reflects what we are seeing outside. However, this also comes with a TON OF STUFF, and it all costs money! I have at least one plastic bin lurking in the basement for each holiday. It’s a lot!

Although I don’t anticipate getting rid of too much of my stuff (I really do love it), I’ve started noticing there are small decorating ideas I have that let me swap out a few things to update the look and feel of the season without completely redecorating, and that don’t require a lot of storage room.

Whether you are just starting out in your own home and don’t want to spend a ton of money on items you may not love forever, move a lot or prefer a minimalist style, the ideas below will allow you to decorate your home for the seasons and holidays with (theoretically) ONE BIN OF STUFF and a limited amount of money.


Let’s start outside with garden flags. These little flags don’t take up a lot of room, are available with thousands of designs and can be found mostly anywhere (I bought almost all of mine AND the stand at the dollar store). Put a pop of seasonal cheer by your mailbox, driveway or front door with minimal effort.

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Another easy touch for outside is adding a wreath to your front door. I made an easy burlap wreath, and then made a new bow for each holiday (except Christmas – I made a separate, glorious wreath for that special holiday). One normal spool of wired ribbon is enough to make a bow, so if you scoop these up at the dollar store or on sale at a craft store, we’re talking $1 per holiday. I also bought a few inexpensive wooden shapes from my local craft store and painted them to add to the wreath when I wanted to add another pop of color, like a little pink heart for Valentine’s Day.


If you have a front porch or stoop, an all-weather planter is an easy item to update for each of the seasons. Plant a colorful display as soon as the first frost passes, throw in a mum when summer ends and fill with pine cones over the winter, and you have an all-year display. I do keep my pine cones in the garage when not in use as they tend to get sappy.

How to Decorate Without a Lot of Stuff from AMODERNCINDERELLA.COM


Hurricane vases and apothecary jars present a lot of fun opportunities for decorating! Wine corks, vase fillers, potpourri, mini pine cones, Christmas ornaments, candles and more all fit inside and are beautifully displayed no matter what the item is. I use corks and candles January-August, and refill with potpourri for the fall and mini, cinnamon pine cones for the winter. Stored in plastic sandwich bags, the fillers don’t take up too much room.


I have a selection of table runners to display on my coffee and dining tables. I also use place mats under plants or candles to protect the surface of my furniture. Some of these are neutral, and some are themed and fun like beachy wicker, shimmery reds, fall leaves or cheeky snowmen. Although linens can take up  a lot of room, having a few based on your favorite season or holiday will liven up a corner or table with minimum effort.


Perhaps my biggest weakness is towels. No, I have no idea why. Come over any season, and you will find an appropriately matched kitchen towel and probably a bathroom hand towel too. Again, if you go nuts like I do, they take up a bit of room, but if you pick a few holidays or seasons you feel passionate about, a few will be easy to store.

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I wanted some color in my kitchen, so I bought a cute IKEA vase and filled it with a seasonal flower sprig. I bought most of them at the dollar store or on sale at the craft store, so this is another incredibly affordable update.

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In my opinion, no season is complete without a yummy smelling candle. If you burn candles regularly, just swap out your used candle for one that matches the current season. If you don’t burn them regularly, you could always buy a scent that isn’t season related and update it with garland on occasion. I have a plain white candle that lives in the bathroom for when guests are over (it’s sometimes difficult to find the light switch in the dark), and around Christmas it is adorned with snowflake garland. These metal candle holders are also inexpensive and work great with a battery-operated candle.

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This is something you are buying anyway (I hope), so why not go seasonal? Again, once it’s used, just buy a scent for the current season.


Every season has it’s own quirks and specialties. I picked up this little scarecrow to give my Boston Fern some love. It cost $1, is small, but adds a lot of personality each fall. Through the years, I’ve found other little items that give a touch of whimsy in every season.

I find it cozy and welcoming when our home reflects what we are seeing outside. However, this also comes with a TON OF STUFF, and it all costs money! Try my ideas to decorate your home for the seasons and holidays with ONE BIN OF STUFF! | AMODERNCINDERELLA.COM

Looking through the list, the items you would be storing include:

  • Garden Flags
  • Bows and/or Wooden Shapes for your Wreath
  • Vase Fillers
  • Seasonal Linens
  • Seasonal Towels
  • Seasonal Flower Sprigs
  • Candle Garland
  • Little Extras

See what I mean? If you took every suggestion on this list, you’d have at least ten seasonal touch points that would all fit in one storage box. It’d take less than a half hour to switch items out for every season, and the investment would be pretty reasonable, even if you bought everything at once.

What are your favorite decorating ideas that easily adapt for each season?

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