Article Courtesy Scrapjazz.com: by Andrea Steed

I would love to have a perfectly decorated home, with storage bins galore filled with seasonal decorations that I could change out four or five times a year.  Unfortunately, not only do I not have the storage space for such a collection, I also don't have the budget to accumulate all that stuff!  But still, I'd like to have a seasonally decorated home.

1_320_104So, this year, I'm starting a new decorating tradition that's simple and easy: seasonal photographs in the frames I already have displayed around my home.  It's easy, inexpensive and doesn't take up ANY extra storage space!  Can't beat that!

I began with the holiday season in December and will soon switch to spring photographs.  Here's the system I use to get my photos frame-ready.

Assess Your Needs:

Take a walk around your home and decide which frames will be in your seasonal rotation.   I decided to include only the main level of our home, leaving the upstairs and downstairs frames as they were. 

Write down the size and orientation of each and the quantity that you'll need.

(example: four 4"x6" horizontal, two 4"x6" vertical, two 5"x7" horizontal, three 5"x7" vertical, two 8"x10" horizontal, one 8"x10" vertical)

Choosing Photos:

Spend some time sorting through old photos from each season (this is easiest if you already have your photos organized chronologically).  Take note of whether you need horizontal or vertical pictures so that you can collect a good assortment of seasonally-appropriate pictures. 

What photos are seasonally appropriate?  I looked for holiday photos from each season, pictures that were taken outside showing the trees and flowers (or lack of), and photos of activities we do every year during that season.  My photos include a combination of scenery photos and portraits as well as candid pictures.

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I created a folder on my desktop for each season, and then made copies of the photo files to place in that folder.  Once I had enough, I was ready to order prints.  I did one season at a time, but you could easily do the whole year at once.

Ordering Prints:

Next, I uploaded my photos to Snapfish.com and ordered the amount that I needed.  Although I didn't pre-plan each of my frames down to the photograph, I did make sure to use my notes to get the correct sizes and orientation for each frame.  When my photos were delivered to me, I was ready to add them to the frames.

When to make the switch?

There are several ways to divide up your year, and only you can choose what works best for your decorating style.  Here are some ideas:

  • The official first day of each season - March 21st, June 21st, September 22nd, December 21st.
  • When the seasons around you begin to change.  Here in Alabama, that's February, April, October and December.  But when we lived in Minnesota it was March, June, September, and November.
  • Just before seasonal holidays, birthdays (imagine a house full of photos of the birthday girl or boy all month long!), anniversaries, etc.

Storage Ideas:

  • Simply keep four to five pictures stored one behind the other within a photo frame.  Then you can easily rotate them throughout the year.
  • Keep a large folder for all the photos in a file cabinet or storage box.  Then each season, you can pick your favorites and move them to new frames, so they won't always be in the same places in your home.
  • Regularly add photos to your desktop seasonal folders, so that you can add to your collection for next year.  You surely won't need to replace ALL of your photos, but it is nice to add a few new ones each year, while keeping the photos from years' past as well.

I'm excited about this new decorating system, and I'm hoping it'll help my family feel festive about the seasons all year round.  I imagine it'll also help me take some great new photos in anticipation of framing them for our decorations each season!

 

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