Maybe you’re decluttering before your new roommate moves in and you run across all those boxes of decorations you’ve been collecting. Or maybe your favorite holiday is coming up and you’re concerned about how things might change.

Sooner or later, many Silvernesters find themselves asking “What do I do with all of my holiday decorating stuff now that I have a roommate?” And, on a related note, “what if my roommate has holiday stuff they’ll want to bring out and put up?” Here are our best tips for addressing these concerns.

Remember that people have a wide range of feelings and experiences when it comes to different holidays.

Obviously, we don’t all celebrate the same religious or cultural holidays. Even if we do, we may not mark the occasion with the same degree of excitement—or the same approach to holiday decor. Some people go all out for Halloween, others want to hang the flag and bunting for every patriotic celebration day, and so on. Then there are people who may enjoy the holidays just fine but don’t care at all about decorating.

Talk with your roommate about how you like to celebrate the holidays in your home.

Share which celebrations are meaningful to you, and your personal feelings about decorating traditions. And be sure to ask about theirs. If you are the homeowner, the bottom line is that this is your home and you can put up all the decorations you want (or none at all). But if you’re willing to allow your roommate to express their own holiday decorating preferences, they will definitely feel more welcome in the home.

If you both celebrate a given holiday, consider sharing space for their favorite decorations.

Maybe you have a combined Christmas tree, or two—one for each of you! Maybe their 4th of July decorations can join your flag and yellow ribbon banner out on the front porch. Or perhaps you just make space on the mantle for a few of their treasures. Sharing stories about these sentimental favorites is a great way to get to know each other.

If your roommate decorates for a different holiday, open up to a new experience.

You might learn all about Lunar New Year or Kwanzaa. You might discover your roommate’s creative side with their inventive Halloween windows. Who knows?

Be sure you talk about boundaries and personal preferences.

You may not want a haunted-looking Halloween house, even though your roommate just loves getting spooky. Your roommate may request a limit to the number of Easter bunny figurines on the dining table, because that’s where they catch up on work. Try to be open and honest, and stay flexible so you can both feel comfortable.

Use each holiday as an opportunity to declutter your decorating stash.

As each holiday passes, take a look at the decor items you don’t use. If they’re not highly sentimental, is it time to donate (or trash) those things? People give you stuff at the holidays, like fancy gift bags or odd napkins or random hats you’re never going to use and would not have chosen for yourself. Likewise, things from another chapter of your life may not have the same meaning now. They might not even be your style anymore. Take a picture if you want to remember the story behind the item, and then go ahead and let it go. You’re making new memories in your current homesharing life, and new traditions and decorating stuff have a way of turning up every year.

Did this answer your question?