By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

Welcome to my “NEW” old home (built in 1780)!

This past summer, I moved from my jewel box apartment in Philadelphia, right-sizing to a beautiful Hallmark-like Village in historic New Castle DE on the Delaware River.

When I started to decorate for the holidays, I committed to keeping my decorations simple and understated, a minimalist approach that allows me to focus on the essence of Christmas.

In years past, my Christmas decorations were “over the top”, taking weeks to string every light, hang every ball, and fill every nook and cranny with fresh greens, wreaths and trees. It was always beautiful, I truly enjoyed doing it, but it was stressful…and exhausting! Because I wanted everything to be “perfect”, I would look around and see “one more thing” to decorate that needed immediate attention.

Can anyone relate to this obsession overdoing it?

That was me, and, of course as an interior designer and someone who loves to entertain, my calendar was so full that the holiday season came and went like a big blur!

Sometimes I would be up until 2 am on Christmas morning wrapping the most beautiful presents for my family with perfectly coordinated paper and ribbon all so that it would “look perfect” under the tree…. only to be ripped to shreds within seconds on Christmas morning.

Yes, I had a sense of joy and satisfaction in creating all of that beauty because that’s what I do as a designer, but I was also exhausted from over decorating, over achieving, and overwhelming myself with “must do” lists.

Then… when I downsized, and now, in my right size home, I decided to scale way back, keeping it simple, minimal, and not overdoing it.

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I relaxed.

I gave up the idea that “it all had to be perfect”.

When I was done, I was done!

I made myself stop so I could simply enjoy what I created and have time to focus more on the true meaning of the holiday.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned by living a simpler life with less is that I now have more time and energy to simply enjoy the holiday season more!

Wishing you all a blessed holiday season with family and friends!