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Advice for Damage-Free Decorating This Holiday Season

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For some, the winter holiday season is the “best time of the year,” as the song goes, but for others, it can be a time of overwhelming logistics and obligations. Whether you’re a Grinch or a Santa groupie, we’re here to help bring cheer to your holiday home decorating this year. With these tips, your decorations will be up in no time and clean up will be a cinch.  

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, the Yule, or another December holiday, decorations are a key component to spreading the holiday spirit. But did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to hang your decorations? Many people unknowingly cause harm to their home that not only leaves unsightly damage but can also lead to premature wear and rot. Specifically, we’ll be taking a look at how to protect your home’s windows and doors which are prime targets for damage.   

Holiday Door Decorating Tips 

Let’s start with the door. It’s the perfect place to hang a wreath, toss up some garland, or add colorful lights. It’s also the centerpiece of your home’s exterior so it’s important to preserve its condition for future holidays. 

The Don’ts: 

  • Don’t use nails or screws in the door or on the trim surrounding the door. damage-free-holiday-door-decoratingNails and screws leave permanent holes that will cause the materials to age faster. Even if you fill the holes will putty, it will never be the same.  
  • Don’t use cellophane tape, masking tape, standard double-sided tape, or other adhesives that are not designed for easy removal. 
    These can be hard to remove and may even take off paint in the process. 
  • Don’t use over-the-door hangers.
    These can scratch the door and damage the weatherstripping around the door. It can also hold the weatherstripping open, causing cold air to seep inside 
  • Don’t stress!
    This one is the most important. 


The Dos: 

  • Use removable adhesive hooks to hang decorations. img-5
    These will help ensure quick and easy cleanup afterward. 
  • Use over-the-door hangers properly.
    We said not to use them, but there’s a good chance you’ll be tempted to anyway for oversized wreaths. If using an over-the-door hanger is absolutely necessary due to a heavy wreath, be sure to use one that is padded so that it will not damage the door. Be careful when opening and closing the door as to not damage the weatherstripping 
  • Use adhesive hangers that are rated for the weight of the decoration that you are hanging. 
    It’s a good idea to install the hanger and let the adhesive set before putting the weight of the decoration on.  
  • Prep the surface by cleaning and drying it thoroughly before applying any adhesive strips.
    This will help ensure the hangers don’t fall and cause your decorations to break.   
  • Remove adhesives carefully.
    Following the manufacturers instructions to ensure that you do not lift the door’s finish.  
  • Have fun!
    This one is really important too. 

Holiday Window Decorating Tips 

The dos and don’ts of window decorating are similar to those of doors. However, the percentage of glass in your home’s doors likely is not as high as the percentage of glass in your home’s windows. Decorating windows is actually easier if you’re using the right tactics. 


The Don’ts: 

  • Don’t try using nails or screws. 
    They don’t get along with glass. Okay, that’s obvious. But seriously, don’t use nails or screws on window frames either since they can cause lasting damage that does more than just look bad. Holes allow moisture to permeate which can lead to rot and other issues 
  • Don’t burn real candles.
    Putting candles in the window is a classic, elegant holiday decoration dating back hundreds of years. It has probably caused hundreds of fires too. Steer clear of open flames this holiday season in order to keep your loved ones safe.  
  • Don’t use tape or stickers.
    Using tape or stickers will likely leave behind a sticky residue when it comes time for decoration clean-up. 


The Dos:

  • Clean your windows first.
    Not only will this help decorations “pop” because of a crystal-clear backdrop, but it will also create a surface that will allow for better adhesion. 
  • Use suction cup hooks on glass.
    Glass offers a smooth surface that is perfect for suction cups. Use these whenever possible as they will be easiest to apply and remove.  
  • Use adhesive strips.
    Using adhesive strips that are designed for temporary use will make for easy clean-up when it’s time to take decorations down.  
  • Get creative with string, fishing line, and zip ties. 
    Sometimes you need to get a decoration at just the right height, but there’s nothing nearby from which it can hang. Try using string, fishing line, and zip ties to get it positioned perfectly. 
  • img-8Make peel-and-sticks your go-to.
    Instead of using decorations that need to be hung with a hook or fastener, opt for fun peel-and-stick cutouts that can be applied to the glass and removed easily. Avoid stickers that use actual adhesive though as these can be difficult to remove.  
  • Use battery-powered or plug-in window candles with LED lights.
    Old-school is cool, but open flames are out. Make sure any candles you burn to ward off the dark days are strictly electric in order to avoid fires. Use LED bulbs for less energy consumption and a cooler “burn” which is especially important if there are blinds or window coverings nearby. These could be damaged by hotter bulbs 


Other Damage-Free Decorating Strategies 


Don’t forget about other decorating options that can spruce up your home’s exterior without utilizing doors or windows. A festive doormat, freestanding trees, and inflatable lawn ornaments are all popular choices that can have a big visual impact. 

And don’t forget about the light strings! Again, forgo putting holes in your roof and siding with nails or screws. Using peel-and-stick hangers might seem a bit too light-duty though, so you may wish to opt for clip-on gutter hangers. These are easily installed and removed using a clothespin-like design.  

Happy Holidays from! 

For more glass-related tips and tricks head over to and explore hundreds of articles with information about auto glass, shower glass, windows, doors, tabletops, mirrors, and more.  

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases.


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