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Design Notes

Collect yourself

When decorating your home for the holidays, remember that collections look better if they have a central theme.

"It's best to arrange your different collections in separate areas -- Santas in one place, angels and nutcrackers in their own spaces," reports Knight Ridder Newspapers.

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More display tips

Once you have divided your holiday collectibles by theme, you can add related items such as toys, elves and wrapped presents. To further help you display your holiday collectibles in style, follow these additional tips, reported by Knight Ridder.

Create a base using plaid table linens, wrapping paper, aluminum foil, faux snow, etc.

Create a focal point, using the largest object or a related item such as a small Christmas tree.

Arrange your collection at varying heights, using wrapped, wooden or acrylic boxes as bases, for example.

Define the edges; use a pair of objects at the edge of the collection.

Drape garland around the collection for added impact.

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On the shelf

It's almost January, and you know what that means. New on the subject of organizing and decluttering is a book published by Good Housekeeping magazine, "The Complete Clutter Solution: Organize Your Home for Good" (Hearst Books, $19.95).

The game plan: Divide each room in the house into into well-defined zones -- and work on one zone at a time. The book estimates how long you can expect to spend on each zone so you can choose tasks accordingly. Eventually, you will get your whole home organized.

Also included are "Keeping Up" sections at the end of each chapter.

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And finally . . .

"It's a party. Wear a hat! Wear sparkly cocktail rings. Wear a smile."

Designer Kate Spade

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