In my ‘Clutter Clearer Coach’ holiday newsletter, I recommend getting organized early to take the stress out of the upcoming winter holidays. I’ve included these recommendations and some additional tips here.
Here are TEN TIPS to help you stay calm this holiday season:
1. Make it easy on yourself. Ask for help from friends, neighbors or family members. Don’t get organized by yourself, unless you either want to, or have to. (I never asked for assistance, and did I get stressed!)
2. Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan and complete your errands and chores early so you can be relaxed and enjoy the holidays. Accomplish just a few things each day so you don’t get overwhelmed. (Procrastination is my middle name, so don’t be like me)
3. Schedule chunks of time in advance for tasks. Enter them into your calendar, be it digital or paper, so you don’t forget. If digital, plug in audio reminders. (Now that I have a digital calendar, keeping track of my tasks will be much easier)
4. Make your lists and check them twice! Ask everyone in your family to write gift lists so you know what to buy them. Make your own lists for doing household chores; who you will buy gifts for, decorations you’ll need, food for menus, etc. Determine your budget, and write down what you’ll spend for each item. And decide ahead of time where to purchase everything. (Guess I have it easy now, as I only buy gifts for a couple of friends – most friends & my relatives decided to forego winter holiday gift giving)
5. You don’t have to do it all! If you are very busy and have limited time to do everything, check over your list and eliminate items and tasks that are not essential. (I am extremely busy, so I do a lot less organizing for the holidays than ever before. Mostly it’s decorating with live evergreens for a festive look.)
6. Avoid the crowds. Go shopping and to the post office during hours (not weekends) when there won’t be crowds. (I go mid-morning on a weekday well before the holidays to do my errands)
7. Don’t over-clean your home. You don’t have to clean from top to bottom. Clean only the areas that are public to guests who come over; the kitchen, living room, bathroom and dining room. Hire someone to do the cleaning, or have a friend or family member help you. (My housemate and I share the cleaning)
8. Clear the clutter in these public rooms; including the front entry hall. Especially, the entry to your home, as it shouldn’t be a safety hazard for you and guests entering through the door. (The little clutter I have is in my office)
9. Re-use decorations and gift wrap materials from the previous year. Buy new décor for the holidays at the end of December and beginning of January each year to save money as these items go on sale, sometimes 1/2 price. Pack up left overs and reuse next year. (Got rid of all my wrapping paper & ribbons during the attic moth infestation, so I just bought one roll of wrapping paper, and one roll of ribbon. This will suffice.)
10. Ask for help after the holidays are over. Invite friends or family over to help clean, take decorations down and pack them. Make it fun for everyone, and provide yummy snacks to eat. Pack all decorations and gift wrap items in plastic boxes with lids, or in covered cardboard boxes if your storage area is not damp. (My housemate and I share taking down the holiday decorations)
Let me know how your holiday organizing goes!
PS – If you’d like to receive my ‘Clutter Clearer Coach’ monthly newsletter, send me your name and email address and I’ll include you in my mail chimp mailings.