The holidays are fast approaching. The wonderful aroma of pies, cakes, turkey, ham and other dishes start to fill the air of your home. School plays, family gatherings, and holiday parties are non stop. You have family and friends visiting throughout the holidays. The stores are filled with holiday decorations, shoppers are frantically running around looking for the perfect gift, and yes, the stress starts to build. You realize that there’s clutter everywhere and you can’t find anything; there’s no place for your guests to sleep; the holiday decorations you want to put up are as disorganized as ever. Why not reduce the stress and get a head start on preparing for the holidays?
Finding precious time to clean, de-clutter or organize is almost impossible between work, family, shopping and other commitments, but maybe it’s time to reassess your constant long list of “TO DOs”. Focus on what you want to accomplish during the holidays.
Now is the time to donate or toss any unwanted holiday decorations. Donation organizations usually have an area devoted to holiday decorations and would love to take them off your hands. As you go through your decorations, sort them by putting like items together and then decide which ones you want to keep or donate/toss. Then based on the ones you decide to keep, designate containers for them. Clear plastic containers work best but if you already have other containers use them first before purchasing new ones (you do have to watch the budget). The important thing to remember is to label the containers (lights, ornaments, wreaths, pumpkins, table decorations, etc.). When it comes time to take your decorations down and put them away you’ll already have labeled containers to put them into.
- Schedule your cleaning over a period of 3-4 weekends instead of waiting until the last minute to do everything. Focus on one room or area at a time. Pick up clutter and give the space a good cleaning. If you don’t have time to clean, hire a cleaning service to do it for you if your budget allows.
- Pick up stray clutter every night. Put items where they belong. Get the whole family involved. It’s never too early to start teaching kids to be responsible and to pick up after themselves. It’s easier to keep up than it is to catch up.
- Set a realistic shopping budget and stick to it. Save money by drawing names in large families so that you only have one gift to buy.
- Shop early, especially for those gifts that have to be mailed, to avoid paying overnight shipping charges.
- Wrap gifts as you bring them home.