The holidays are fast approaching! Are you prepared for the onslaught on visitors, gifts, parties, and increased demands on your schedule? Why not take a little time to organize your home and yourself so that the holidays run more smoothly? Here are a few ideas to get started.
Make a plan for the holidays
It’s never too early to start holiday planning. Create a list of tasks to do before the holidays. Break large tasks into sequences of 1-2 hour activities. Develop a schedule for your parties, holiday preparations, decorating, un-decorating, shopping, wrapping, and celebrations. Next, put the schedule on your calendar along with time to accomplish items from your task list. Stay on track by following the schedule.
Create the menu
If you are hosting this year or bringing food to an event, select recipes, make a shopping list, and plan for the preparation. If possible, cook items ahead and freeze them. Better yet, work with a caterer to prepare the food.
Clear out the old
Take time to thin out clothes, shoes, toys, and electronics that you no longer use to make room for new gifts.
Give and receive non-cluttering gifts
Let friends and family know you prefer non-cluttering gifts such as scented soaps, movie tickets, gift cards, charitable donations, and other consumable items. The last thing you need is a trinket that you will never use from Aunt Martha. Consider giving non-cluttering gifts, too. (You don’t want to be Aunt Martha, do you?) Better yet, focus on sharing great experiences with friends and family rather than getting caught up in the buying frenzy.
Put up 10% fewer decorations than last year. No one will notice and you will save yourself a little work. While you have the decorations out, determine whether you still need all those boxes and boxes of wreaths, singing Santas, and icicle garlands Perhaps it’s time to thin out the adornments and keep only your most cherished items. This reduces storage space and helps you better manage the decorating process.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. It’s OK to ask friends and family to assist. If that is not possible, hire help. Many companies would be thrilled to assist with indoor and outdoor decorating, catering, organizing, cleaning, and shopping.
Make the holiday preparations fun. Have a present-wrapping party with the neighbors. Invite family for a tree-decorating party. Organize a cookie exchange with the church group. I’m sure you can think of other creative ways to have fun with the holiday preparations.
Have a fabulous holiday season!