Keeping your sanity, not to mention your home organized, can be a tough thing to do in the rush and chaos that can accompany the holiday season. While we all find ourselves busy and stretched thin by a full schedule, there are a few things that you can do now that will save you a lot of time and effort in the coming weeks. Preparing to deal with clutter and some chaos ahead of time and having some plans in place will let you enjoy more of the holiday season and able to focus on what really matter – enjoying the holiday!
The main idea here is that you want to spend a few minutes to either set things up the way you want them or to actually write down what your plan will be to deal with specific situations. I find that writing them out helps to actually “cement” them in your brain and gives you a reference list in case you forget what you had thought of previously.
Here are a few areas and some solutions that tend to cause the most problems and have some of the easier fixes:
Holiday clutter: With all of the presents, meals, and other activities in your home you should really have a plan to deal with holiday clutter. Now, this won’t get you out of having to hold onto that ugly sweater that one of your relatives gave you, but you can come up with a plan to make sure the garbage, odds and ends, and other people’s belongings make it out the door as quickly as possible. Prepare for large gatherings by putting out an extra waste bin and having extra garbage bags ready to go. It makes cleanup easier and people will often pitch in and help if they can see where things need to go. Keeping a box for other people’s belongings can also help; extra dishes, utensils, and jackets tend to pile up – keep a box near the entry way with all of this so that you don’t have to deal with it cluttering up your home. Another upside is that it will be in one place and easy to get when they come back to claim it.
Visiting relatives: If you have visiting friends or relatives, set up a plan ahead of time to deal with the eventual cleanup afterwards. If you have help around the house (spouse, kids, etc) split up the responsibilities and let them know ahead of time how you would like to get the tasks done. For example, if someone if staying in your extra room, your son or daughter could strip the sheets and get the wash going while your spouse picks up any odds and ends and puts everything back. Meanwhile you can vacuum and get rid of any trash. In the span of literally ten minutes, the entire job of cleaning up after relatives could be taken care of. Of course, if we let this issue go and don't talk about it beforehand it turns into a much bigger deal than it should be.
These are just two areas where you can make a large impact in a short amount of time. What is important is sitting down and spending five or ten minutes thinking about what is going to affect you the most. Write down these areas and brainstorm how you can deal with them in the shortest amount of time. Try to stick to ideas that are more “passive” – that allow YOU to enjoy the holidays without having to do all of the work when you should be spending time with family and friends. Of course, eventually you have to dig in and do some of the work, but the little things like adding more trash cans, can save you time and reduce your stress – something that we all want!
What are your holiday clutter tips? Do you have a way for dealing with the holiday rush that you want to share? Let us know in the comments below.