The holidays are busy and stressful. Don’t get me wrong I love spending time with my family, especially at the holidays. I enjoy time with family throughout the year, but the holidays are a special time of the year. Time away from work and activities is all sorts of awesome. No schedule. No where to go. Nothing to do. Four days off for Thanksgiving. More days at Christmas. A weekend.
What could be better? So why do I feel stressed? It’s the pressure, mostly. I feel pressure to do everything that I put off doing during the school year. But, I also want each holiday to be the best of all time. A lofty goal to be sure.
You see I work from home. My hours are all over the place. I work when I’m home. I work at the library waiting for the kids to check out books. I respond to emails from my phone as I wait in the carpool lane. I write posts over a period of days because I sometimes don’t have a huge chunk of time to sit and write in a leisurely fashion. And let’s not even talk about the laundry piles. Climbing Mt. Laundry could be an Olympic sport. My piles of stuff seem to multiply. Also, when I am not working, I’m making lunches, wrangling homework assignments, and the list of tasks goes on and on.
I “should” keep track of all my household tasks each week so that I can transition in to the holiday season seamlessly…except let’s be realistic…that isn’t going to happen. I’m a bit organizationally challenged. As the holiday approaches, my to-do list seems to get ever longer and complicated as I add “holiday-related” items to the already crazy household tasks to-do list. Lest you think I am a lost cause…I do have 5 tips for prepping for the holidays for the organizationally challenged.
- In the weeks leading up to the holiday — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Summer Break, to name the major ones — step up your house cleaning. You don’t have to go overboard. Think small. Pick up the toys on the family room floor. Clean the bathrooms. Load and unload the dishwasher regularly. Make all the beds. Do laundry. Get a handle on whatever household tasks you tend to let slide before the stress of holidays gets too real. Get the kids involved in helping clean. Because don’t kids contribute to the mess?! So assign chores to your kids.
- Clear the clutter from the rooms on the main floor of your home or high-traffic areas. With some housecleaning underway, you will want to move unwanted items out of the main areas. If you have a table that is not being used, move it to another room in the house. Clear the floor to make room for large decorations, like the Christmas tree, or to accommodate special guests. You’ll want enough seating area for family and friends.
- Relocate the toys. If like me, your child has his toys in one of the main gathering rooms of your home, you will want to move some of his toys to another part of the house. I always move many of the toys from the corner of the family room to my kids’ bedrooms or the playroom. Don’t move everything. Leave a few favorite toys and games. After the holidays, you can move the toys back to the main gathering room of your home, or you may found that your child likes playing with toys in her room or a playroom.
- Do a walk through of the main entertainment area of your home. Will guests feel as though they are stepping over stuff to get to the buffet table? Move any boxes and bags to a less traveled area of your home. Are school papers and photos hanging off the fridge in a haphazard fashion? Purge all but the most essential and up-to-date school papers from the fridge. Arrange photos in a pleasing arrangement on the fridge. You want to make sure that not only is your home inviting to guests, but also safe for guests to navigate. You may be used to jumping over a box of craft supplies, but your guest may not!
- With cleaning and decluttering underway, you are ready to decorate. You will enjoy having the main entertainment area of your home relatively clutter free. But if you are organizationally challenged like me, your house will not be spotless, but purging a bit of clutter will go a long way to getting your home ready for the holidays.
More tips from me — Musings from Me — on getting organized with those who are organizationally challenged in mind: