If there’s one thing we think we can all agree on right now, it’s time for a little cheer. In California it’s a little bit of a roller coaster with what we are allowed to do, where we can go, who we can spend time with….I know I certainly didn’t think this whole pandemic thing was still going to be around by now. But hey everybody it’s CHRISTMAS!! Your plans will undoubtedly be a little different this year, but hey it’s CHRISTMAS! And this year, maybe a little more than ever you might need a little more help with staying organized because, well, face it, life is chaotic enough, right? So let’s break it down into the areas that, as an organizer I see most in people’s homes and lives when the holidays approach, and tackle them a little at a time.
This week: Let’s tackle getting in the mood.
Holiday Cards: take a realistic look at your holiday card list. How many names are there that you honestly never hear from thorough out the year (and honestly don’t really care about any more, LOL?) Can you pull 10 names off the list? How about 5? Still have a list that seems daunting? That’s ok: divide the number of names on the list by how many days before you absolutely HAVE to get them sent out. That’s how many you do each day. Trust me, a handwritten paragraph in each card means more than a 5 paragraph Christmas letter if that is what’s holding you back. Grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate and do a few each day. Done. Here’s a cool hint: as you receive cards in the mail tear off the return address from the envelope if you don’t have it and place it in an specially marked envelope to keep with your cards. There is your info to update your addresses for next year. Didn’t get a family photo taken this year? Do a collage with individual photos of each person. Don’t wait to get that special photo. You don’t have to hang every Christmas card you get, either. A pretty festive box or basket is a great way to store them. They still mean as much to you and your house doesn’t have to look like a Hallmark Store went out of business.
Holiday Lights: in our family we refer to this family project as an opportunity for spiritual growth. Can you get it done in a timely manner in one, maybe two days at the outside? Christmas lights are kind of like what they say about fish: After about 3 days the process stinks. Maybe this year is not the year to be the Griswolds if it stresses your family out. On the other hand, if this is something your family really enjoys then by all means dive in. Just do it at a pace that makes it enjoyable. And then if you really enjoy the fruit of your efforts, take a photo or two of it, and keep it with the decorations so that next year you have a reference point. Toss lights that don’t work any more, don’t fall for the trap of “I will keep them for spare bulbs next year”. They are bulky, and they take too much room. Dump them. And when the season is over? There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest for storing them each year, but honestly we just buy the extension cord winders from Home Depot for about $5 each in the electrical department, then we wind them up and label the roll “front of house under the window” or whatever. You will thank yourself next year, trust me….
Finally, Get ready to wrap. A simple place to store large tubes of wrapping paper for easy access is an office sized trash can, about $6 from Target, Walmart or Staples. Much easier to see what you have, and how much. If you can keep it in a centralized location in your home everyone can use what they need when they want and not have to spend time hunting for wrap when they need it. A couple of command hooks stuck to the side can be a handy place to hang the scotch tape. And this idea for ribbon storage and retrieval is genius: it’s a pants hanger from Target. The bars just lift up and move and you just slide the ribbon over the bars. Game Changer.
Next week: Holiday Decorating thoughts and ideas…I welcome yours! Email me or drop me a text or two if you want….let’s share!
Let’s have some fun this season!
Remember, this year, more than ever, it’s not about the stuff…..