Want to know the secret to staying organized? Do a little bit every day. I always give the example to my clients by asking them how do you eat an elephant? Simply by taking one bite at a time. The same is true for organizing. You don’t do it all at once. Tempers are lost and tears will fall if you try to do everything. Or most often if you try to do everything at once you simply don’t start. So look around your home now and see what is one thing that you can do today for 10 minutes that will get you more organized for the future. Even if we narrow our focus to the holidays and ask ourselves the same question.
Here are a few examples to get you started:
1. As you receive your holiday cards and aren’t too sure if you have Aunt Martha’s current address, simply rip off the return address and put it in an envelope clearly marked “check addresses”. Then as the holidays are over you have all of the addresses in one place and can sit with your address book and update all at once.
2. Have see thru plastic bins. In order to truly see what you have packed away, you need to get clear. It really is the only way. Start looking now as you stop in your big box stores for sales on these bins. As the new year approaches you will see mark downs on these products. Try to get a good estimate of how many you need before you leave for the store so that you don’t over purchase.
3. Clearly mark the ornaments and decorations that you did not use this year. Set them all in a box and decide if you are ready to donate them this year or wait just one more year to see if “Country Christmas” decorating makes a comeback.
4. Separate family members ornaments. My boys each have their own box of ornaments. I collected ornaments for them for years and I have them all labeled with their name and year on the box. Also, any ornaments they made in school or received as baby gifts are in this tote. When they have their own home someday, their tote is all ready to go with them.
5. Take note of what holiday supplies you need versus want. If you have a holiday party every year and you need a supply of holiday paper products, by all means stock up at end of season sales. However, if you are stocking up just because it is on sale….that is a bad idea. Same is true for wrapping paper! Say no to the “good deal” and yes to less clutter and a simpler life.
6. Create a thank you note writing center in a basket, full of pens, stamps and thank you notes. Make it easy for you and your kids to send thank you notes after the holidays are over.
7. Create a file with all of your holiday recipes that you make this year, but only include the ones that people loved. Over the years you can simply go back to this same file for inspiration instead of having to try to remember where you put the fudge recipe. I have mine in a One Note file on my computer and I simply copy and paste my recipes I find online into that file.
8. Go through your gift wrapping supplies and get rid of the paper that is in bad condition or you know you will never use. Keep what you love and try to keep it organized vertically so it easier to access and will stay in better shape.
9. As you decorate this year, take note of what you should be on the look out for this year as the end of season sales start. Do you need new lights for your tree as yours tend to burn out? Do you need extra hooks to hang ornaments? Did your tree fall over and your tree topper get crushed? Make your list and check it once!
Don’t try to make yourself crazy this season thinking that you have to do everything. Just take a few minutes a day and be intentional on reducing stress and making your life more streamlined and simplified. Pour yourself a mug of hot cocoa and enjoy the holidays!
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.mssimplicity.com/
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