The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
Attention ladies and gentleman….I have something I’d like to share with you.
As of now, we are a mere 19 days away from Christmas and 11 days away from the start of Hanukkah.
But that doesn’t mean it’s time for your stress levels to hit the stratosphere. In fact the holidays are supposed to be a time for giving, being with your family, and enjoying some festive cheer. So let’s put aside the crazy- and try these 5 tips for a more peaceful holiday season:
1. Decide what to let go
With just a few weeks left, there may not be time for you to accomplish all that you hoped to do. So pick a few things to eliminate from your “to do” list. Didn’t get around to ordering holiday cards? Send an email photo card instead. Didn’t have time to make homemade gifts for the nieces and nephews this year? A gift card will still be quite appreciated. Just start crossing things off, and move on.
The holidays don’t have to be “perfect” or match your ideal holiday fantasy. Decide what is really important to you (in my case- baking cookies and watching holiday specials with my family), and just let the rest go.
2. Make a plan
Get out your calendar, pick a date, and write down when you want to be finished with your shopping. Pick one night to wrap all of your gifts. If taking the kids to see the “Nutcracker” is something you don’t want to miss- take a moment right now to order the tickets and get the date down in your calendar.
Giving yourself these deadlines take the full burden of all that needs to be done over the holidays off of your shoulders now, and parses it out into bite-sized pieces you can accomplish on specific dates.
Now, don’t spend any more time thinking about what’s on your complete list. Think only of what you need to accomplish today.
3. Get your kids to help you to clean out the toy and craft closet or shelves
As organizers at heart, the thought of more stuff coming into the house before we’ve cleared out some of the clutter we already own can actually add stress to our holidays. So take some time to clear out some of the kids toy and craft clutter.
You can take a few hours to tackle a big clean out (I did this with my kids on our toy and craft closet this week), or just set a timer for 10 minutes and ask everyone to choose 5 items that they no longer use and put them into the donation bin.
4. Give yourself the gift of a cleaning service
I would love to have someone clean my home every week of the year, but it’s just not in our family’s budget. But that doesn’t mean I can’t treat myself to a paid home cleaning every once in a while- and the holiday season is the perfect time to do just that! There are lots of quality hourly cleaning services available (such as Molly Maids or Merry Maids) that you can call and book two wonderful helpers to come to your home for 2-3 hours and tackle the dusting, vacuuming, and mopping before the holidays.
It will feel so decadent that someone else took care of it for you, and since they are more concerned with deep cleaning than organizing and de-cluttering, they accomplish more than you would in the same amount of time!
5. Pick a day to slow down and savor the season
Notice I didn’t suggest that you plan to take a whole day off! Because you and I both know how unrealistic that is during this time of year! But pick an afternoon or an evening and plan to just sit down and relax. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea, sit next to a fire, turn on the tree lights, and just give yourself the time to feel grateful for all that you have this holiday season.
I would like to wish each and every OrgJunkie reader a warm and happy holiday! And I would love to hear one thing that you plan to do for yourself this holiday season!
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and making meals that kids will actually eat!