photo courtesy of tasteofhome.com
We are approaching the end of the year but this is a busy month for everyone. Some organizing strategies for this season have already been covered in the previous months. Here are some final reminders and tips to help you through the holidays and the end of the year.
- Children and adults should take time to donate any items that are no longer useful. Many families will be forced to shop at thrift stores for holiday gifts and donating toys and clothing can be a blessing you will never see.
- If you have not done so already, immediately send cards, packages, newsletters and email messages.
- Begin traditions with your family if you have not already begun them. For young children, simple activities such as baking cookies or decorating packages are best. Older children can help with community or church events. The family can purchase gifts for an "Angel Tree", read the Christmas story together, watch a favorite Christmas movie, etc. Keep it simple.
- Take pictures of family and friends and the decorations you chose as a keepsake and reminder for next year.
- Be flexible on the big day and welcome any help offered. Don't sweat the small stuff and keep the mood light and happy.
- Avoid the after Christmas sale unless you absolutely immediately need the items. Avoid the long lines, parking problems and traffic jams. Items that need to be returned can usually wait for a few days.
- Resist the urge to buy more holiday decorations just because they are on sale.
- Keep a journal of what worked and what didn't, the gifts you gave and any changes you would make in the future. Keep a list of clutter free gifts you can give next year. (A list can be found in my book on pages 103-105.)
- Keep the collection of all the lists, ideas, recipes, pictures, evaluations, etc. related to the holiday in a manila folder or create a folder for them on your computer.
- Plan the holiday clean up when others are there to help you. Make it as much a part of the traditions as decorating.
- As you put up and take down the decorations, consider purging what you can. Eliminate as much permanent storage as possible. Make sure all items are clean and in good repair. Try to maintain only those things with special significance or that cannot be replaced. Donate or pass on the others.
- Consider color coding holiday containers and label with the contents.
- If you have space, hang bows in bags on hooks to maintain their shape.
- Set a family goal to make the holidays even more meaningful next year. Adopt a charity, volunteer in the community, participate in your church holiday program, etc. Write down your decision and make plans for it next year.