How to Get Your Home Organized and Have a Peaceful Christmas
I have an odd lifestyle that leaves me little time for organizing. I live in my house only 3-4 days per week. With a large homeschooling family that equates to me uncovering piles in odd places with no idea as to how or when they were constructed. Once a month I go through my home room by room to get rid of the piles, but sometimes my deep need to get organized when things have gotten to the point where I can’t find things when I need them is more than frustrating. The holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Years can be more chaotic than ever if I let it. Over the years I have learned the blessings of simplifying life so that I can enjoy all of the holidays without stress. A peaceful Christmas is a wonderful Christmas tradition for our family now. I have talked with so many women about their ideas to keep things simple and how they get organized, researched websites, followed others’ plans, and have come to a wonderful process that helps me maintain my sanity, get things accomplished, and allows me to truly enjoy a peaceful Christmas. Encouragement from you has inspired me to share my plan and get organized right alongside you this year. If I can get my home ready for Christmas, being here only half of the time, you can do it too! Let the countdown to a peaceful Christmas begin!
Each week I will issue a challenge for you to accomplish. Use it as is, or use it as a guide and mold it to fit your life and lifestyle. We all have unique needs and I believe the best plan is one that you can grab on to and call your own. You can get organized right alongside me and know that you are not alone. The time frame involved in each week’s challenges is to get them completed within the week. If you finish your “Countdown to Christmas: Get Organized Now” tasks in one day, great. If you prefer to spread them out over the week, that is terrific too. If you change your style to fit your calendar schedule from week to week, you are still on the right path. The goal is to get organized now, so you can relax and enjoy a stress free peaceful Christmas season. It isn’t about how you get the tasks accomplished; it is about getting them accomplished within the week. If you are up for the challenge, and you are ready, let’s get get organized now!
WEEK ONE CHALLENGES:
- Gift List Challenge. If you have already finished your Christmas shopping you can skip this challenge. For the rest of us, it is time to get our list from our heads to paper. Make a master gift list. Write down every person you would like to give a gift to this year. Define your budget, list gift ideas for each person, and list stores where you will get the best value for the gifts if possible. If you are making gfts this year, be sure to jot them down on the list. Make a separate list of any supplies you need. BONUS CHALLENGE: Eliminate 5 people from your gift list. I am not suggesting you eliminate your mother or best friend. However, evaluate if there are people on your list whom you feel obligated to purchase a present for. Presents should be given from your heart, not from obligation. Time Allotted: 1 hour
- Christmas Card List Challenge. Are you sending cards or letters this year? Review your list. Consider removing any people you haven’t had contact (of any kind) for five years or more. If you enjoy sending picture cards, plan a day to take the photo. If you want to scale back your overall Christmas budget, evaluate if you want to send actual cards/letters or perhaps emails. Consider doing a combination. Set your budget accordingly. Time Allotted: 1 hour
- Room Check Challenge. Grab a notebook or clipboard with paper and a pencil. Walk into each room of your house. Write down the room and any notes about specific tasks that will need accomplished. These are tasks that would not be included in normal cleaning or organizing. For example, if you change pillows or blankets in your living room seasonally, write that down. Take note of small projects you would like to get done in the room, such as touch up paint, furniture arrangement, toy de-cluttering, or scrubbing around your mantel. Use a separate sheet of paper for each room. BONUS CHALLENGE: Take note of three to five items to eliminate from each room. These can be large, such as a piece of furniture, or small, such as a blanket, picture, or knick knack. Time Allotted: 90 minutes
- Food Challenge. Are you planning on hosting a neighborhood Christmas party? Will you be participating in a cookie exchange? Is Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner to be at your home? Make a list of the activities involving food and the menu items you will be making for each. Then write a master list of ingredients needed. Check this against your Pantry and Freezer Inventory lists. BONUS CHALLENGE: Plan to get your pantry organized by removing non-perishable items you know you will not be using through New Years and placing them in bags or boxes for donation to your local food pantry. Time Allotted: 45 minutes
- Develop your personalized Countdown to Christmas: Get Organized Now Plan. Grab your calendar and ready yourself to make your personalized organizational plan to prepare your home for Christmas. It is time for you to look at your personality, your schedule, and your lists. You are going to plan how many rooms you are going to get through each week. Each room will need time allotted for de-cluttering, seasonal decorating, and deep cleaning as you countdown to Christmas. If you have a lot of rooms in your home consider pairing a room that will require little time with a room that will require a larger amount of time. You will need to determine what week you want your project to end. For me, I like to get organized by the beginning of the second week of December. Take into account the extra small projects you would like to accomplish in each room as you look at your schedule. You are to assign a room or rooms per week, balancing your tasks with your schedule and time frame. The most important part of this step is to be honest and realistic about your scheduling. Do not set yourself up to be disappointed or overwhelmed. Time Allotted: 90 minutes
Save My Sanity Challenge: When making your list, take notes on tasks that your children can do. Get yourself prepared to save your sanity big time by planning activites for your children to do while you are working on your challenges. Planning Christmas craft ideas for your kids will pay off big with your sanity as you get your home organized.
These are your Countdown to a Peaceful Christmas: Get Organized Now challenges for Week One. They are not overly time consuming, but they are crucial to making the most of your time and energy balanced around your schedule. Total time needed for this week’s challenges are five to six hours. That equates to an average of only 3/4 hour per day! Since much of this week’s challenges are pencil and paper oriented, you can plan while you are on the go. Have an orthodontist appointment? Work on your plan while in the waiting room. Soccer, football, or hockey practice this week? Bring along your notebook to accomplish some of the organizational challenges. The goal is to be prepared to have a relaxing stress free peaceful Christmas. Let’s get organized now!