It’s almost Christmas time! And well, I put my hands up…this year, I’ve been so busy, that I’m really not feeling very organised at all. Which is a great source of panic for me!
Because I’m probably not the only one, I thought a quick list of things to check off so we feel a little more in control might help! Here we go!
1. Declutter as you put up the decorations
How often have you said this in the past? “In January, I’ll declutter before I put these decorations back” or “Next year, I’ll sort out these decorations before I put up the tree”. Well this year, let’s get it done as you decorate the tree. Remove decor that is broken and too old. For decorations that you just don’t like, or if you’d prefer to change your colour scheme next year, then create a donations pile to give to your local charity shop.
If you’ve already got the tree up, then make plans to declutter as you take it down. If you get any gifts with tissue paper, keep it to one side to use to wrap and protect your ornaments. While if you are using cardboard boxes as storage, take some time out to buy stronger plastic boxes. If you get matching boxes, this not only looks nice, but the uniformity will also give the visual cue to make the boxes stand out against other items in the attic or wherever you happen to store them. This makes retrieval much easier for whoever has the job of pulling out the decorations each year!
2. Start wrapping your gifts right away
This may be easier said than done, but it will save you time if you can get down to wrapping your gifts as you buy them. I find gift wrapping fun, but not so much if I have to wrap all of them at the one time. It gets a bit tedious as the evening goes on. It always takes longer than you think it will.
Perhaps keep your gift wrap supplies in the living room for the next few weeks, and then as you sit down to watch TV in the evening, with a candle lighting and a cup of tea, you can wrap a few gifts. If the whole family is sitting around in the evening, it can be a nice slow end to a busy day (just make sure you’re not wrapping their gift in front of them!).
3. Create a list of things to do
Making a list of fun activities to do when you have a few days off can really help to maximise this available time. If you have a busy family life during the year, holidays like Christmas is the perfect opportunity to spend some time all together. But when the holidays land upon you all of a sudden, instead of wracking your brains wondering what to do to entertain the kids, a prepared list will come in handy.
I’ve created a list for myself this year. Because I work non stop and I am ….well…very single…I wanted to have a list of things to keep me entertained and away from the laptop! So now with my list, if I’m bored, I can see what’s on the list that’s fun to do and go do it!
4. Clean the fridge and oven
Your fridge and oven get quite a work out over the festive season, so before Christmas week arrives, it’s time to clean them out first.
For the fridge, remove any food out of date or that won’t be used. Wash drawers and shelves in warm, soapy water and give the interior a wipe down. Use containers for different food groups such as cheese/ cooked ham/ left overs. Also keep labels and a pen close to the fridge. As you add left overs into the fridge or freezer, place a quick note of the date it was added in. In that way, if it’s forgotten and found later, you will know how long it’s been in there.
As for the oven, this takes SERIOUS muscle…which I simply do.not.have. I’ve looked into a lot of natural cleaners for the oven, and I haven’t found ones that work as well as I hoped. If you have any suggestions, let us know in the comments.
However, while normally I quite enjoy cleaning, the oven is my limit. I am of the opinion that life is too short to clean it so I usually get a company in to do so. I think my family and friends thought I was mad that I’d do that, but I have since converted them! Or rather the cleaning company has – he is soo good and uses all natural cleaners. Worth every penny!
5. Clean the spare towels and bed linen
If you’re expecting guest over the holidays, wash, dry and iron towels and bed linen they may need early in December. As we get closer to Christmas, life gets busier, so getting this sort of job done and dusted early will help. They are ready and waiting for your guest, instead of an extra hassle to look after just before they arrive.
6. Organise the DVD’s and boardgames
Over Christmas watching endless TV and cooped up indoors can get a bit boring. So take the opportunity now to get boardgames and DVDs ready to keep the whole family entertained. Instead of thinking of something to do on the fly and then routing around cupboards looking for games only to find pieces are missing, get it all sorted now!
7. Clean the un-usual nooks and crannies of the home
This time of year is a good time to clean areas of the house that we don’t usually think about. Grab your vacuum and duster and tackle these areas:
- skirting boards
- cupboard doors
- inside cupboards
- sink plugs
- door frames and panels
- shower tiles
- under and behind beds
For more suggestions, read back over our recent 5 Places You Forget To Clean article.
8. Meal planning for Christmas week
Trying to figure out what to make for dinner year round is a headache for most of us. At Christmas time, because there is so much food and a lot of leftovers, this headache can be avoided. But only with some planning. How handy to know in advance what leftovers will be used and when. Meal planning also allows you to accommodate guests more efficiently. It can also keep costs down as you can coordinate your food shopping list with it and budget accordingly.
9. Plans your outfits for Christmas week
Again another time saver is to figure out what you or the kids will wear over Christmas week and New Year’s Day. If you’re going away or visiting family, organising the outfits ahead of time frees you up to get on with the other demands on your time. By planning outfits, you can also coordinate your laundry and make sure everything you and the family will need are washed and ready to wear.
10. Book your appointments
If you haven’t done so already, get on it quick! It’s getting very late for any hair or beauty treatments you might need so as soon as you’ve finished reading this post, get these booked in and organised for Christmas and New Year!
And finally, don’t forget to disconnect…and I say this to myself as much as anyone. I can’t wait to finish up for a few weeks and spend time with my family, see my friends, go into town to enjoy the atmosphere or relax in front of the TV or with a book with the tree in the corner. I hope you get a chance to do something similar!