Tag Archives: Organizing
As a child the holiday season seems so magical. Houses are decorated, there’s always amazing food everywhere, visitors stop by from all corners of the world, and everyone is happy – except for the person in charge of making sure the holidays go off without a hitch.
That person is generally the primary caretaker of the family and he or she has a lot to do to make the home holiday-ready. As tempting as it may be to shove everything that isn’t aesthetically pleasing under the bed or in a closet, cutting the clutter is what really needs to happen.
The following things help make sure that your home, family, and mind are free of clutter and ready for the holidays.
Start Sorting Out the Clutter
Begin with what’s most important. If you know that guests will be staying at your house overnight or, God help you, longer, and your spare room is a catch-all for all the random things in your life, start with that room. Sort through the room and make three piles: one to keep, one to throw out, and one to give away.
Toss the trash out that day. If time allows, drop off the other pile at a thrift store, or at least get it in the trunk of your car. If you don’t have the time to put away all of the items you’d like to keep, store them in a container and stack it neatly in the closet, basement, attic or garage so that it is out of the way, but not adding to the clutter.
Once the clutter is removed from a spare room (or rooms), tidy things up so it is fresh for guests. Then close the door and pretend that room doesn’t exist until guests arrive.
He Sees You When You’re Cleaning
The next to think about are the areas that are going to be the most visited during holiday get-togethers. This generally involves the kitchen, dining, and family rooms. Take a look around these rooms and identify items that are either used infrequently or not at all and remove the items. That doesn’t mean the items have to be discarded or thrown out, but they should be stored in an area where they won’t get in the way of holiday entertainment.
Other areas that need to get free of clutter before the holidays include the refrigerator, cupboards, and closets.
The refrigerator gets a lot of abuse during the holiday season as it is the go-to place for storing large platters, eggnog, grab-and-go foods for guests, and all the necessary ingredients for a Christmas meal. Before you’re faced with the task of cramming yet another dish into the fridge, take some time to go through and get rid of unnecessary food items. You might be surprised by what you find.
The same goes for cupboards and the pantry. Plus, when you clean out these areas, you might find canned goods that can be donated to those in need.
Clear Your Mind and Clear Your Home
As for the last, and perhaps most important thing that needs de-cluttered before the holidays, well, that’s your mind.
Don’t be afraid to schedule a massage, spend a day at the spa or on the golf course, or do something that helps you de-stress and clear your mind. After all, the holiday season isn’t about being stressed; it’s about spending time with family and friends and enjoying one another’s company.
I love this list. It was sent to me from a fellow professional organizer in the bay area. It seems we all hear the same things! Do any of these sound familiar to you?
1. Oooooo! THAT’S where that is!
2. Is this the worst you’ve ever seen?
3. I thought I’d lost that! Now I have two. Can’t believe I bought another when it was right here the whole time.
4. *Gasp!* Where did you find that? I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE for that!
5. Why didn’t I do this earlier?
6. While going through Memorabilia: “Awwww! I had forgotten all about that [vacation, trip, hike, etc.]”
7. I can’t believe I still have this!
8. That’s not even mine!
9. Why in the world do I own this? No body wants this–not even me.
10. What in the world IS that? I don’t even know what that is!
Reproduced from and courtesy of Kiera Rain Bay Area Professional Organizer
Click image to see a larger versionFall Filing Cabinet Fix-Up: What To Keep and What To Pitch via H&R Block
Here’s a great tip from Bobbi, who read Master your Muck and learned how to keep her papers organized: “Read the book and follow the directions.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
What is your muck? Learn how to master it!
If you have papers piling up on your kitchen counter or the dining room table, it’s time to conquer that muck! Start by sorting through the papers and getting rid of as much as you can. A great guide for what to keep and what to toss can be found here: Paper Purge Tips
There are lots of great paper purging tips on this website, and in my book, How to Master your Muck. There’s no better time than the present to conquer those piles! You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel when you walk in your house to see a clean surface instead of a pile of muck!
What is your muck? Learn how to master it!
Sometimes clutter can be an indicator that the person wants to retreat from the world or even a relationship. After all, if the house is too cluttered, friends cannot come to visit.
If the person who is in charge of cleaning the house lets it go, perhaps they are hoping that the person they share the house with will go as well.
Here is another ‘clutter versus change’ scenario to ponder. Sometimes people hold onto possessions they no longer use because it reminds them of times gone by when they were in a happier state of mind or life circumstance.
I have noticed that when my clients are surrounded with objects from the past, they have a hard time being in the present moment. This makes it difficult for them to be open and spontaneous to creating new and happy experiences.
The more clutter you have, the less you are able to be in the present moment and grab the good times as they happen.
Here’s a bonus to get you moving towards a clutter free home. Did you know that simply getting rid of clutter in your home can save you 40% of your cleaning time?
There are many hidden reasons why people have cluttered surroundings. It could be that they are avoiding something, and I don’t necessarily mean housework!
Bills and statements could be piling up because they don’t want to confront their financial woes.
Many people have the idea that if they do get on top of their bills once and for all, they will see how dire their financial situation really is. The good news is that when you organize your finances, you are two steps closer to taking control and avoiding late fees and rebuilding a potentially poor credit rating.
Here’s a staggering statistic: The average disorganized home contains over 3000 documents. Papers often enter your home without effort. Come rain or sleet or hail or shine, the mailman always delivers. Maybe this is the year that you should unsubscribe from all of those pesky mailing lists, unread magazine subscriptions or perhaps even sign up for paperless online bill paying.
Here’s tip #3 for 2013. Ditch the paper bills and take advantage of online access to your banking information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- no mailing or filing necessary!
If you have been meaning to convert to online banking, make it a priority this month. You will save boatloads of time and money by taking control of your finances and becoming proactive with your bank account!
While you are at it, turn off the related paper bills. Save the trees and save your clutter! If you do implement online banking, make sure to download and save your financial statements onto your computer hard drive or onto some type of cloud software like Dropbox so that you can access it years later if necessary.