Thursday, October 3, 2013

Preparing Slowly for the Holidays: The Three Month Plan

With the holidays around the corner, it is easy for people to start to feel stressed.  By starting ahead, you can enjoy your holiday and not be stressed because you have a plan for everything and you just need to work your plan.  This is my plan for the next three months:

October:  Get rid of clutter in the home.

November:  Deep Clean.

December:  Focus on Christmas preparations, activities, and time with family and friends.

No one wants a house full of clutter for the holidays.  Now is the time to clean up the clutter spots in your home.  Don't worry about deep cleaning right now.  That is what we will do next month.  We are just getting rid of stuff that we don't need, don't use, don't want and doesn't fit.  It is a perfect time to have your kids go through their toys and donate some to charity organizations that can bless the lives of other children who may not have the chance to get toys for Christmas.  Your kids can learn to give before they get.  You can clear out room for the new toys you are planning on getting for Christmas.  It is a great time for you to also donate things to charity and share your surplus.

It doesn't really matter where you start in your home.  The most important thing is to start.  I am going to start with my kitchen because holiday cooking is something we do each year.  I will go through my cupboards and see what I have on hand.  I will plan the menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas and plan my holiday cooking.  This way, I can know just what I need when the holiday bake sales begin.  I also try to get enough sugar, flour and butter for most of the year.  If money is tight this year, look through your cupboards and see what you have to use.  Find recipes that you can make using what you have.  For years, I used to make treats for people.  I spent a lot of money and a lot of time in the kitchen.  One year, we got a lot of treats.  I even had a friend bring over a freezer full of treats that they had received because it was just too much.  That made me realize that maybe people don't want treats from everyone around the holidays.  Many people are trying to lose weight or eat healthier.  After that, I started making bread or something else that wasn't full of sugar and fat.  I got lots of comments about how nice it was to receive something that wasn't another sweet treat.  Since then, I have cut back a lot on my holiday cooking.  I found the right balance for me.  Just because this is right for me, doesn't mean that you need to follow it.  You need to figure out what is right for you.  At some point, it would be good to figure out your holiday budget and then plan accordingly, but for now just focus on getting rid of the clutter in your home.  I am going to go through all my cupboards and pantry and see what food I have.  I will see what I need, what needs to be used and plan meals and baking around these items in the next few months.  I will also see if I have extra dishes in my cupboards that I don't use.  These will be donated.  I always enjoy donating food to the food bank each year around the holidays.  My kids always have Food drives in school and I will have things set aside for them to take. By going through my cupboards and pantry now, I will be prepared ahead for our needs as well as to share with others.  

By decluttering and organizing my home now, I won't have to worry about it during the holidays.  I can spend the holidays doing other things I enjoy.  I will know exactly what I have ahead of time and I won't have the clutter in the house which will make deep cleaning it next month much easier.  

Try to find 15-30 minutes each day to go through your home this month and get rid of the clutter.

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