Thank you to everyone who made it to my Orange County Public Library Talk. For those of you that were unable to make it here is an overview of what we discussed.
It's that time of year we are all looking forward to spend with friends and family, the holidays. We prep for all the holiday goodies by hitting the gym, but have you started to prep and plan for all the new gifts needing places in your home? So what do you do? Let's make sure in 2016 your Holiday Seasons ends in holiday cheer and not holiday clutter.
Giving and Receiving Gifts
There is no greater gesture than a gift from a friend or loved one. The unspoken truth is sometimes that gift comes with more guilt than holiday cheer once received. If someone you love gives you something you don’t need or can't use, you might feel it would be rude or hurtful to give it back or away. I am here to tell you to STOP holding on to the holiday gift receiving guilt. It is ok to let it go, let it go (just like that Frozen song)
If you want people to love what you give them, then ask what they need or want. Now you know for sure it will get used or be loved. If you can't afford the gifts they want you can always give consumables. This is a great way to ensure clutter will not build up. Gifts with a shelf life are on top of my gift giving guilt free list. Cards, food, flowers, concert tickets, spa days, and a museum pass are a few examples.
When a friend asks what you would like for Christmas tell them things like cookies, cakes or wine. These are great gifts to give and receive because no one expects you to hold onto them forever. If you have a crazy aunt or friend that likes to give homemade gifts politely thank them and remember that after a month or two, you are free to rid yourself of them. If they ever ask about it you can say that you donated it to a worthy cause such as a church rummage sale.
If others give you gifts that don’t fit your life, you can always return them. If they ever ask about it, let them know what the problem was and then show them what you replaced it with. Put yourself in their shoes, if you gave them something that was useful but just not for them, would you be sore if they returned it and replaced it with something they truly loved? They would still remember it was from you and your kind gesture.
Create a Plan
Do you struggle with disorganization? Is every nook and cranny cramp with paperwork, gifts never opened, magazines out of date, projects or crafts to be started, and piles of clothes on the floor? Then it is time to develop a plan to retrain your routine in 2016.
Getting 2016 off to an Organized Bang!
Start small and work your way up. If you start with the junk drawer and make room in there you'll see how easy it is to move onto the kitchen cabinets next. Remember if you forgot that you owned an item, then you can easy let it go. Helpful tip; when organizing cabinets place seasonal items in the back.
Let's say you have a bedroom closet which could use some much needed time and attention. Start by dragging out gifts from last Christmas that you haven't used (or wanted) the entire year. It's likely that no mention of these gifts have come up in conversation since received. People hold onto a lot of gift guilt. Think about if the gift giver wanted to make you happy. Remember if they knew the item was causing you stress, then they would tell you to let it go to.
Now onto the living room clutter hiding spots. After you begin this process you'll see it will get easier. If you start now and do a little at a time you can have your place ship shape for the new year. Plus you now have space for all the new goodies which will be coming in as gifts.
If you have children now is the time to teach them the fine art of decluttering. Let them choose their favorite toys and donate the rest. This will not only teach your child to find kindness through giving, but it will open up spaces for all the new toys and gifts they will receive. Taking this necessary step of making room for new items is a key step in keeping a kid's room clean all year long.
If you like to decorate for the holidays you know how messy things can get when it's time to put all the decorations away. Taking down lights and wrapping them along a piece of cardboard will keep them untangled for the next year. If you take a few minutes to put it away properly, you'll thank yourself next time you start to decorate.
Follow the Plan
But how does one stay on task, when keeping things organized seems overwhelming. Remember that organization is something that happens everyday. Just like washing clothes or dishes if you don’t attend to it often it can quickly become an overwhelming mess. If you make it a daily habit to put things back into their homes it will make it easier to keep up with. Once a month make a plan to declutter one space. If you have 6-10 rooms in your home and attend to one each month you can keep a handle on staying organized.