Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Enjoying the Holidays Stress Free

Christmas is just around the corner.  That sounds pretty stressful for many and on top of that, because Thanksgiving fell late this year, we lost a week of preparing for the Christmas season.

After Thanksgiving is the best time to have your children go through all their toys and get rid of broken toys, donate or sell those toys they feel they are too old for. Encourage them to really think about donating at this time of the year. Teaching them early to go through their toys once or twice a year keeps them organized and eliminates the clutter from your home.

When it is time
to shop, make sure you have a list. You can still make shopping fun with friends and family. Plan a day out and take your list with you. If you do have to mail any gifts, get those done first. Arrange your list by importance and work down.

If you decorate, bake, shop and entertain all in the month of December, you will need a plan. Making a day to day plan is the best way to relieve some stress. Plan your days of shopping first. Even those that work outside the home should plan their shopping and baking days. If you bake cookies, bake those you can freeze first. This allows you to keep them fresh, but do many in advance. Wrap presents as you purchase them rather than waiting until the day before Christmas to do all the wrapping.

Decorating can also be broken down into steps. Try decorating outside first, and the inside your home. For outside, put the lights up first, then add the wreaths, bows, and other accessories. Make sure you test all lights prior to putting them up outside and inside.

Break the inside down into floors, decorations and fresh greenery. Even the tree can be done in steps such as lights and ornaments. Start now to make those plans and have a stress free holiday season.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Organizing and Purging At Every Stage of Life

Purging is for everyone no matter what age or what stage of life you are in.  Whether you are in college, single and living on your own, newly married, having children, an empty nester or  grandparents, there is always something you no longer need or use.  Life changes constantly and so do what and how we use things.  Our taste in fashion and decorating changes as we age too.
I had a client I helped when she lost her husband.  She was in a condo as she and her late husband had already downsized to the condo a number of years prior.  She and I went through every closet, drawer and space to eliminate what she no longer needed or used.  She paired down on many items including 7 large totes filled with framed pictures that had come from her 4 bedroom home.  We took most of the pictures out and gave away the frames as most of the pictures and frames were incredibly out dated.  We went from 7 totes to 1 with mostly pictures and a few frames she could use for new pictures.
A year later, I helped her move to an independent living community and again, we purged what she would not need at her new apartment including some furniture and many of her holiday decorations.
A few years later her family asked me to help with her move into a memory care unit.  Again, there was a purge and many of her items were taken by family members and some to charity.  She needed much less in her new apartment.  At every stage, she no longer needed or wanted some items.
You should evaluate your spaces on a consistent basis to keep from becoming overwhelmed and purging frequently eliminates clutter from building up.
Keeping a bag nearby to put items in you no longer use helps keep the clutter away.   As you are opening up totes for the holiday decorations and you no longer use a specific decoration, put it in the bag so someone else can enjoy it.  Schedule time on your calendar every month to take those items to the charity of your choice.  There are hundreds of charities looking for what you no longer need.  Many charities pick up weekly in your area and all it takes is a call.  Our tastes and habits change as we get older, so purge with the times.   Visit my website for more tips.