It’s funny how we know the holidays are coming, but once Thanksgiving arrives, we are stunned that the Christmas rush is in full swing. Plan now, before Thanksgiving to do what you can to lighten the load and make your December organized and enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
Weed out before the deluge. We acquire excessive amounts during the holidays. Take the time to weed out now to make room for all of the “incoming” so clutter doesn’t creep in and take over.
Streamline holiday decorations. Do you pull out droves of holiday decorations that have been sitting in storage for decades? This year do some editing. If you haven’t displayed an item for a few years, maybe it’s time to pass it on. Holiday decorations are always a great tax-deductible donation.
Make a list and check it twice. Making lists can help keep all of your thoughts relating to that item, event or gift list in one place. Use them as much as you can—especially throughout the holidays.
Host a gathering. Make a plan to entertain at your place during the holidays, it’s a great motivator to finish up projects around the house and get things in order. Carve out the time to do it right so you’re not shoving things in closets just before your guests arrive.
Give gifts that don’t cause clutter. How many knick knacks and ties does one really need? Rather than giving a trinket, give an experience. There are so many unique options online, so think outside the box this year and get creative in your clutter-free gift giving. Maybe even a Chaos To Order gift certificate is in order
Admire, don’t acquire. Do you set out shopping for gifts and come home with more for yourself? There’s plenty out there in the stores to catch your eye, so set a budget for your personal spending in addition to those on your gift list.
Christmas is over and it’s time to get the red out. It’s festive and wonderful to pull out all of the Christmas decorations, but once the Holidays are over, it’s even better to see them all get put away. It’s great to have a clean fresh, clutter free space in the new year. Here are some tips for cleaning up and storing decorations…
Take pictures of your decor before you take it down. Print out the photo and put it in the storage box. This way, you’ll remember how you like it for next year.
Not all Christmas decorations last forever. Look thru what you haven’t pulled out this year and eliminate what you are not going to pull out next year. Christmas decorations are great for the donation box.
Don’t put away any lights that aren’t fully lit. Find a Holiday light recycling source. Check out Earth911.com to find a recycling center near you.
Keep ALL of your holiday items together, including books, gift wrap, cooking items, clothing, linens, books and movies. We tend to think of packing up holiday decorations, but there are many other things we also use only at this time of the year. During the season, rethink how much can go into storage.
Statistics reveal that more than 80 percent of us buy transparent tape for wrapping packages during the holidays. With so many different types of tape dispensers, which one is the most efficient? I like the Scotch Deluxe Desktop Tape Dispenser. It allows you to use only one hand when dispensing tape, you can pull any size amount, sometimes you need long pieces and other times short pieces so the dispensers that pop out the same size every time don’t work as well. I’m using my dispenser heavily during this holiday wrapping time, but it’s also heavily used year around. I have a tape dispenser right at my desk as well as on the counter in the kitchen. I’ve talked about the Scotch Desktop Tape Dispenser in a previous post as well. There are all kinds of uses for tape around the house, especially in the kitchen. Everything from sealing bags to taping a quick note to someone on the cabinet. If your hosting Christmas and are busy wrapping presents and cooking in the kitchen, keep this tape dispenser handy!
Christmas is only three days away, so making the most of the time that remains is crucial. Here are 5 tips to help you finish your holiday shopping quickly and efficiently:
- Think before you shop. Don’t head to the mall to gather ideas, plan your strategy. Make lists and put any ideas you can down on paper or digital. Work from your lists and know what you’re getting.
- Shop when crowds are down. Many stores are open round-the-clock until Christmas, so sneak away at an off hour to get that shopping done without the long lines.
- Order ahead. Many stores have online ordering and pickup available. Find what you need and put it on hold. If you can pay for it, that too will lessen the hassle at the store.
- Give an experience rather than an item. Of course we think organizing services make a great gift, but meals, show tickets, gift cards etc. will always work.
- When all else fails, give a re-gift. As long as the gift is tasteful and something you really would consider buying, go with a recycled gift of something you already have.
Ok, no time to waste. If you haven’t finished yet, get out there and wrap it up!
If you’re traveling over the holidays, Tripit trip planner is a great system for keeping all of your travel plans in one place. You can create a master itinerary and add details as you go by turning your confirmation emails into simple, mobile travel itineraries that you can also share with your family so they are kept in the loop as well. You can add maps and directions, travel notes, photos, recommendations etc… It’s easy to use, you just forward any related emails to email@example.com and they are added to your itinerary. There’s a version for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7. Give it a try if you want to travel organized with all of your information available on your mobile device or in the cloud through any online access. Happy Travels!
For all you holiday shoppers out there who are looking for some great gift ideas for your oh so organized gift recipients, here are Five Friday Favorite gift ideas to make that organizing junkie happy:
Brother P-Touch Labeler. An organizers must have for labeling everything from file folders to storage boxes. It a great size, you can carry it along anywhere, and it makes nice laminated labels. You can purchase the Brother P-Touch Labeler at Officemax.
Folding Step Stool. If you’re vertically challenged and have floor to ceiling cabinets in your kitchen, a good step stool is a necessity. The Easy Fold Step Stool can hang on a hook or even slide into the cabinet where you keep trays and cookie sheets.
Market Tote. This handy basket is is great for shopping and running errands. Listen to our organizer Pam discuss how she uses it. Watch our YouTube video where she explains how she likes to use this basket.
Opt for an “Experience” Gift. Rather than purchasing a gift that will eventually end up adding to clutter, choose to spend time with your gift recipient doing something they enjoy. A movie, theater tickets, dinner together—opt for an adventure rather than an item.
Give the Gift of Organization. If someone on your gift list has been wanting to get themselves organized, you can purchase a gift certificate from Chaos To Order in any amount. Buy your gift here–shipping is free
Can’t figure out what to get that someone special on your Christmas list? Do they have everything they need, maybe even a little too much? How about giving them the gift of organization! Chaos to Order gift certificates can be purchased directly from our website and you can make a purchase in any amount. We also have some terrific organizing packages that you can choose from. So if you want to give a truly clutter free gift, the professional organizers of Chaos To Order are more than happy to come and bring the Chaos to Order to you!
The month of December feels like it’s two months rolled into one. If you think about it, the amount of “extra” things we do in December is overwhelming. We do everything from holiday decorating to baking and parties to year end finances and needing to squeeze in those special holiday visits with friends and family. Work still has to get done, and sometimes at the end of the year there’s even a big push to also get extra work done–go figure! Here’s a little product that can help to keep your projects organized . The Project Organizer from Smead is a great place to keep papers from several different projects relating to one category. I particularly like the labels because you can create 10 different categories with labels all in one Project Organizer. There’s also plenty of space inside for notes and lists. It’s made with a durable cover and 2-ply tabs. If you’re on the go, it’s good to bring along. Check out the Smead Project Organizer and get your papers in their place!
Are you wracking your brain trying to think of creative gift ideas for the person on your list who has everything? In the spirit of living lean and reducing excess, how about giving a clutter free gift? Here are some suggestions for gifts that you can give with thought and meaning, without the clutter:
- Find a charity that is a favorite of the receiver, or something they’re fond of and donate to that Charity in their name.
- Give acts of service. Are you good on the computer, running errands, babysitting? Offer your time as the gift.
- Like to cook? Offer a nice meal with all the details.
- Does the person on your list have a hobby? Look into classes they can take and offer the class as a gift.
- Plan an outing or trip to take together. Rather than exchanging gifts, you can spend time (the most precious gift) with each other.
- Maybe if they have everything, they need to do some eliminating. How about the ultimate clutter free and clutter reducing gift–getting organized! You can order a gift certificate in any amount right here.