The holiday season is a time of childlike joy for many, and a source of heightened stress for others. Typically, there are more pulls on our time and more stuff in our space during these months. More clutter equates to more stress, and with more things on our to-do lists, our stress levels tend to soar. But with clarity and some pre-planning, your holidays can be joy-filled instead of stress- filled, and your clutter free space can support you rather than deplete you.
HERE ARE 9 TIPS TO HELP YOU ALLEVIATE HOLIDAY STRESS AND CLUTTER:
1. IDENTIFY WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU
Make decisions and holiday plans that align with what you deem most important
2. BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR FINANCES.
Stay within your budget and do not fall victim to impulse or guilt buying.
3. DECLUTTER BEFORE DECORATING.
Purge things that a.) you no longer love, b.) you no longer use, and c.) no longer serve you well. Donate or gift things that you no longer use or want, and dispose of things that are broken and non-repairable.
4. PLAN AHEAD.
Schedule the appointment with a photographer for family portraits sooner rather than later. If you are hosting the holiday dinner, get a preliminary count on how many are coming and decide what you can delegate.
5. START EARLY ON GREETING CARDS.
If you prefer to address cards by hand, start now. Otherwise, consider utilizing a software program or app that allows you to print address labels. This will save time for years to come!
6. CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN.
You can set personal boundaries. You can control clutter. You can control how you respond and react. If family dynamics stress you out, you can limit the amount of time you spend in those situations.
7. SIMPLIFY GIFT GIVING.
If you stress over fresh ideas for gifts, consider purchasing gift cards, a family gift, or gifts of experience like a vacation or outing. A membership to a club, museum, or tickets to a play are ideas that provide wonderful experiences. Bonus: They do not contribute to clutter!
8. GIFT BAGS ARE EASY.
If you spend hours wrapping gifts, use gift bags instead. Not only are they decorative, they also save time and can be repurposed again and again.
9. DO NOT OVER COMMIT.
Protect your time. Say yes if you want to, and no when you need to.
If you find yourself stressed out every holiday season and if you truly want this year to be different, then try out a few or all of these tips. Here is to you, your family, and to a holiday spent in your peace-filled home and in the presence of those you hold most dear.
Andrea Brundage, MBA, is a Professional Organizer & Bringer of Calm. In addition to helping busy families and senior clients, she works with corporate and business clients and their employees. Andrea teaches organizing principles and time management. She is also a public speaker and is working on her first book. If you are ready to turn your “Chaos into Calm,” reach Andrea at professionalorganizeraz.com or at (480) 382-1085.
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