When it comes to reducing the sense of overwhelm that generally accompanies the holiday season, the name of the game is “Do Things Early”. Today I’ll offer up a list of items that may be on your super-sized Holiday To Do List that you can focus on knocking out in the next week or two, in order to carve out more time for the festive aspects of the season come December.
1. Deep Clean
Now is the time to clean your carpets and refrigerator, dust the blinds and ceiling fans, and disassemble your family room furniture to vacuum under the cushions! If you tackle the deep cleaning now, you’ll be ready to entertain guests after just a surface cleaning of the common areas come December.
November is the perfect time to declutter your closets as well as the kids’ playroom, in order to make room for the influx of new items that will be arriving in late December.
Decluttering also comes into play as you begin the holiday decorating process. Take time to review your holiday decor; remove any items that you haven’t used in the past few years from your collection. You can either donate the items, or consider hosting a “holiday decor swap” with your friends.
During your declutter frenzy, don’t neglect the kitchen! Declutter the refrigerator, freezer and pantry by tossing unused leftovers and expired items. You’ll need to make room for all of the yummy holiday party food!
3. Take inventory of your food
As we all know, food plays a significant role in our holiday celebrations, so expect to devote a bit more time and energy during this season for organizing and maintaining the areas that serve as home to your food items.Once you’ve cleaned and decluttered the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, take inventory of what food items you now have on hand. Knowing what you already have comes in handy when you begin preparing your holiday grocery shopping list. I recommend using laminated printable inventory sheets on a regular basis to assist with weekly meal planning.
4. Prepare and freeze meals
During the holiday season, you may find yourself hosting an impromptu get-together with friends/family. It pays to cook and freeze a few one-pot meals now so that you’ll have an easy home-cooked meal on hand for these occasions.
5. Organize coupons
Go through your coupon collection and weed out the expired ones. Create a system for tracking expiration dates for those “great deal” coupons that you definitely plan to take advantage of as you begin your holiday shopping in the weeks to come.
6. Take inventory of your gift wrap supplies
Now’s the time to ensure that you have a sufficient supply of gift wrap, gift bags, ribbon, and scotch tape on hand. If you don’t have a gift wrap station, go ahead and create one.
7. Prepare holiday cards
If you choose to send out a holiday card, begin completing all of the sub-tasks associated with getting the cards in the mail…purchasing stamps, updating your card recipient address list, taking the family photo, etc. Even if you prefer not to send the cards out for another month, you can purchase/create cards, stuff and address the envelopes and have them ready for send-off now!
8. Declutter your camera memory cards
Remove the memory cards from your cameras and video recorders, download the contents onto your computer and delete the images/videos from the memory cards in order to make room for all of the images/video footage you plan to capture during the 2015 holiday season!
What other holiday tasks do you tend to complete in early November in order to get them off of your holiday To Do list?