Here are 7 Tips to help you ease your stress and get ready for the holidays without having a major anxiety attack:
1. Write a list of everything you need to do for the holidays. Make it a general list. For example: Don't list what you'll get for each person, just write "buy gifts".
2. Next – go through your list, eliminate anything you don't HAVE to do, & rearrange it in order of what needs to be done first. Then hang up your list where you'll see it.
3. Then start a detailed list of the project you have to do first. As each new project is due and you make a new list for it, search it line by line to see what can be eliminated or streamlined. If you serve a dinner, can you ask others to bring dishes? If you HAVE to bake cookies (& just maybe you don't??) can you suggest a cookie exchange? If you have too many gifts to give, can you suggest a grab-bag where everyone selects just one person to buy for?
4. As you go through your gift list, if you spot people who might want to break their procrastination or clutter habits, (get ready — here comes a commercial) consider giving them some of our Learning Resources we offer on our web site:
If people like to learn by reading, we have books.
If people like to learn by listening, we have CDs
If people like to learn by watching TV, we have DVDs.
MY OH MY, WHAT A GREAT TIP THIS IS!!
5. Don't get crazy expecting yourself, others or life to be perfect. It's not going to happen.
6. If instead of "clutter bust the home" you wrote "get the government to declare this home a disaster area" then start with one room at a time. Remember that clutter busting involves making lots of decisions, so work in one-hour bursts with a reward at the end of each hour. Select a person or organization that will love & cherish your stuff as much as you do, and joyfully give to them anything you don't need or haven't used in the past year. Yes, this even includes holiday decorations.
7. If cleaning the house is overwhelming you, take it a little at a time. Don't try to clutter-bust AND clean on the same day, you might keel over, Poor Thing. Just attack the clutter in the rooms that people will see during the holidays (close all bedroom doors). Tackle the clutter in one section of a room at a time. When in doubt, toss it out. If you can be ruthless in getting rid of stuff, then it won't be around to clutter you up again.
Photo credit: Rosemarie Gearhart at iStockphoto.com