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Holiday Plan: Week 1

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Planning:

To really get the holiday season started off correctly, we’ll need a plan. The best way to organize our holiday season, is to prepare a holiday planning notebook. Use a binder and a set of dividers. I have sheet protectors inside my binder to hold clippings from magazines, recipes, or receipts. Set yours up with the sections that fit your celebrations. Once your holiday notebook is organized with the right forms and sections, it’s time to tackle clutter. Some possible sections for your holiday notebook might include: Menus, Gifts, Travel, Parties, Calendars, Shopping, Lists, Decorations, Budgets, Traditions, Cleaning, Schedules, Contact, and Lists

Clutter:

Because it gets in the way of cleaning, decorating, organizing, and entertaining, our week 1 focus is clutter. We’re going to use the 4 container clutter method to go through each room in our home getting rid of obvious clutter. Remember the In/Out Rule. For every item that comes into your home, you need to let go of at least one and preferably more. You’ll have a lot of things coming in to your home during the holiday season. If you want any chance of being able to move around after the holidays are over, we’ll have to get rid of things as we go.

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Cleaning:

Although most of our time this week will be focused on planning and removing clutter, we'll still need to keep our homes picked up. One great cleaning option when we're focusing on other areas is to use short bursts of cleaning to get a lot done. Try the 15 minute cleanups for every room to keep your home looking nice while you focus on holiday planning and clearing clutter.

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Use a Timer to Clean

Organizing:

Use the 4 Container Clutter Method to make a sweep through each room in your home. When you’ve finished with one room, empty the containers and trash, donate, store, or sell them before moving on to the next room. You will be cleaning each room more thoroughly in the coming weeks, so focus on the obvious clutter for week one. Been meaning to get rid of that extra dresser in the hallway? Have a stack of magazines you were going to recycle? Make a sweep throughout the house removing all of this obvious stuff from your home. Make sure to take the extra leap and actually remove it from your home.

More Organizing Help 3 Organizing Excuses

Decorating:

Start sketching your decoration plans in your holiday organizing notebook. If you have pictures of your decorations from previous years, you have a great resource to begin planning. Think about centerpieces and collections you like to display during the holidays. Snap pictures of items and create layouts of decorating options.

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Cooking:

Make a list in your holiday organizing notebook of new recipes and old favorites to consider for the holiday meals. Break down menu lists and shopping lists. Don't forget to include homemade edible gift ideas on your lists as well. These lists will be added to throughout the holiday season.

Scheduling:

Sketch out your holiday plans including travel. Arrangements will need to be made soon to get the best prices and openings. Print off a master calendar and keep it in your notebook. Go ahead and write in items that you already know about. Try to include office and school parties, entertaining obligations, holiday events, etc. The more you can schedule now, the less likely you'll be to become overbooked.

More Scheduling Help

Free Printable Calendar

Buying:

Create lists of: presents that need to be purchased or made, decorating supplies that need to be purchased, and servingware and guest items that need to be purchased. Include all of your lists in your holiday organizing notebook so that you can add to them or modify them as needed. Try to remember all the different gifts you give during the year besides family members, and friends. Do you have gift exchanges at work, school, etc? Are there service people in your life who you usually gift to like newspaper delivery, mailman, hairdresser, etc? What about gifts for educators, bosses, and even a few emergency items for last minute surprise guests? Next week we will worry about trimming and modifying your budget, but this week try to include all the possible recipients.
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