Staying on Top of the Seasonal Chaos
Editor's Note: Spring cleaning is a long ways off, but wouldn't it be great to arrive without a huge to-do list? That's what Kim at Recipes To Run On uncovered recently in an interview with with Laura from I'm An Organiing Junkie. These are some of Laura's tips for the holidays.
Organizing is a journey not a destination. I'm not sure anyone out there could say they have "arrived" because life continues to happen and we need to learn not only to go with the flow but to put into place some strategies to minimize the impact on our sanity, things like breaking down tasks into bite size chunks and doing a 10 to 15 minute tidy-up before bed to prepare you for the next day. We always think cleaning a space is going to take way longer than it does so our tendency is to put it off until we have more time. But more time will never magically come to you. It's simply a matter of making the effort to start somewhere. More time rarely comes however -- you'd be surprised how quickly things go once you just get started. And remember small tackles lead to big results.
Photo by Laura.
Routines are essential for staying on top of the chaos. I have three kids in three different schools so you can imagine the paper load that comes into my house on a daily basis. Every night before bed my routine is to go through all the paper from the day including school papers and mail. I toss whatever I can right away, I mark important dates on the calendar, I sign permission forms, etc. I know from experience that if I didn't take the 10 minutes each day to stay on top of it I would quickly become buried in it. In order to avoid setting yourself up for failure, set regular routines -- habits -- for the things that consistently stress you out and success will follow.
Now as for preparing for the holidays, definitely some advance preparation will help you immensely. I have many free printable lists in my Pinterest account that can help you with this. Print yourself off a monthly calendar page and start penciling in the things that need to be done. But here is the thing: be reasonable with how much extra time you can allot each day to holiday preparation. If it's only a half hour, schedule activities in manageable chunks that fit that time frame. Again don't set yourself up for failure. It will quickly become apparent as you run out of days whether or not you need to start simplifying your expectations and commitments.