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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday chaos, controlled

This time of year our lives are jammed packed with activities and events, which are all suppose to be fun. However, it’s not fun when our organizational systems are stretched beyond the breaking point and we can’t wait for the season to be over. If you’re heading toward overload, here are some tips to help calm the holiday chaos:

Junk mail, especially catalogues, should be tossed immediately. If they are not from stores you usually shop at or from anyone you actually know, there’s no sense letting these things pile up and become a trip hazard on the floor.

Use up all the wrapping paper, ribbons and left over holiday cards before you buy new. Don’t buy anything that is oversized for the container or drawer you store it in. The bag with 1,000 bows is no bargain when half of them have to be tossed because they got crushed on the bottom of the closet floor.

Keep a gift wrap supply box containing pens, scissors, tape, tissue paper and other small items. The box gets stored with the ribbons and paper so you always have fast access to it.

Sending out holiday cards should not be an obligation and you do not have to send out cards to everyone you have ever met. It should be a pleasure to send a card to only those people you choose and who you do not see on a regular basis.

Say, “let me check my calendar and get back to you”, when you are invited to an event you don’t think you can make or aren’t really interested in. This saves you from the automatic “we’d love to” that you regret later.

Prepare a designated space in the pantry or garage before you go shopping to store the party goods. Keep paper plates and party supplies in large plastic bins with tight lids so that they do not get dirty or crushed in between events. Be sure to label the bins so you know what’s inside.

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