Assignment: Create a Christmas binder with tabs
The Christmas binder is going to be your friend for the next few weeks. You know–the kind of friend you count on to help you keep your sanity. Your friend should reflect you, but more importantly, the vision you have for your family Christmas! Yesterday you made a list of what is important to you for the holidays. What it would look like for you if you started fresh this year.
Use your mission statement and go from there. But don’t forget this is supposed to be quick and easy!
Supplies: a three-ring binder, tabs, (optional) colored pens, plain paper to decorate a cover sleeve to slide in the clear pocket.
Maybe you have an old binder lying around that contains your child’s old science fair project. Perhaps you were on a committee for church a few years back and you can recycle one for a new purpose! Maybe you will take out a blank sheet of paper and decorate it and then slide it into the clear sleeve of the front cover of the binder. You can always make a fun label for the outside. Whatever you end up creating, make it SIMPLE.
Next, get some dividers for the different categories. Get one for Cards, Recipes, Budget and Receipts, etc. Next place them in the order that makes sense to you. Keep a copy of the mission statement on the front. This is to remind yourself of your core values and what matters most to your family.
Then set a reminder on your phone or an appointment on your calendar to do a binder check weekly. This check will ensure you are USING it after you took the time to create it! It is so important for you to not get overwhelmed.
Use this time to store away any needed items to keep yourself organized. Put that receipt in the receipt section now because when you are in a hurry later, it won’t happen. Doing a simple task now will keep you from feeling crazed later!
Share Your Thoughts:
Where did you get your binder? Is it newly repurposed? What tabs did you put inside? Did you list out your Mission Statement and enclose it?
When we can’t find the things we know we have, it can make us feel stupid or ashamed. Our Christmas binder and Christmas Headquarters will keep everything we need for the holidays in one place. Remember–creativity is on the other side of clutter. And so is peace.
Assignment: Create your holiday/Christmas mission statement
In order to enjoy a peaceful holiday season, you may have to let go of some things you’ve always done. It’s time to focus on what brings you and your family joy. Make a list of what you normally do around the holidays, as well as what you’d like your holiday season to look like.
After your list is complete, circle or highlight what is most important to you and your family. Next, cross out what you can let go of this year. Once you’ve focused on what you’d like your celebration to look like, grab your index cards! It’s time to write your Christmas mission statement.
Remember to stick the cards somewhere visible to help remind you of your Christmas plan.
For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas (page 22)
Supplies: two or three index cards, a marker, My Holiday Mission Statement form (found in the back of Get Yourself Organized for Christmas)
Share Your Thoughts:
Now that you have your Christmas priorities straight, how do you feel? What did you decide to eliminate? What gets top priority? Where did you post your Christmas mission statement?
Your Holiday Mission Statement is a way of pre-deciding what’s important to you, so you won’t stay up all night Christmas Eve making the perfect bows for your presents when your family would prefer a well-rested mama who remembers to turn the oven on for Christmas dinner. (Not that any of us has been there … )
And join us over on the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group where we encourage one another and stay accountable as we become Clutter Free!
Thanksgiving is coming up too! If you are hosting, grab your downloadable copy of Get Yourself Organized for Thanksgiving for just $.99 in the Shop.
For more tips on being true to your future self, get your copy of Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity.
Confession time. I have never been a morning person, until recently.
I realized that if I want to get stuff done in life, I need to get up before the rest of the world. But it’s still not easy to get going.
I really believe having a morning routine is one of the most powerful ways to not just change your day, but change your life, because we give ourselves more permission to go deeper in the morning than we do at any other time.
As the morning goes on, we can come up with more and more excuses about why we are not doing what we need to do.
Having a morning routine means deciding in advance what you’re going to do, so you can spend your mental energy focusing on what’s really important for the day.
Here are five steps to creating a routine for happy mornings.
1. Make a list of everything you do in the mornings.
Go into detail, and leave nothing out, no matter how small. Here is an idea of some things you’ll want to include:
• Brushing teeth
• Making breakfast
• Finding car keys
• Getting kids ready
• Quiet time
• Making coffee
• Putting on makeup
• Getting dressed
• Eating breakfast
• Packing your computer bag
• Making lunches
2. Evaluate your list.
The next morning, if you remember things that aren’t on the list, write them down. I want you to get an accurate reflection of what you can accomplish and see where the stress is in the morning.
Are you a morning person? Awesome! Load up your mornings, but load it up with the most important stuff.
Are you a night owl? Do everything you can to prep the night before so you can get the rest you need. I could do a whole other blog post on having an evening routine, but the bottom line is…PREP, PREP, PREP.
If it’s not working, brainstorm ways to make it work. Maybe you need a longer prep list the night before, or you might even need to plan earlier in the week. Making a big pot of oats to heat up in the microwave or putting together your outfits for the week can make your mornings go more smoothly. I’m a big fan of a prep and plan day to set you up for success for the rest of the week.
3. Time yourself to see how long things actually take.
We are time optimists. We think it takes 5 minutes to put on makeup, but it really takes fifteen. Time yourself so you know where you can save time, and where to schedule more. You’ll have a realistic idea about how long your morning routine takes and reduce your stress level getting out the door.
4. Print out your list so it’s easy to follow.
Put it up in the kitchen, your bathroom, the bedroom, or wherever you’ll see it. Practice, practice, practice.
When I did this, I learned more efficient ways to get my list done faster. Since I normally eat oatmeal for breakfast, I got to where I could unload the dishwasher in the 3 minutes and 33 seconds it takes to cook.
The first couple of weeks are discovery. After that, it’s execution.
5. Adjust as you go.
By sheer accident, I discovered that my oatmeal turns out just as good if I only cook it for 3 minutes, so I had to think of new strategies to unload the dishwasher 33 seconds faster.
Sometimes you’ll have to change your routine as circumstances change, like for a new job or school schedule. Keep adjusting your routine so that it continues to work for you.
By the way, there’s one other thing that can keep us from a happy morning: Clutter! (You knew I had to go there on a Clutter Free Academy blog post.)
If you haven’t already joined our growing community on Facebook, follow the link to find an encouraging, shame-free place where you’ll get the support you need to get the clutter out of your house.
Peace is possible in the morning, I promise!
Friends, do you ever feel like you just aren’t enough?
Whether it comes to work, relationships, or God, there have been plenty of times I’ve sat in the place of not feeling like enough, and then having to hustle to get there.
Join me today over at Girlfriends In God as we explore what to do when it feels like it will never be enough.
I love me some Facebook Live…
As often as I can, I jump onto my Facebook page on Wednesday mornings and talk about Clutter, Overwhelm and how to get out from under both. But last week, I had a special guest at my house, my coauthor Cheri Gregory! She put me on the hot seat and asked me all sorts of questions that readers submitted about one of the most dreaded words I speak about: Routines.
On the video, Cheri and I answer questions like:
Were you this organized when you had littles at home? What practical tips do you have for moms in the “littles” stage?
How do you manage and remember your routines?
When the unexpected happens, emergencies arise, how do you stop the panic attacks that arise when you get put out of your routine???
How did we get over that all or nothing notion? I’m a perfectionist when it comes to routine, therefore I refuse to do one because I’m so afraid there will be a flux that changes everything and spins the rest of my plan out ofa control!! #perfectionistissues
It’s a great conversation. And, if you watch, you may see me lose my mind when a squirrel invades my garden and steals one of my prized tomatoes… (I, apparently, was not at my best…)
Kathi and Cheri Gregory, co-author of Overwhelmed, get together for this episode for a little discussion regarding the concepts of being overwhelmed and being clutter free. So often we find that our clutter overwhelms us and that being overwhelmed contributes to our clutter. It can be a viscous cycle.
Kathi and Cheri discuss 5 steps to keep from getting overwhelmed as your declutter your home, your heart and your life.