Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 14: Prep Your Kitchen

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 14: Prep Your Kitchen

Prep Your Kitchen

It’s time to give the kitchen a little TLC and prep your kitchen for the holidays. Spend some time today clearing any clutter hanging around your countertops. Put away mail, Christmas cards, leftover Christmas decoration containers, etc. Also, here are some basic tips of things you can do to spruce up quickly.

Assignment:

  • Clean your sink up so it is nice and shiny.
  • Clean out any science experiments from the fridge.
  • Wipe out your pantry, fridge or cupboards of tiny crumbs.
  • Complete your meal plan for the month and finish the shopping list.
  • Pull out any serving dishes, holiday dishes or platters you may need and wash off any dust.
  • Restock your pantry with any essentials you will need for cooking or baking.

For more details: Get Your Christmas Organized Page 83

 

Share your thoughts:

Share with us all that you accomplished! For some this may have taken a while, for others, it may have been easier than you thought. Did it go by quickly or did you take the time to gut your kitchen? Do you have any tips to share with someone else? What did YOU do?

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Does the kitchen clutter seem too overwhelming? If you’re waiting for the kitchen fairies to clean up, you could be waiting a while. Instead, break down your kitchen chores into micro-steps (the very smallest bits possible) and then take a moment to do the first micro-step.

And join us over on the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group where we encourage one another and stay accountable as we become Clutter Free!

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 6: Get Your Gift List Together

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 6: Get Your Gift List Together

Assignment:   

  1. Make a list of everyone you will be making or buying gifts for (jot down a date of when you need to exchange or mail them).
  2. Keep notes next to each name of things you think they might like, need or really appreciate. Think about whether they would most appreciate.  A gift that you bought for them, or maybe they’d love a donation toward a cause and you could do it in their honor? Whatever the case, take a few minutes and decide your plan of attack.
  3. Another thing I do ahead of time is window shop. I write down or take pictures of things so I can later add them to my gift list with their price. That way I don’t go nuts spending way too much. Then I go home and make up my real gift list including what I am buying and how much it costs.

Supplies:

The Get Your Christmas Organized Gift List

I actually take this one step further and create my gift list on a spreadsheet because I have a budget in mind for each person. All of this is then stored in one place. When I am at the store I know I can get what I intended and make sure I don’t spend too much doing so! This has helped not only keep me organized, but also keeps me from spending way more than I should have out of guilt, loss of time or impulse purchases.

The idea here is for you to be giving gifts from a place of joy, not last-minute stress. Be smart, shop in stages so the hit on the budget isn’t so severe!

For more details: Get Your Christmas Organized page 48

 

Share Your Thoughts:

How do you tend to get your gift list going? Do you plan it out or just shop and then worry about it later? Do you buy for everyone or just a select few? Share with us what gift giving traditions you have developed or adapted over the years.

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Do you cringe remembering how much you overspent last year (or ten years ago)? Responsibly accept the consequences of poor past decisions by making better choices this year. And by not persecuting yourself for the past. You will feel far less overwhelmed when you stay in the middle ground of accepting responsibility.

 

Join Us

Join us in the CF Academy FB Group and keep the Christmas and clutter free discussion going.
Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 5: Schedule Your Time for the Holidays

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 5: Schedule Your Time for the Holidays

If you don’t plan your time, someone else will. During the holidays it is especially important to schedule your time in advance so you have the time to do the things that are truly important to you.

Schedule Your Time 

For example, I schedule downtime. Life gets very stressful over the holidays, and I schedule time just to relax and wrap gifts with music playing or to kick back and read a book. The time leading up to Christmas shouldn’t be so rushed and stressful that you are totally exhausted and can’t enjoy the holiday. I schedule mini-breaks or downtime throughout the season. This is especially important if you have small children and their schedules are being disrupted.

The downtime is every bit as important as the parties and other social activities during the holiday season. I review calendars and make sure we find time to attend church, candlelight services, and other events that matter to us, I schedule downtime, and then everything else is worked into the time that left or we choose not to do it.

Go back to your Christmas mission statement and make sure everything you schedule fits into your mission. If it doesn’t, you can skip it this year. There’s always next year!

Do what gives you joy and don’t feel guilty for saying NO to everything else.

Assignment:  Schedule Your Time for the Holidaysschedule your time

Gather all your calendars and spend fifteen minutes scheduling your commitments (personal, family, church, school, etc.). Now it is time to schedule in some fun! You may want to ask your family what they would like to do this year. Consider dropping things that no longer bring you or your family joy. You may also want to set aside some special time for just you and your spouse.

Once you complete your calendar, be sure to hang it where everyone has access to it.

For More Details:  Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 44

 

Supplies:

1) A blank calendar for November and December (or download printable blank calendars for November and December here.)

2) School, church, work and personal calendars.

Share Your Thoughts: 

How does it feel to schedule your time out in advance during the holidays? Did you eliminate some activities? What activities will you keep no matter what? When you think about the holiday season do you feel overwhelmed, relaxed, confident or frustrated?

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Putting items on a to-do list tells you what’s important. Putting them on the calendar tells you what’s possible. Add your activities straight to your calendar so you see where you need to cut back.

 

Join Us

Keep the Christmas discussion going and join us in the CF Academy FB Group.
Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 4: Prep Your Christmas Card

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 4: Prep Your Christmas Card

Prep your Christmas cards

When was the last time you got to December 10th and took a deep sigh of relief that your cards were completely done and mailed?? Umm, I have to answer that one honestly and say never. But I can also honestly say that when they are done early, my stress level goes way down. That is why I prep Christmas cards in stages.

prep your Christmas cardAssignment:

  • Go through the list of things necessary to prep your Christmas cards. Maybe you need to buy paper for your annual letter or get pictures taken. Jot down all of the steps
  • Start working on the list and possibly enlist the help of others. Maybe your spouse orders the stamps and prints addresses for you. Maybe your second grader puts the stamps on.
  • Make an assembly line while watching a movie to make it more fun. If it is too overwhelming to get done all at once, take time today to decide on one thing to accomplish each day this week. Mark each day on your calendar. By the end of the week, you will be ready to mail off your cards!

For More Details:  Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 39-42

Share Your Thoughts:

Have you broken down all of the steps before for getting your Christmas cards ready? Even though it is many steps, much of it can be tackled over time and with help! Do you elicit the help of others? What do you job out to save time, stress or possibly a paper cut on your lip? Come share with us what YOU do in the comments below.

Avoiding Overwhelm:

This is a great example of habit pairing — linking a chore with a reward. Think of other habits you can pair throughout the holiday season. Remember — habit pairing = duty + delight.

 

Join Us

Keep the Christmas discussion going and join us in the CF Academy FB Group.
Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 3: Pick Your Christmas Card Picture

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 3: Pick Your Christmas Card Picture

If you’re not sending a Christmas card this year, or you’re sending a card sans family photo, you get to sit this project out. For the rest of us, it’s time to sit down and choose a photo or choose a date to take  or pick your Christmas card picture. Enjoy this project by inviting your family to help select the photo this year.

Maybe enjoy some Christmas cookies and cocoa as you look back on the memories you made together over the year. If you still need to take family pictures, make a day of it! Plan on taking your photos together then going to the movies, out to eat, or grabbing your favorite hot beverage and shopping to fill your Operation Christmas Child boxes.

Assignment:  Pick your Christmas picture or set a date to take a family picture.

pick your Christmas card picture

The earlier you get the picture taken, the better. It’s November so photographers are offering holiday specials and booking sessions quickly. Get your favorite photographer on the phone and get this scheduled.

Make your appointment at a time when your family is at its best. If you are all night owls, don’t plan an early morning appointment. Also make sure no one is hungry when you go for the picture.

Outfits don’t have to match perfectly, but they should coordinate and not clash! Clothes should be comfortable. If uncomfortable, think of the forced smiles!

On a budget?

Digital cards save you time and money and allow you to send a card to any number of friends and family. In addition you don’t have to spend a ton of money on a professional photographer because your pictures don’t have to be as high quality to really look great.

For More Details:  Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 32

 

Supplies:  Cards, Picture, Printer paper if you do a letter, stamps, envelopes, address, and return address labels.

 

Share Your Thoughts:

Will you be sending cards this year? Will your cards include a family picture? Is it a Christmas picture or one taken throughout the year? What made you pick that picture? Do you send paper cards or digital cards? Any tips for others who plan to get a family picture taken or use pictures in cards?

 

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Are you thinking, “We always have a professional photographer trek to the mountains with us in the snowfall to capture us singing carols as we cut down our 12-foot tree, but this year there won’t be snow!” Well, first of all, boohoo. But remember – just because you’ve always done things a certain way, doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You can choose to make new decisions this year!

Join Us

Join us in the CF Academy FB Group and keep the Christmas discussion going.