Here’s how to stay organized at home this coming winter to prepare you for the extra activities and commitments that are part of the holiday season.
As wonderful as it is being around friends and family, the additional activities can overwhelm our already busy schedules. After the holidays are over, the guests have returned home, and the decorations are put away; there is finally a chance to breathe. That is the time to realize that everyday tasks have been neglected and life is in total chaos. Rather than feeling hopeless, here are some tips to help keep organized during and after the holidays:
Do one load of laundry, from start to finish, every day. Throw in a load of laundry before bed, transfer it to the dryer in the morning and fold it while watching tv or listening to relaxing music in the evening. This will help keep the mountain of laundry a little more manageable.
Have a designated basket for each type of laundries such as lights, darks, and delicates. Sorting clothes as they are brought to the laundry room saves time from having to sort them later.
Unload clean dishes from the dishwasher in the evening and load it with dirty dishes after dinner. When there aren’t as many dishes to wash, wait a couple of days and run the dishwasher when it is full. Or hand wash dishes after dinner, let them dry overnight and put them away the following day.
When it has been a difficult day and doing dishes is the last thing you want to do, then rinse the dishes off, and stack them in the sink to soak. Soaking dishes for a little while makes them much easier and faster to clean later.
Don’t let paper clutter linger on the counter. As soon as the mail is brought in, decide right away what is worth keeping and what should be tossed into recycling. If it’s junk mail, it shouldn’t be taking up precious space.
Develop a simple filing system to keep important papers such as school flyers, bills, party invitations, etc. If the document is important enough to keep long-term, drop it into the appropriate file. Then it’s out of the way and easy to find when needed.
Keep a calendar in a central location to record all activities. It’s important to keep this information up-to-date. You can set a specific time to do this, like two days before the end of each month. It’s handy to keep a bulletin board next to the calendar to attach event flyers, tickets, coupons and other things. This will help keep time-sensitive items visible.
Use color codes on the calendar to represent each family member or type of activity. It makes it easier to see at a glance who is doing what and when.
Planning meals ahead of time is a great way to stay organized. When writing meals on the calendar, write down the list of ingredients needed for the recipes. Then the grocery list will be ready when you go to the store. No need spending extra time trying to figure out what to buy. Also, having a list helps shopping be more focused with less impulse-buying, therefore making it easier on the budget.
When making a family favorite, double the recipe and freeze half for a busy time when a quick and easy meal is needed. If plans include having spaghetti on Monday and tacos on Thursday, cook 2 pounds of ground beef instead of one and refrigerate the other half to use on taco night. This helps save a little time.
Keeping things organized can be done by dedicating a few minutes every day for routine chores. Saving minutes here and there adds up and can help with maintaining peace of mind.
We hope you enjoy Errands Master’s 10 tips help you to stay organized at home. If the thought of beginning a regular organizing schedule seems overwhelming and you aren’t sure where to begin, contact us, and we can help get you started.