Less Clutter is Less Stress
This is Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, Colorado last March. Where is the snow, you may be asking. On this particular day, the sun was shining, and it was warm enough so we didn’t even need to wear our coats.
As I watched the people running up and down the stairs of this beautiful place to see and hear concerts, I was struck by how agile many of them were and how little trouble they had running up, down and across the aisles. I realized that this did not happen overnight and that they planned and practiced, so it would become easier and easier for them.
This is how I think about holiday planning. Most of us have been doing this for a while, yet many are still stressed every year at this time. Think how you would feel if you weren’t so exhausted and overwhelmed and could actually enjoy yourself before the New Year begins.
Just like planning a training schedule to run the steps of the Amphitheatre, allowing yourself the time to plan for the holidays will give you more time to appreciate them. Here are six (6) tips to help you feel less frazzled from now on:
- Make a list of everything you have to do, including gifts that need to be bought. Prioritize the list and determine if you can either not do something or delegate. Include the dates you have to complete the tasks, giving yourself plenty of time and allowing for interruptions.
- Stop buying any new decorations, wrapping paper, kitchen utensils, or anything else holiday-related until you see what you already have. This is a great way to save money. Is it necessary to buy things when you know you already have them?
- Store gifts and any gift-related items (for example: wrapping paper, tissue paper, cards, stamps, scissors, scotch tape, gift labels) in one place. These items will be easier to find when you need them.
- Keep ornaments in labeled boxes. Discard any that are broken and cannot be fixed. Why keep something that you no longer need or want? Space will be freed up for what is important to you.
- Return items to their containers and “homes” when you are finished using them. You will be less stressed the next time around when you are trying to find the item.
- Say “No”. By saying “No”, you won’t be disappointing yourself and will have enough time to do the things that are important to you.
Just like a training schedule needs to be planned, preparing for the holidays needs to be planned as well. In the words of Anais Nin, “When I cannot bear outer pressures any more, I begin to put order in my belongings… As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.”
Now is the time to take a deep breath and enjoy the beauty around you.
Wishing you a PEACEFUL and ORGANIZED Holiday Season!
Barbara Berman, Professional Organizer
BB’s Clutter Solutions is located in Cherry Hill, NJ and serves New Jersey (north and south), Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs, and New York City.