December 4, 2019
Overwhelmed? 10 Ways to Simplify the Holidays
Feeling the pressure of December? Here we are three weeks before Christmas and if you’re like me you have a slight wave of overwhelm with all that ‘still’ has to get done. Today I have a handful of ideas, designed to take make things simple, with even simpler ways of completing them. These are the steps I find myself taking mid-December every year and it’s so helpful for me, I hope that it’s helpful for you too! Try one, a couple, or all of them.
TURN ON THE MUSIC – There’s nothing like holiday music to put you in the mood for the season. I have two playlists for the holidays – Simply Nostalgic and Simply Cozy.
DON’T PUT OFF DECLUTTERING – There’s no reason to put off a little decluttering just because it’s December and you’re busy. Use a basket or a bag to put items that you’re can donate – once it’s filled up, take it to your favorite donation place. It’s also a great time to assess your kids’ rooms and toys to make room for gifts.
HAVE GUESTS COMING IN FROM OUT OF TOWN or WONDERING HOW TO KEEP THE HOUSE CLEAN WITH ALL THE FESTIVITIES – I have a couple posts with free printables and tips for getting things done while enjoying everything. Go here for a Simple Holiday Cleaning Checklist and go here for How I Plan Ahead and Clean for Guests.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO CLEAR THE SCHEDULE – Say no more than yes and definitely don’t say maybe because as my kids say, maybe means yes 🙂
MAKE A LIST or TWO – Putting those to-do’s on paper is essential when it feels like there’s so much to do. Keep the list(s) where you’ll see them and don’t be afraid to not finish something or toss that list out when needed. Need a good to do list? Check out my free printables page!
SPEND AS LITTLE TIME AS POSSIBLE CLEANING – keep it quick and easy – this isn’t the time for a brand new routine, but if you’re following my routine, keep it up the best you can. Keep an eye out for the brand-new Homekeeping Society coming next week – it’ll be a gift for your 2020 self 🙂
COLOR CODE WRAPPING PAPER WHEN EXCHANGING GIFTS – This is super simple and makes things really easy when you’re bringing gifts to other houses. Wrap each family in one type OR color of wrapping paper. That way you know what goes where and it keeps wrapping easy.
START A TRADITION or DECIDE WHICH TRADITIONS YOU’LL KEEP – decide on a couple things that you will do every single year and do those. Keep the traditions simple and memorable. Our favorites? Decorating the tree and house (yes, that’s a tradition), decorating pre-made gingerbread houses, reading Christmas books (<— that link shares my Christmas Book Basket – a way I simplified a tradition years ago), making cookies, going on a Christmas house tour, sending Christmas cards, driving through the neighborhood looking at lights….
BAKING COOKIES? MAKE DOUGH AHEAD OF TIME AND FREEZE IT – This post from Sally’s Baking Addiction has over 75 Christmas cookies and they’re all categorized for easy browsing. Another cookie baking tip? Less is more – choose 3-5 favorites and maybe one new one to try. image via Sally’s Baking Addiction
MAKE SOMETHING – If it’s relaxing for you, take the time to make something. It could be a batch of hot cocoa mix, DIY vanilla extract, infused cleaning vinegar, a batch of cookies, pomanders, a festive decoration, a pot of soup…. Sometimes just the act of making something forces us to slow down and savor the season. If you make extra, gift it to a neighbor or friend!
How about you? What would you add? Share your tips in the comments!
I am so excited to share that your guide to quieting your home with each season – the Clean Mama Quarterly – Winter Edition is available in my shop. 18 pages of calendars, inspiration, homekeeping guides and moments for you.
Simply print off the pages and get ready to love your home this holiday season.
Grab yours here for just $8!
Clean Mama Quarterly – Winter Edition
Paige Cassandra Flamm Says
These are all awesome tips! Totally implementing some of them in my own home!
Pack all decorations for each area of your home in their own labeled box, such as “Mantel”, “Sideboard”, China hutch”, etc. Next year you can easily decorate one area at a time in small amounts of time and without trying to remember what when where last year. Makes decorating much more fun and manageable!
One tradition we developed and kept was making our own December calendar. We marked dates that winter vacation started, day to get the tree, who was coming by, baking days, etc. We did this from the time the children could draw until they were in college.
Clean Mama SaysPost author
Thanks for sharing your tradition Marcia! Sounds so fun.
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