As if you're not already busy enough during the holidays, now you may be trying to squeeze in countless extra activities -- shopping (if you can find a parking spot), wrapping those purchases, entertaining, attending parties, sending out cards, decorating the house, putting up outside lights, holiday baking ... did I miss anything?
If you're feeling overwhelmed, perhaps you need to see what you can eliminate from your list. Letting something drop can go a long way in helping you feel less pressured to get it all done.
However, if your list is still longer than you'd like, here are some ideas to make the next couple of weeks merry and bright:
Delegate -- Who said you need to do it all? If you find that your holiday greetings have not yet been addressed, give one of your children the list and let them address the cards and affix the stamps and return-address labels. Surely the receiver of your holiday wishes will smile when they see the envelope and wish they had been clever enough to delegate this task to their children.
Christmas in January or June -- Start a new tradition and send out New Year's cards or "Christmas in June" cards. Your warm wishes surely will stand out when it's the only card they receive mixed in with the stack of bills from holiday spending. Think of the benefits to "Christmas in June" cards -- you can purchase them at after-Christmas sales, so you save at least 50 percent and you have six months to write them.
Click 'n' ship -- Set up a free account at usps.com, which lets you ship packages from the comfort of your home or office. I've used this service for years and it saves me the time of driving to the post office and standing in line. On average, this saves me an hour each time I need to ship something. It may save you even more time now, when the lines are longer than usual.
Mass attack on clutter -- Get your family to help you eliminate clutter in your home. No reason everyone can't pitch in, pick up and get organized before Santa's arrival. If faced with resistance, let them know that Santa banned clutter this year and isn't visiting homes where he could accidently trip over something. After all, you're going to need to free up some space for the new treasures Santa will leave behind. A quick 30-minute declutter by each family member can help you prepare your home for the arrival of guests, including the one wearing the red suit.
Don't get caught empty-handed -- Always keep a few extra gifts on hand -- just in case. You never know when you're going to need a last-minute gift, and gift cards are great for this. I like to find gifts that work for just about any age, such as iTunes or movie tickets -- you can't go wrong there. Of course there are other favorites that people love to receive, such as Starbucks, Nordstrom or Target cards. Even a gas or grocery store gift card can go a long way this year. Wrap them in advance in festive giftwrap that works year-round. This way, if you don't need them during the holidays, you don't need to rewrap. Make a list of what you've wrapped, including the denominations, and keep the list with the gifts for reference when the need arises.
Trim the tree and the list -- My family is large and the adults agreed that this year we didn't need to spend a lot of time shopping for gifts that none of us really need. We'd rather spend the time shopping for the younger nieces and nephews. For the grown-ups we set a spending limit on a single gift that would be appropriate for any adult, and then we'll hold a gift exchange. Since I love to shop for Christmas, it will certainly be different this year. But I feel good knowing that we will all have more time to spend with family and a new niece rather than spending it circling parking lots and waiting in long lines.
What can I bring? -- Let those four words be music to your ears. Instead of pretending you're Wonder Woman or Superman and can do it all, let others help. When someone asks, "What can I bring?" be ready with a list of things they can bring or do for you.
Finally, whatever you decide you have time for this year, don't forget to make time for yourself and enjoy these last couple of weeks. Next year, you can do things differently so you won't feel overwhelmed. My recommendation would be to start as early as possible so you don't have to squeeze everything in between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Give the Gift of Organization
Why stress yourself out trying to find the perfect gift when it may end up becoming unwanted clutter? Instead, treat your loved one to the gift of organization. Help them start the new year in an organized and productive fashion.
Gift certificates can be purchased on line for homes, home offices or for your employees in the office. And, if you don't live in the greater Seattle area where we are based, you can purchase a gift certificate and I will personally work with you remotely! You can even purchase a gift certificate for one of our classes below. Purchase yours online here!
Give us a call today to explore all of the options available to you. We can be reached at 425.670.2551. We look forward to helping your loved one eliminate chaos in 2010!
Eliminate Chaos January 2010 Class Schedule
Here is a list of our upcoming classes beginning in January. In addition to these classes, I will be offering Outlook Webinars for the public for the first time!
The "in-person" classes are held at the Eliminate Chaos Office near Mill Creek, WA. Click on the links below to read more about each class and register. Don't delay, these classes fill very quickly. I'll look forward to having you in class!
Over the next couple of months, I will be adding additional Webinars and a "hand-on" class in our office called "Eliminate Home Office Chaos." Stay turned and check back frequently.
Or, if you want to see a list of all classes, click here.
Can't make it to class, but would like to bring one of these programs to your office or association? No problem. Click here and fill out my speaking request form and I'll give you a call to see how we can arrange for your group.
Click here to see if I will be in your town in the near future for a speaking engagement. If you would like to bring one of these programs to your area, or have me speak to your organization on another "content-rich" subject, complete our speaking request form and I'll give you a call.
Shop and Save 10% Off with Eliminate Chaos
We just released our new shopping cart on the Eliminate Chaos website.
Enter ECGIFT10 at checkout for an additional 10% Off
"I worked with Erin, one of the specialists who works with the Chronically Disorganized (hoarders). In a word, she was fantastic. In four 4-hour sessions, she helped me go through and box up (keep, donate, trash) almost everything that was stacked up in my kitchen, dining room, office, and bonus room. Erin arrived promptly. We went over what I wanted to accomplish that day, then we got to work. She was focused, calm, non-judgmental, and tireless. She faced very dirty circumstances and didn't bat an eyelash. She never once caused me a moment of anxiety; the relief that I felt when we were done was amazing. And Laura Leist, who is the owner of Eliminate Chaos, was lovely. She returned my calls promptly, was kind and understanding, and offered me some options. I would hire this company again in a heartbeat. But right now I'm too busy enjoying all the free space in my house!"
A great way to try us out and get some organizing done at the same time! For a limited time, we are offering an amazing NEW client organizing special. If you are not an existing client this is a great way for us show you how we can eliminate your chaos.