Day 7: Finding Balance {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 7: Finding Balance {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays}

Monday, December 8, 2014

Day 7: Finding Balance {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays}

Do you get overwhelmed during the holidays trying to keep up with the day-to-day tasks?  There are so many extra events and gatherings so we're not home as often.  And when we are home, we're busy with holiday wrapping, baking, and decorating.

It's hard to fit in time for things like cleaning and cooking!  In today's post I'll share tips to help you make use of your time so you can stay more balanced during the holidays and enjoy all the special memories you're making.

1.  Let it go!

I've shared tips on how to stay afloat when "life" happens before.  I think the holiday season definitely falls into this category for most of us!  There's so much going on, and we rise to the occasion and become super-mom!  Ummm... nope.  We can't do everything.  I know we sometimes try to, but it's just not possible.  There are too many things happening in a short amount of time.  If we try, we end up driving ourselves crazy.  Don't ask me how I know that :) 

So, the key to not losing our minds, and to hopefully enjoying ourselves during the holidays, is to come to terms with the fact that we can't do it all.  Once we've done that we can let some things go.  And then we can be more balanced.

So figure out what you really need to do this holiday season.  Cross a bunch of things off your to-do list that don't really need to be done.  Anything that can wait until after the holidays should be rescheduled until then. 

For example, now is not the time to be deep cleaning your home.  Even if you're having guests over during the holidays.  They are there to celebrate with you.  And they will be too distracted by all the Christmas decorations and activities to notice that you didn't vacuum under the couch.  Or clean all the crumbs from the tray under your toaster.  Or washed your windows.  So let those things go.  Just like Elsa.  {Come on... you know you've got that song going through your head as you're reading this!}

2.  Clean in small doses

Let's face it... we don't have the luxury of large chunks of time to clean the house during the holidays.  There's just too much going on.  So, make use of little bits of time all over the place to stay on top of household cleaning tasks.  A few minutes in the morning to tidy the kitchen, load the dishwasher, and wipe down the counters.  A few minutes while you're waiting for your kids to get ready for bed to wipe down the bathrooms.  You get the idea. 

Here are a couple of ideas to help you do this:

If you do happen to have a 2-hour chunk of time to clean... here's a 2-hour cleaning plan that will help you have the main areas of your home, as well as some laundry done, in 2 hours!  Get your family on board and you can reduce that even further.

And... if you can, splurge a little to hire a cleaner for a few hours.  If it's not in your budget, ask your spouse to give it to you instead of any Christmas gifts. You work hard all year... hiring help is a special treat to help you find balance through a busy season!

3.  Plan simple meals

If you regularly have a menu plan then the planning part is nothing new for you.  If you don't normally plan your meals, now is a great time to start!  It's overwhelming to be standing in front of the refrigerator at 5:00, when you're exhausted and still have a ton of things you'd like to accomplish before bed, trying to decide what to make for dinner that night.  Or having to run out for a few groceries because you don't have something you need.

Take a few minutes at the beginning of the week to plan at least your dinners for the week ahead and then shop for the week based on your menu.  The key here is to make simple meals.  You don't need to be a super chef right now.  Take short cuts for a few weeks.  You'll still live.  Breakfast for dinner is usually quick and easy.  Semi-prepared meals will save you time too (e.g. soup from a can, pasta sauce from a jar, frozen veggies/french fries/chicken nuggets, etc.). Use your crock pot to cook for you all day. 

And, if you do make something more substantial, make a double or triple recipe and freeze some.  It doesn't take much more time or effort at the time you make it, but it will save you time the night you eat the extras!

For more ideas, as well as printable menu planners, check out my Meal Planning & Couponing board!

4.  Enlist help from your family

I'm sure everyone in your family is busy during the holidays too, but most families want to spend time together during this festive season.  Help them understand that in order for the whole family to be able to enjoy your Christmas traditions together, you need them to help out.

Depending on the ages of your kids, they can help with cleaning the house, preparing meals, doing laundry, wrapping gifts, etc. Even fairly young kids can help to some degree.  Delegate anything that you don't absolutely have to do yourself.

You've already let go of perfection (see step one - and sing the song a bit more if necessary). So don't worry if they don't do things exactly the way you would.  If it means you don't have to do it yourself, it will give you time to do some of the things that you need to do.

Put on some of your favourite holiday music and make it fun!  Then celebrate after you've finished some tasks by spending time together doing one of your favourite holiday traditions

5.  Make time for yourself

If you're burning the candle at both ends, you have no hope of finding balance.  Get a good night's sleep as often as you can.  And take a bit of time to relax so you have the patience and energy to do everything you need to do each day.  Take a bath, read a book, or light some Christmas candles and listen to some of your favourite Christmas CD.  It doesn't have to take a long time... even a few minutes will help you slow down and remember why you're doing all this.  You know what will help you feel most refreshed.  And that will help you stay balanced.

So, let go of your expectations, clean a bit, plan a simple menu for the week, get your family on board with your plan for a balanced holiday season, and then take a bit of time for yourself!

If you're looking for other holiday organizing ideas, check out previous posts I've written on the subject in the Organizing tab at the top of the page - choose the Christmas submenu. 

How do you stay balanced during the holidays?  What have you done to keep things simple?  What can you do today to give you more balance this Christmas?

Happy organizing!

Here are all the posts in the 12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays series!

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