It’s just one week before Christmas and I have SO much to do. Apart from last minute shopping and meal preparation, I have a laundry list (literally) of chores to do to ensure our home is ready for guests this holiday season. Very often there are so many out-of-the-home activities, gatherings, and parties, that the basics can easily be forgotten.
Organization is the KEY to balancing all I have to do this season and can greatly reduce the amount of stress I feel. One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that lists are very helpful for keeping me on task, but they have to be written either on my phone or my computer because I tend to misplace small sheets of paper. There are a ton of apps that can be helpful including HomeRoutines, TaskRabbit, and Remember the Milk.
Along with listing out all that needs to be done, I have to schedule time to actually complete those chores. In order to keep our busy schedules straight, my husband and I use an online calendar. We color code each of our schedules and set alerts to remind us of appointments and other important tasks. While Google Calendar has worked well for us, there are a number of apps including Pocket Informant and Organizer for iOS devices.
When it comes to specific tasks like dishes and laundry, there are some things that can make those jobs just a bit easier. We are fortunate to own both a dishwasher and a pair of laundry appliances, and I have to admit, most days I let them do the brunt of the work. If you’re planning on bringing out your finer china and flatware, you might consider placing them in the dishwasher and utilizing the rinse cycle to refresh them without running an entire wash cycle.
Similarly, I use the heavy duty cycles on my washing machine to get any stains out. While most of the time this works well, there are certain stains that may be more easily removed if dealt with before they set in. For example, cranberry sauce can be removed by running the fabric under cold water immediately to prevent oxidation, then washing the garment in the warmest water advised on the care label. If you add color-safe bleach, you’ll likely remove the stain without much effort. Any oil-based stains (i.e. from meat) can be removed by pretreating or applying a liquid detergent directly to the stain. Then wash the garment in the warmest water advised on the care label. Air dry and repeat if necessary before drying.
When all else fails, I’ve been known to hire a housecleaning service to take the stress of mopping, dusting, etc. off my shoulders while I prep for friends and family.
The holiday season is all about balance so that the joy of spending time with friends and family isn’t clouded by to-do lists.
How do you achieve balance during the holiday season?
I wrote this review while participating in a Blog Tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Whirlpool. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.