September is National Preparedness Month. Normally this topic refers to getting prepared for emergencies and disasters. That's a really good thing to do, but today I want to encourage a different type of preparedness. At our house when September hits I always say, "Christmas is around the corner!" That means it's not too early to begin preparing for the holidays (which hopefully, is quite unlike a disaster!).
I'm not referring to baking cookies and addressing Christmas cards. I'm suggesting creating a home environment that's ready for a busy season. It's kind of like Spring Cleaning, only it's Fall Preparedness! This way when you have less time for routine chores, and more stuff (decorations, food, gifts) and people coming into your home, you will be ready!
Check out the Timely Tips and choose an area to focus on each week in October. By November you'll be prepared and ready to focus on the fun stuff!
TIMELY TIPS - Fall Preparedness
1. Start in the kitchen. Remove everything from the fridge and freezer. Toss items that have been there too long and share items you know you'll never use. Wipe it down and return contents, grouping like items in drawers and on shelves so you'll easily see what you have and what you need.
2. Attack the paper pile. If your house is normal, you have a pile of papers sitting on the kitchen counter. Rather than dumping them in a bag when company is on its way, create homes now for bills to pay, catalogs, receipts, school papers, invitations, etc. Install labeled wall pockets, use stacking trays, or put them in folders in an open-topped container.
3. Clear the rest of the counter. Put away unused or rarely used items like bread makers, blenders, etc. making space on your counter for holiday baking and large cooking projects. Also do a quick purge of your cabinets, removing excess or unused dishes, glassware, mugs, and expired or unlikely to be used dry goods.
4. Survey the family room. Does it have the feel of an inviting place to have a cup of hot chocolate? I'm not talking about creating the resemblance of a model home, just remove the clutter (recycle, relocate, donate). Then, it will be ready for family times around the fireplace and tree.
5. Check the guest room. They often become a catch-all if not used regularly. Use the recycle, relocate, and donate strategy to get it in shape. Clear a spot in the closet for guests to use and for a designated holding place for Christmas gifts purchased ahead. If you can't open the guest room door at all right now-- it may be time to call me!
6. De-clutter the guest/hall bath. If the guest/hall bath is also your kids' bathroom, containerize the frequently used items normally stored on the countertop, and clear areas in the cabinet for the containers when not in use. Purge and clean the drawers, making sure there are supplies your guests might need. Let go of the towels no one uses and create sets of "guest-worthy" towels.
7. Pick one area - kitchen, family room, guest room, and hall bath to focus on each week during October. If you're still stuck - call me. ( :
"People who have fully prepared always save time. Albert Einstein was right to teach that if he is given six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first four sharpening the axes. When you are done with your action plans, work will be easier!" -- Israelmore Ayivor