Hey Collectors!

Did you know that 1.76 billion candy canes are made in the U.S. alone each year? With gifts, entertaining, cards and shopping, you can get rid of some holiday stress simply by being more organized.

Here are some of my favorite organizing and cleaning tips for the holidays. No matter what you celebrate, it is a busy time and being organized can reduce your stress.

Clothes. Since we usually wear holiday clothes or some formal wear once a year, we sometimes overlook clearing this clutter. Take the time now to comb through holiday clothes and formal wear. Get rid of what doesn’t fit, you don’t love or that you haven’t worn in years. Once you are done, you can organize by holiday, formal wear, color, style, length, occasion—whatever makes the most sense to you.

Cards. Go through your list or address book. I encourage you to create a card list that you can easily update every year. Come up with the number of cards you will be sending.

Next, print return address labels or gather all the freebies that you get. You could also purchase envelopes with pre printed labels or invest in an address stamp. Next, buy stamps.

If you are using photos, choose one and order prints. Or choose photos that you will use for your cards. If you are doing a newsletter, start drafting now.

Once you have picked your card, have the final copy of your newsletter and photos you will be using, take one sealed and stuffed card to the post office. Make sure that you have the correct amount of postage. If you need to buy additional postage for all your cards, do it now.

Finally, break all the tasks up into manageable to do’s. Put return labels on all the envelopes; stamp; address envelops; write a personal note; stuff with card, photo and/or newsletter; and seal.

Gift Giving. Narrow down your list of gift giving. Many times people feel obligated to give gifts, rather than give from their heart. Who would really like a gift and whom would you like to give to?

I have a gift shelf in my home where I place gifts that I buy year round. Because I do this, I never have to worry about hostess gifts. I also spread out my spending year round.

Create a list of all the people you need to buy for. Include interests, hobbies, sizes, favorite color, etc. Keep the list with you so you are always ready to buy. Cross off when you have purchased a gift.

Consider going green this year and purchase an experience instead of an item. You could buy tickets to a show or theme park; a class or concert; or offer to babysit or pet sit.

cleaning tips

Do you know where your cleaning supplies are?

I like to clean as I go. For example, if I am clearing out a bookcase, I dust off and wipe down the shelves and books. It saves time when I organize and clean together.

Many people keep cleaning supplies all over the house. I suggest keeping contained in one area where you can quickly find what you need when you need it. I also keep a small caddy with my supplies so I can fill it for what I need for the job I am doing. Here are suggestions what I keep in my cleaning area:

  • Heavy-duty trash bags

  • Empty boxes

  • Masking tape & Sharpie marker

  • Small stepstool or ladder

  • Broom and/or vacuum

  • Flashlight

  • Lysol, bleach, all-purpose cleaner

  • Paper towels or reusable cloths.

I like to clean toys at this time for donating. If we will be keeping the toys, now is a great time to give a good scrub before more toys appear.

I also like to suggest to my clients that they go green and eco-friendly whenever they can. Some of the mass-market products can cause indoor pollution. It is easy to Google and find recipes that use everyday items that you most likely already have in your home: lemon, baking soda, vinegar, etc. Pinterest is a great resource, too. Make sure you read labels because just because a cleaner says it is green it doesn’t mean it is. Space Clearing is my cleaning aromatherapy blend I created: http://www.collectorcare.com/shop.

Do you have a time saving holiday cleaning tip? Is it easier for you to clear clutter and get organized during the holidays? Share your comments below.

If you are feeling really motivated to do more cleaning and organizing, check out my fall cleaning tips: http://www.collectorcare.com/fall-cleaning-tips/

Do you have too much to get done for the holidays and need help decluttering? Have guests coming over and need to get a handle on organizing? Collector Care not only helps client’s clear clutter and get organized, but also offers extreme cleaning and services for hoarders.

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.