By Guest Blogger: Haley Keiser of O2E Brands
The season of warm company and home cooked meals is here! No matter how much comfort the holidays bring, they are often accompanied with a moderate load of stress, especially if you’re hosting a gathering for all your family and friends. Although your list may seem daunting, take a deep breath and use this preparation guide to leave the stress behind!
Regardless of the size of your home, you’ll want to start with clearing the space to plan for the increase in foot traffic – especially if you live in a small apartment. Walk through each room that your guests will be spending the most time in and rid it of accumulated clutter. It’s easy for guests to feel crowded and uncomfortable with a lot of people in one space, opening up space will not only put your guests at ease but also make a much safer space.
In each room, have three bags or baskets on hand. Place any clutter into one of the following piles, “Move Elsewhere”, “Donate”, or “Throw Out”. Everything stored elsewhere should be in a location that your guests don’t have access to, such as the garage or a storage room. If you’re in a crunch, use a service that will sort and pick up your clutter for you. We highly recommend 1-800-Got-Junk.
For those that have no idea where to start, hiring a professional organizer to ease your stress might be worth it. Lucky you, we can help!
Exposed chords or wires are a disaster waiting to happen. Either rearrange the furniture or temporarily cover them with a rug or duct tape. Move any coffee tables or centerpiece furniture away from the couches so guests have an easier time getting to a seat.
Clean the Place
Once the clutter is cleared and the furniture is in its place, the process of cleaning will be much easier! Similar to decluttering, start in the rooms where your guests will be. This way, if you run out of time, the extra rooms that weren’t able to be cleaned aren’t such a big deal.
Begin with dusting and surfaces in all of the main areas of the house, such as the kitchen and the living room. Vacuum or mop the floors, depending on your flooring style. The day before your guests arrive, make sure to give the house a second sweep. Clean the bathroom toilets and mirrors the day before so everything is fresh and shiny!
Add a Taste of the Holidays
After the place is tidy, add a few tasteful decorations in each room. You don’t need an abundance of fancy decorations to impress your company. Your guests understand that you aren’t the Hilton.
Hang a simple wreath to your front door and welcome your guests with a small chalkboard sign in the walkway. Drape holiday-themed tablecloths over your tables and add a small DIY centerpiece. Really get your guests in the holiday spirit with a few holiday scented candles or air fresheners.
The day of the party should be dedicated to cooking and greeting guests. After all, the beauty behind the holiday season is the time spent with the people you love most. If you find yourself stressed, don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand.
You’ve got this!
Moving can be one of the most stressful things we go through. Whether you are a single person, a family or a business, it can be overwhelming and chaotic. As a professional organizer for 19 years, Marla has seen the pain her clients go through. She also sees how often the boxes are still unpacked months or even years later!
TIP 1 – Clear the clutter FIRST! Start a couple months before the move. Schedule a couple hours at a time, or a whole weekend, to go through and clear the layer of stuff you know you no longer need or want. You don’t have to do it all but everything you release saves you money. Get help from a friend, family or a professional organizer. Get help from our eBook The ART of Letting Go. You can download it on www.clearsimple.com/art.
TIP 2 – Create a simple plan for each area of the old home and the new. Go to google to find wonderful checklists!
TIP 3 – Get the right TOOLS:
- Use the real moving boxes. They are extremely affordable. They make the move easier because you have the sizes you need, they can stack easily, they have handles where you need them, you can reuse or recycle them when done.
- Get moving labels that make it easier to identify what it is the box. I love the ones that are a different color for each area. You can go to Amazon to see a variety of options,
- Get the packing tape and tape guns to get the job done quickly.
TIP 4 – Hire professionals to pack and to move you. It will save you stress and money in the end. However, be picky and interview different companies until you find a great fit for you. Often times professional organizers are less by the hour than moving companies and they do a much more organized job. They can also help you put your home together on the other end.
Text your email address to 801-463-9090 and type “move” or email [email protected] to get a free digital version of our Organize Your Move Book. I want you to get organized and have fun doing it.
Make this next move the one you celebrate because it is smooth and has much less stress. The Clear & Simple Team.
Yes, you can have less stress with all your travels!
Some of you have heard about our very humbling and eye-opening experience of traveling to London in 2014 with too much stuff and the sad comments we received regarding all of that stuff. We were so embarrassed to be representing organizers and Americans as a whole. Needless to say, our packing and travels were NOT Clear & SIMPLE…
Through conscious practice each time we travel, we now travel much more simply and LOVE to share about all that we have learned. We still experience the initial freak out when it is time to start getting ready., but then we remind ourselves to do the See It and Map It steps first. This helps us stay present with one thing at a time.
See it – Take a look at what the trip is about. Then you can gather all the details in one place (see the apps below for help).
- What will you be doing?
- Where are you going?
- What is the purpose of the trip?
- Who are you traveling with?
Map it – Make a plan for what you want. This relieves the stress in your body and brain.
- Why not make a Mind Map for your trip? This makes it fun.
- Create your spending plan ahead of time.
- Make the lists for packing as soon as you can.
We have shared about our favorite travel planning apps, including Wunderlist and TripIt for making the planning stages so much easier. We pull our general trip list in Wunderlist and then customize it for each new trip. TripIt keeps all the important details together and on the phone.
If you have been to our Live Travel Workshop then you have experienced firsthand the goodness we have learned and we are excited to say that we will be sharing our best travel tips for the next 4 weeks so stay tuned for more.
We are also holding another live travel workshop on June 19th in Salt Lake City Utah – limited to 9 students so sign up now with your traveling buddy.
DAYTIMER DILEMMA? TIPS FOR PICKING THE PERFECT PLANNER
Do you have daytimer dilemma! We need paper planners more than ever! We love our technology for tracking all the details of our contact and appointments. But nothing replaces paper for planning out our month, week and day. Putting pen to paper is grounding for our bodies and brains.
Yet we get overwhelmed trying to figure out which planner to get! Big or small, just the months or do I need the day, simple or colorful…
Watch and this fun segment on Fresh Living and get my top tips for picking the perfect planner, along with some favorites.
Marla Dee on Fresh Living
1 – SIZE MATTERS: Will you want to carry it with you at all times? If so, does it need to fit in your purse or pocket? Or do you want a larger planner? For a simple, sleek planner try the moleskin which you can get on Amazon. Or one of the many pocket versions at your office supply or bookstores.
2 – USE MATTERS: MONTH, WEEK & DAY: How much use do you need? You can keep it simple and just get a 2-page month to keep track of appointments. Most of us need this because doing it on the smartphone is impossible. However, if you need more space or want to make simple lists, also get a 2-page week. If you need to plan out your day in detail then a 1 or 2-page day is needed. For tabs and pages that fit the disc bound notebook go to levenger.com or Etsy or your local office max. The advantage here is that you can add and subtract pages easily.
3 – DESIGN MATTERS: You will be using your planner all the time so choose a look and feel that you love. You can also get creative and customize. For stylish in different sizes and formats daydesigner.com. Or check out the Happy Planner, the Martha Stewart Planner with Staples.
4 – PERSONAL &/OR BUSINESS USE: There are excellent planners available now that really help you stay focused on your goals and productivity. For a super smart, productive 2-page day check out the brilliant Self Journal at bestself.co You can download the pages and try them out first. And don’t forget the classics of Daytimer and Franklin Covey.
Check out our Live & Virtual Workshops at www.clearsimple.com/events/
Marla Dee, Clear & SIMPLE | www.clearsimple.com | 801-463-9090
Marla Dee, the creator of the Clear & SIMPLE Way, has been helping people for 18 years get clear of the clutter in their space & the chaos in their day!