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When we think about the “holidays”, it’s generally the big ones in December that bring on stress and overwhelm.  But for many of us, the true holiday season starts in November with the gathering of family and friends for Thanksgivings (or Friends-giving).   Being organized can be the difference between enjoying the gathering and dreading the festivities.  (Check out my blog post on being organized for the December holidays.)  So, what’s the biggest challenge?  Clutter. Start today in eliminating clutter.  Start in a public space – the kitchen, living room, bathroom – whichever space will be getting a lot of traffic and scrutiny.  This is NOT cleaning – that will come later right before guests arrive.  De-cluttering is about removing anything that does not truly belong in that space and dealing with it now.  If you wait until right before guests arrive to deal with this stuff, you’ll end up shoving it all into a closet or drawer or other space, perpetuating the issue.  And don’t forget, the other holidays are coming in rapid succession…

Doing the “Sweep”

Deal with the stacks of paper that have been accumulating.  Do a quick sort – recycle anything that is no longer timely.  This includes newspapers, catalogs, notices, etc.  Create a filing pile for anything that you need to keep (bank statements, insurance and medical information) but not act upon.  The final pile is the ACTION pile which should be very small.  This is anything you need to act upon – a bill to pay or an RSVP to send.  Remove anything else that does not belong in that space.  Books do not belong in the kitchen.  Clothes and other personal items should be moved to bedrooms and put away.  Resist the urge to dump items on the horizontal surfaces in a bedroom.  Instead, put your clothes in the closets and bureaus – put it away, not down.

This is also a great time to go through front closets and do a sweep for items for donation.  Coats and jackets outgrown or unneeded can go right out to open up that space for guests.  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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