by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981
The holidays can be a very busy time, which can result in a great deal of stress. You can just plow through it all, fainting in a heap on January 2nd, or you can take the proactive approach of simplifying the holidays.
Here are some suggestions you can use:
1. Be careful of back-to-back events.
Don’t host your holiday party on the same day as your child’s school chorus event. You will be rushed, your kids will be tired, and you won’t enjoy the party. You should also avoid having events two days in a row. Being festive and cheerful is hard work. Give yourself at least a day’s rest in between each event.
2. Buy consumable gifts.
Be careful of giving things like figurines or other such things that will sit on a shelf collecting dust. The best gifts are things that will actually be used like piano lessons, wine, free house cleanings, or even cookies.
3. Create a list of every single thing you have to do.
The best way to relax is to stop obsessing over everything you have to do. Once you get it written down on paper, and begin crossing off tasks, you will see your progress and be able to relax and enjoy the process.
4. Schedule rest time.
While crossing off your holiday tasks are important, it is also important to do them well. If you are tired, you will surely get sloppy and careless. Make sure you plan for a full night sleep every day, and a break after every 2 hours of work.
5. Get help. Don’t try to do it all yourself.
a. Recruit family members to help you decorate, prepare for festivities, and make gifts. Not only will the work go faster, but also you will have great bonding experiences.
b. Get your friends to shop with you. Remember, there is safety in numbers, and if you pick someone who is task oriented, having company will make the time fly.
c. Outsourcing is a smart way to get help. Hire a cleaning service, have someone string and/or remove your outdoor lights. If you are short on time and creativity, there are services that will completely decorate your house for you for the holiday season.
6. Stick to your budget.
You don’t want to suffer for the next three months because you over-did it in December. If you like to splurge during the holidays, next year, you may want to consider joining a “Christmas Club” type account at your bank to set aside funds for this time of year. If you put away just $100 a month, you will have plenty of extra money to spend on the holiday festivities.
7. Consider gift certificates.
Shopping for gift certificates is easy on the back, and is actually appreciated more and more, especially for the person that has everything. Be sure to get something that is thoughtful, and unconventional, such as pre-paying for their next mani-pedi, or hiring a house cleaning service.
About the author:
Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.
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