Holidays are meant to be a happy time when you enjoy the company of loved ones. Whether guests are filling the house for a day or an entire weekend, it can get crowded, messy, and cluttered fast. Don’t let this holiday turn into a stressful time. Here are tips to help you and yours stay sane and organized this season.
Delegate. Reciprocate. Give each other space.
- Create a comfortable temporary home for guests. If there’s a conveniently located closet they can use to hang and easily access their hats, coats, and purses that’s cluttered with your own stuff…clear it. Whether it means last minute purging and reorganizing, or temporarily placing your stuff in a box in the garage, make a little room for guests where they can comfortably and neatly keep their things while over. Let this inspire you to maintain guest-ready space at all times.
- Have extra rolls of toilet paper, a rag and all-purpose cleaner handy in the bathrooms. I place several rolls of tp in a basket on top of the tank lid so they are easy for guests to find. This is high-traffic time…wipe down sink areas throughout the day as you go to the bathroom whether you’re the host or guest.
- Invite a guest into the kitchen to help mix the drinks or dry dishes while you wash them, talk and catch up. If you’re the guest, offer help immediately, or just start washing and drying a few dishes on your own. Sharing tasks makes everyone thankful, and teamwork gets things done fast.
- Scan the house in the evening and put away clutter that’s accumulated during the day. Do this every night before bed. It’s a good habit to pick up now for everyday life.
- If you’re a guest, pick up after yourself throughout the day. The host may be the type of person to say she’ll take care of it, but she has a lot to do as it is. Neatly make the bed or fold your blankets in the morning, even if you’re going to use them again that night.
- Set limits and keep boundaries. You may strive to be a perfect host, but don’t drive yourself crazy. If a guest asks for more than you can comfortable give, smile and come up with an alternative. Think of positive strategies NOW for setting comfortable boundaries in preparation for someone who is known for testing them. If you’re the guest who likes to test boundaries, this is a good time to start practicing being kind and helpful.
- Take time for yourself. If hosting, plan alone time during the day if you think you’ll need it. Say you have to run a quick errand and drive to a local park for space, get yourself a cup of tea at a local café, or sit in the car a couple blocks away and listen to the radio. You can also ask another adult or a helpful teen to take the kids for a walk around the block, or down to the park while you savor the silence and reset. Whether you’re the host or the guest, you can always politely decline to go on outings with the entire family. Just tell them you’re going to relax a bit and will catch up later.
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Isabella Guajardo, also known as Girl With A Truck™, is a professional home organizer and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Living in Oakland and Monterey, she travels in her truck to work with clients throughout the SF Bay Area, East Bay, South Bay, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Peninsula. She shares simple and creative ways to stay organized and stylish while reducing, recycling and re-purposing. Join Bella Organizing on Facebook. Gift certificates are available.
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