The holidays are a magical time, but they also bring more items into our homes. Even if we are choosing to be minimalists in our gift giving, there are extra gifts, decorations, paper, and people in our homes this time of year. Take time to make space for the extra items so you can welcome them with a joyous spirit.
Ways to make space for more this season:
Kids are excited for the new toys that are under the Christmas tree. But toys take up a lot of space in our homes. Before you open gifts, partner with your kids to purge through their current toys. Create “Santa’s Bag” of toys to give to other kids in need. Your kids are able to make space for the new toys while being encouraged to give to others. It teaches habits and new traditions of giving.
End of the year tax papers will start to arrive. Create a folder for Tax 2018 so those items can go directly into the folder instead of getting mixed in with the normal mail. You can deal with the tax items after the new year. Other paper that needs to be dealt with, should go into an Action folder to be addressed each week.
Cards + Greetings
Many Christmas greetings arrive via mail and from kids’ school programs. Assign a bulletin board, wall, or basket to display the holiday greetings. At the close of the season, discard the cards unless you plan to actually do something with them, such as put them in a book. Don’t keep the cards because you feel bad throwing them out. They are intended to be a holiday greeting, not a permanent fixture in your piles of paper. If you need to keep a few, choose the people whom you are closest to, and store them with other photos. Don’t shove them into a drawer to disappear.
This time of year is exciting because we can decorate our homes with holiday spirit, lights and garland. If there are decor items you haven’t displayed for more than two seasons, it’s time to put it in the donate pile. Don’t keep items that are out of style because you spent money on it or might use it someday. Be sure to keep the main work spaces in your home clear of decorations, such as the kitchen table and counter. Decorations are supposed to add to your life not take away, so you need to be able to function in common areas.
Set up a gift-wrapping station to wrap gifts. If you have space, it’s helpful to have a table set up out of the way with the trimmings, but if you are limited on space, have a container of the essentials that can be pulled out and tucked away as needed. Or, plan to wrap them all at once so you don’t have to deal with the mess more than once.
Make a list
Lists help us get things done, if we actually use them! It’s a busy season so a daily list with bullet points of essentials can help keep you on task. Determine what needs to be done in person vs online and be wise about how you spend your time on the road. Group errands so you don’t stand in line at Walmart more than you need to. Make a list and check it twice!
Food + Treats
If you plan to give treats or bring food to holiday gatherings, find recipes for goodies that can be made ahead and put in the freezer. The days are short when you have extra food to bake, so plan ahead and utilize your freezer. If you receive food items as gifts that you won’t consume in a timely manner, wrap them up in freezer safe bags and store them for the New Year. The gobs of chocolate trays can be more thoroughly enjoyed if they are spaced out overtime.
Making space for more items helps make the season brighter, but so does making space for new and old traditions. Carve out space for time with family and friends. Keep your eyes open for ways to spread the holiday cheer and serve others. Making space for others in your season goes much further than making space for more stuff.
As you make space to manage all that comes into your home this season, may your heart be ready to celebrate the reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ.
Need help creating space in your home this season or in 2019? Contact Michelle for support. Merry Christmas to you and your family!