As we settle into the end of the year and the busy holiday season it is time to purge, declutter, and prepare for enjoying family more and things less. This is the time to be brutal in deciding what to get rid of- if you don’t love it or find it useful toss it out! Lightening up the load around the house isn’t just so you can load up on more for the holidays, it is so that you can worry about less, clean less, and enjoy more.
Most of these tasks can be done in 15 minutes or less but can have a huge impact on your home.
Take it one small task at a time throughout the year with our series and you can tackle it all easily! We want to help you clean and organize your home the way that works best for you!
Most tasks should take 15 – 30 minutes. If it works for you do each task on the corresponding date, if not just use it as a list of tasks, some days you may get more than one done. You may wish to take off the weekend and double up on weekdays or vice versa. I want you to be successful so do what works best for you. We only gave you 24 tasks this month so you can catch up if need be.
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1. Clean out cookware- Pots and pans that have lost their usefulness should be tossed or donated. Toss warped or unusable cookie sheets to be replaced with new ones for holiday cooking.
2. Organize and toss games with missing pieces-Give your family game shelves a thorough going through. Make room for new games that will come as gifts or just lighten up the load of games no longer played.
3. Create a spot for storing/hiding Christmas presents- If you haven’t already you will soon be gathering up Christmas gifts from the mall or online. Go ahead and prepare a place to store them- in a closet, in the attic, or garage. Put a big box in the area to hold smaller items so they don’t get lost before the holidays. This solves the where in the world did I hide that gift problem.
4.Set Up a wrapping station- Even if it is just an underbed storage box, include paper, tape, bows, gift tags, and several pens. I try to be a wrap as I buy kinda person it cuts down on the stress at the last minute. Check out all these gift wrap storage options.
5.Tidy up your desk- Clean off junk mail, shred what needs to be destroyed. Be sure you have stamps and envelopes stocked up for holiday correspondence. Toss pens that are dried out and put fresh ones out.
6.Clean out your purse/wallet- Sort through the receipts and toss out what you don’t need, file the ones that you do. Check balances on gift cards and throw away the ones that are empty. Add some seasonal items that you might need like chapstick, a travel pack of tissues, and a notepad for Christmas lists.
7. Wipe down the coffee bar/cocoa station- Give it a good cleaning in anticipation of guests. Stock up on items you may be low on. Clean the coffee pot by running several cycles of vinegar through, then several cycles of water.
8. Send kids to their room with a mission- Give them a number, 10 or more if they need to purge more. Encourage them to find that many items to donate and to toss broken toys.
9. Get organized for Thanksgiving- Pull out a pad and make a list of tasks you want to get done, food to buy, and things to do in advance to make the day less hectic.
10. Clean and freshen the rug/carpet-Have the carpets or area rug in the main entertaining area, the living room cleaned. If you have a carpet cleaner this is a great day to use it.
11. Go through cords- If you have amassed a large collection like I have of random cords, chargers, plugs, etc.. go through them. Match them up with the right devices and toss the ones that don’t match up to anything and label the rest so you know exactly which is which next time.
12.Wipe down kitchen cabinets- Use a good commercial degreaser or make your own with hot water, a little blue dish soap, and a generous splash of vinegar.
13. Clean out car trunk- Before you load down your car with holiday shopping clean out any unnecessary items (keep the spare tire, jumper cables, and flares!).
14. Go through cd’s and dvd’s – Purge what you can, rotate some out with holiday favorites to make room on the shelves and in your car’s console.
15. Matchup plastic storage containers with lids- Toss out any with missing tops or bottoms. You are going to want plenty on hand for holiday leftovers!
16. Clean out essential oil diffusers or wax melt lamps- Swipe out the inside of your essential oil diffuser with a cloth. Fill with distilled water and a holiday combo of oils to make your house smell amazing. Pop wax in freezer for 10 minutes and it will fall right out.
17.Make up a cleaning bucket- If you don’t already have one put together make a basket or bucket with cleaning supplies for quick spruce ups and you will always be ready for last minute guests. Dust cloths, surface spray, windex, fabric/room spray, and a duster are all you need for quick spot cleans.
18.Go through the books- Let the kids choose some to get rid of from their collection while you thin out yours. Consider donating them to a hospital, hospice, or a women’s shelter.
Since we like to keep time spent on cleaning and organizing tasks to 15 minutes or less a day we will spend a couple days decluttering in preparation for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season taking it room by room. Set your timer for 15 minutes in each room and move quickly making decisions on what to put away, toss or donate.
19. Declutter the kitchen- Decide what area needs a purge and tidy the most, is it the cluttered cabinets? The overflowing junk drawer? On top of the fridge? Toss, tidy, and wipe it clean when you are done.
20.Declutter the living room- Toss or donate magazines older than 2 months, put some of the throw blankets out of sight, in an oversized blanket, under the coffee table, or in a hall closet.
21.Declutter dining room- Is your dining room table a hotspot for mail, schoolbooks, and more? Put it all where it goes, take a few items off the china cabinets or shelves to make room for holiday decor without an overabundance of items.
22.Declutter in the mudroom/entryway- If your mudroom or entryway is overrun with items that don’t belong it is time to tidy it up before the season gets underway. Put away out of season items, return all outerwear but bigger winter coats to everyone’s closet and thin down the shoes to one pair each person.
23.Declutter the bedroom- Here you want to thin out the stack of books on the nightstand, gather up loose shoes from around the room and pile them in a basket or return them to the shoe rack. Give your dresser a little attention, tidying up the jewelry box and putting away the stack of clothes.
24. Pack up your fall decor- After Thanksgiving, you can pack up your fall decorations, don’t forget to include mothballs to keep pests out of your decor. How fun it is to decorate for winter and the holidays if you haven’t already.
Hopefully by tackling a few things each day throughout the month. It will help make your home run more smoothly and help you enjoy your holidays more. It is amazing how just 15 minutes a day can make a HUGE impact! Don’t forget to sign up and we will email you free tasks lists for each month.
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