Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the gifts in our lives. We often talk about the benefits of getting organized, but you can reap those benefits without a major life overhaul. Here are some simple real life examples of gifts that organizing brings:
- Getting ready for company was easy! I had people over without having to stuff all my clutter in paper bags in the back room.
- Reorganizing the living room allowed us to host a game night with neighbors
- I’m on time to work because I have a dedicated place for my keys and work bag.
- Getting kids off to practice is far less stressful now that their sports bag is the home for their uniforms and supplies.
- My kids are drawing and creating art now that the crafting supplies are sorted and accessible.
- Now I have room on my counters to bake cookies and pies for the holidays.
- I knew I didn’t need new towels…when I got organized, I found 15 hidden in the back of my closet.
- Reorganizing my kitchen let me donate lots of useful items to my niece who just got her first apartment.
- I was able to plant a garden with my kids because we organized all our yard supplies and gardening tools.
- I’m riding my bike to work now that I can easily get to it in the garage.
What has organization made you grateful for? Share it with us!
And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Hosting doesn’t have to be stressful!
What makes a successful party at your home? Good company, good food and good atmosphere!
- Be choosy about your guest list. Keep the numbers to a limit where you can still enjoy your party. For larger groups consider hiring or recruiting some prep and party help to lighten your load.
- If there is a challenging personality included in the guest list be mindful to also invite someone who may get along well with them and also be mindful about where you seat them.
- When guest offer to lend a hand, take them up on it. Think ahead of a few simple tasks they could do. Being involved helps some people feel more engaged and comfortable in social settings.
Good Food & Drink
- Use tried and true recipes. Don’t let your party guests be the guinea pigs for your first soufflé.
- Use food that can be prepped in advance OR buy prepared food for some or all of the dishes to reduce cooking time.
- Consider having 2 entrees and a variety of sides. Make lots of flavors available and accommodate guests with dietary restrictions.
- Don’t go overboard on drink variety. In the holiday theme, a simple offering of a spiced wine, spiked eggnog OR hot cider is sufficient–in addition to the standard wine & bubbly water.
- Music: make managing the music easy by using online streaming services such as Pandora, or creating a party playlist that can run for several hours. If this isn’t your fortè, recruit a music fan or techie to help you out.
- Layout: if necessary re-arrange furniture to create easy flow during the party. Position the food and drink strategically to pull people through the space and not clog up one area of the house. Place a few extra trashcans around to catch cups & plates. Folding chairs are a simple way to add extra seating or create small conversation zones.
- Décor: Keep it simple. Focus on one or two key areas – such as the front door, food and drink tables. You can always add to decor if time allows. But getting some basic decorating done a day or two in advance lightens your load on party day.
Remember, hosting a party is something you do share time and experience with friends. And, your guests are coming for the same reasons! If you’re comfortable and prepared, you’ll create a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere for everyone, including yourself!
Toy clutter is just one component of a too-full house
As kids move forward through life they leave in their wake a plethora of disposed, outgrown, and cast-off objects:
- Too small clothes and toys
- Sport and hobby equipment from past interests
- Art and school memorabilia
Often we see these things cluttering up closets, rooms, garages and attics. We see families struggling with feelings of overwhelm trying to stay abreast of the flow of incoming kid stuff. We see these objects triggering feelings of nostalgia and sadness in older parents whose kids have moved on to their own lives.
Next time you’re tripping over last season’s soccer cleats, take time to be grateful for what has been and what is to come.
How do you hold in tandem the perspective that all that kid clutter is a pain to deal with but is also a sign of abundance, a trail of a rich life?
Although the negative effects of clutter are evident, there is another perspective as well. The whole reason for our “stuff” is to facilitate our lives. These things are evidence of a rich and varied life – active family members, interest in the outside world, and an engagement in the learning process, for example. They are signs of the ability to provide for our families.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, take time to acknowledge the gifts that come with the clutter. And, then ask your grown kids to take some of the stuff out of their old bedrooms.