Starting today and going through Dec. 7, we will be running posts for our annual Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide. What I’m finding a little difficult to believe this year is that it’s our NINTH Guide and the ninth one I’ve organized as the site’s editor-in-chief. Putting together the 2007 guide was my first big project after taking over the chief position in November of that year. How has time passed so quickly?
As in years past, you can expect there to be guides this year about experience gifts (fun and clutter free), highly utilitarian gifts (gifts that in the right hands will never be clutter), and organizing gifts (oh how I love gifts that help people to be more organized). There also will be suggestions for giving gifts to kids and our ultimate gift of the year. This year’s guide is fun and useful and I really think you’ll find it inspiring.
Personally, I’m not yet thinking about getting gifts for loved ones as I’m rushing around to get our house ready for out-of-town Thanksgiving guests. If you’re in a similar situation, the following are some ideas for staying organized during the next week:
- Clean out your refrigerator and pantry first. Free-up space for leftovers and food you’ll prepare ahead of the meal by getting rid of anything that has expired and/or gone bad.
- Poll your guests now to see if anyone has food allergies, intolerances, or special dietary needs. Also ask if anyone needs transportation, so you can coordinate travel requirements ahead of time. No need for last-minute surprises that can easily be avoided.
- Meal plan for the entire week, not just the Thanksgiving meal. Figure out today what you’ll be eating all next week so you aren’t stressed about meals next week.
- Grocery shop early Saturday or Sunday morning. You don’t want to have to fight the crowds of last-minute grocery shoppers, so get this chore out of the way early.
- Make a detailed schedule at the same time you make your to-do list. Include things like cleaning your home and automobile (I like to do that Monday night) and looking over your Thanksgiving meal plans to determine what can be made ahead on Tuesday or Wednesday (desserts, like pies, are great to make ahead of time). A detailed schedule is important for keeping your to-do list from being overwhelming.
- Delegate! If you have children, put them to work taking care of some of the to-do items. Everyone who lives in your home should be involved and know their responsibilities ahead of time.
- Breathe. Remember that Thanksgiving is about coming together with people you love to be thankful for the good things that happened this year. Take time to enjoy being with your people. And if your people are making you feel like you can’t breathe, take yourself outside on a walk.
And, as a last bit of news, our offices will be closed next Thursday and Friday so everyone can enjoy the holiday.