A Non-Shopper's Black Friday To-Do List

For me, it's not the shopping I hate (although I do kind of hate shopping) — it's the crowds. I would pay money not to have to wade through a bunch of people and lines just in the name of good deals. And I guess in a way, I do, because I don't venture anywhere near stores or malls on Black Friday.

The Friday after Thanksgiving always seems like a day of promise to me. The Big Meal is done, the fridge is overflowing with leftovers so there's no need to cook, and all those consumed calories are just sitting there waiting to be burned. For some, it means the start of the Christmas season; more specifically, the first day you can put up your Christmas tree without looking too crazy. For me it's a day frozen in limbo — fall is fading and winter is coming, and while everyone around me seems to be frenzied with shopper's madness, I retreat and enjoy a quiet day of focus and rejuvenation.

So here's my list of things I plan on doing this year for Black Friday. If you're like me and are avoiding the madness, add your own plans in the comments below!

Make a pot of coffee, and get a good playlist set up for the day. The jury's still out over whether or not this will include holiday music!

Give the kitchen and dining room a thorough going over. Put chairs back where they belong, tidy up remnants of yesterday's feast, and square away all of the pots and pans and serving dishes.

Cull toys. With Christmas gift-giving season right around the corner, now's the perfect time to seriously pare down what my kids play with (and donate what we don't.)

Do a serious purge of adult items, too. At this point I know what winter coats and accessories we really use, and the extras can go to folks who really need them. It's also a good time to do some thinning out in other areas that are feeling messy and cluttered, whether it's a closet, a shoe rack, or electronic gadgets.

Clear surfaces and de-clutter in preparation for holiday decor. Nothing gives me the shivers like picturing dumping more stuff (even if it is holiday stuff) on top of existing chaos. It's a great opportunity to not only clear away surfaces and floors and start with a blank slate, but to examine the things you currently have and either use them elsewhere in your home or give them away.

Prepare a spot for the tree. I usually end up moving furniture here or there to accommodate our tree, and every year it works out a little differently. Now's a good time — while everything is clean and organized — to figure out where this year's tree will go and what's going to move to make room for it.

By now I will be feeling refreshed, revived from my turkey coma, and ready for the holiday season. Putting up Christmas decorations in the coming days will be a joy instead of a chore, and I'll already feel on top of things with a clean, organized home underneath my feet. It sets the stage for a day (perhaps even Saturday?) to listen to carols, put up the lights, and even start making a shopping list for friends and family — which I wholeheartedly plan to pursue online!

(Image: Bethany Nauert, Minh & Ted's Lovingly Renovated Home)

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