New York City-based professional organizer Amelia Meena gives Re-Nest readers five tips on how to begin preparing for the holidays. "By starting to prepare your space now for the upcoming holidays, you will feel less burdened when it comes time for cooking and last minute cleaning. Remember Thanksgiving is just three weeks away and that will be here before you know it," says Amelia.Clean the junk out of your home's common spaces and properly dispose of it:
- Sort, recycle, and clear out excess mail, newspapers, magazines, remembering the upcoming holidays will bring a surplus of mail.
- Store away piles of toys, shoes, and things that have accumulated around the "drop-off points" of your home—the bottom of your stairs, entryways, and kitchen table.
- Assess your kitchen area and supplies. Clear out the refrigerator and cupboards of outdated items and take an inventory of missing kitchen staples.
Finish any partially-complete home projects, if possible:
- Using an upcoming holiday or party as a deadline is a great way to motivate yourself to complete any underway home repairs. Did you begin painting a room and not finish it? Have you hung your chandelier? Are there hooks to hang towels on in your guest bathroom?
Consider where guests will hang their coats:
- Take an inventory of your family's coats and remove older, less-frequently used pieces and donate them to the Vietnam Veterans or to your local coat drive.
- If you don't have a coat closet, consider alternatives: coat stand, rolling rack, or movable wardrobe, all of which could be purchased used or borrowed from a neighbor, friend, church, doorman, etc.
- Considering offering guests labels to attach to each hanger to identify the name of guest and how many articles they brought with them.
Assess what home décor and dining ware you have and what you need:
- Items you will need for entertaining this holiday season include: table décor, kitchen ware, glasses, serving dishes, table linens, seating, dinnerware.
- A few tips: for décor, look in your garden or yard for Autumn accents such as berries, leaves, and gourds; children's (or adults') artwork can be used to enhance the fall atmosphere; consider which cookware can double as serving ware; additional seating can be borrowed from neighbors, your church, or friends.
- Create a budget and a list of what you need. First, figure out what can be borrowed, then determine what can be multi-tasked, and finally identify what items need to be purchased. When purchasing, consider future evens and make sure these items will serve you now and for years to come.
Whether throwing a holiday party or hosting Thanksgiving, invite your guests now:
- The holidays are a busy time of year, so get on your guests' calendars sooner rather than later. Thanksgiving is a celebration of gratitude: invite those that will bring positive, loving, and gracious energy into your home. While many are temped to open their home to one and all, remember, this will be a large undertaking to prepare this meal. In order to keep things as calm as possible, surround yourself with those that will appreciate your efforts and not those who will add stress to the situation. It's okay to throw small get togethers, don't overwhelm yourself.
About Amelia: AppleShine, Amelia's professional organizing service, has been in business since 2007. She specializes in office spaces, playrooms, kitchens, garages, bedrooms and closets, special events, and moving services. AppleShine will transform your space by assessing your needs, purging clutter, and creating a personal organization plan for moving forward. Amelia can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Image: Etsy seller Timeless Paper)