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Dashing Through the Holidays
The next two months are times of celebration for most Americans. Unfortunately, the preparations that accompany celebrations can create chaos: more traffic, more house guests, more obligations. We all seem to have so much to do, so many places to go and so many people to see. Spend some time organizing before the holidays are in full swing, and you'll give yourself some welcome gifts -- less stress and the possibility of a lot more enjoyment.
The structure of being organized reduces stress because it helps you cope. If all your errands are lined out on a to-do list, for example, you may still encounter lots of traffic. But at least you'll maneuver your way through it as efficiently as possible with no backtracking.
Give your home and office space a good cleaning. When things are tidy and everything is in its place, you won't waste countless hours trying to find your most recent bank statement or the invitation to that holiday party.
Compile "kits" of items you're likely to need over the holidays. You won't have to pack every time you go out because it's already done. For example, if you have a young child, keep a bag stocked with toys, snacks, baby wipes and diapers. Or if your family celebrations will involve a long car trip, stock a tote bag with plenty of car-appropriate activities for your children. Or for shopping trips, have plenty of change for parking and tolls, extra shopping bags and a gift idea list.
Do the same thing with cleaning supplies and paper products. Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms have a full complement of necessary cleaning supplies. Then you won't waste time wandering from room to room searching for them. Also, if you'll be having lots of company and plan to use paper plates and napkins, go ahead and stock your supply. Don't wait until the doorbell rings with unexpected company.
Do your mailing and shipping by early in December. You'll avoid crowds and the stress of a last-minute crunch.
Keep one calendar for your family and expect all members to log their activities on it. Doing so will help you communicate better when the season becomes hectic.
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