You can’t miss the fact that the holiday season is upon us. This time of year is filled with shopping, parties, decorating, stress for some and peace for others. Lurking in the back of your mind are thoughts related to stuff. You interact with stuff, whether work or personal objects, each day. During the holidays you have additional stuff to track. For example, you have stuff for decorating, stuff to buy for others, stuff for baking special recipes and stuff you will receive from others. Whew! That is lots of extra stuff!
You may really enjoy decorating for the holidays. Or it may be something you dread because of the effort it takes to get out the decorations, decorate, and then pack up the decorations. Here are a couple of ideas which might reduce the stress of decorating and undecorating.
As you unpack holiday decorations, evaluate your current storage:
- Do you have the right size containers for the items to be stored?
- Are all containers in good condition? Do they have lids that fit properly?
- Do you have enough storage? Too much storage?
After the evaluation, consider what types of containers you will need to re-store your decorations. Go ahead and groan, but it will be easier to make wise purchase decisions when your needs are fresh in your mind. In addition, holiday storage containers are only available during and right after the season.
When you purchase containers:
- Decide what types of items need to be stored. Consider buying clear containers with colored lids that match the season. Ensure that the lids fit properly.
- Establish the amount of room you have to store the items. Think vertical storage. You will fit more articles into a smaller space.
- Determine the features you might need for your storage containers. Some of these features include: wheels, drawers and dividers.
When you repack your decorations:
- Put similar items together.
- Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on the top. This is true within a box and within a stack of boxes.
- Label, label, label! Be as specific as possible.
- Put all candles and other items that might melt in one box and store in a temperature controlled place.
Items used for baking special holiday treats, while consumable, take up space and can create clutter in the kitchen. You may consider creating a holiday baking shelf or plastic box located in an out of the way place for the majority of the year. On the shelf or in the box place seasonal bakeware such as cookie cutters, seasonal ingredients that have a long shelf life, copies of pertinent recipes or the location of those recipes and a shopping list of the ingredients you need for baking. Make multiple copies of this list so you can use it each year. Now it will be much easier to make those holiday treats!
General Stuff Questions
Do you know how stuff comes in to your space? It seems like a relatively simple question. Some stuff enters your space via you or another family member. You receive some stuff on special occasions such as a birthday or an anniversary. Other stuff is given to you because someone else wants to delete it or thinks you will like it.
Do you know what happens to your stuff while it is in your space? Some stuff is used on a regular basis while other stuff has specific times of use. However, there is stuff that never seems to be used or which seems to get lost in your space.
Do you know how stuff leaves or doesn’t leave your space? Many people are good at acquiring stuff, but not as good at deleting (donating, selling, recycling, tossing) it.
Being more conscious of your stuff habits will reduce some of the stress associated with stuff. Need more ideas to make stuff flow from your space? Check out the Know Your Flow component of our Flexible Structure Method.