Blog: Clutter-Free Forever
Urge to Overdo Everything for the Holidays
The Holiday season is here and we all have lists of parties to attend, presents to buy and things to cook. It is easy to overdo and to buy more than necessary. Let's take each item above in turn. Parties: I live in Charlotte and people love wearing special Holiday sweaters. I have two and simplify my party going by having three dresses that can be accented with the sweaters. Conveniently the colors of the dresses are red, green and black. I have jewelry that complements each. So it's not hard to be ready for a party without much stress. Presents all yearlong when I travel I pick up small gifts for my friends and family. When I get home I wrap the present, put a gift label on it and put it in my Gift Box. When December comes most of my shopping is done and when I put up the tree I also put the presents under it. My tree is a Norfolk Pine that is in a pot, which is in a wheel-based carrier. So decorating it is quite easy and I save the cost and time necessary to buy a tree every year. Cooking: When I was younger I spent evenings creating my favorite Christmas cookies that were treasured by my family for generations. I had or would buy new cookie tins and fill them with a variety of cookies and give them to neighbors and friends. Now I have a few friends that also remember the good old days. We all make a batch of cookies then come together and share our cookies and take those prepared by my friends. I end up with one tin of varied cookies all created with love and little stress. When company visits I put out a sample of the cookies and enjoy them with friends. When the tin is empty usually so is the season. Our family today consists of my mom and two sisters who live in North Carolina and another sister Lois who lives in Las Vegas. Lois usually visits in October and we celebrate with her usually in a restaurant. She then entertains her two daughters and grandchildren for Christmas. The rest of us meet at my sister's home and each one of us brings a dish made like my pumpkin pie; or we bring the fresh vegetables ready to cook. Her sons bring fine wine choices. We all help setting the table, preparing the food, serving it and then clearing up afterwards. So the cooking and shopping is shared and becomes a pleasure not a burden. I do give immediate family members and friends gifts of certificates for a massage or manicure/pedicures or bring them something they can eat, use in the bath or put on their skin. In this way we also eliminate the need to keep clutter for sentimental reasons. I spend most of the time before the holidays resting between parties, getting massages and having my nails done. The holidays are as stress free as possible and I'm not sad about not being rushed around with the crowds at the stores. Try this system, if not this year plan to do something like it for next year. Happy Holidays. ccfld11/28/07
posted on: 12/5/2007 8:00:00 AM by Frances D'Amato
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Frances L. D'Amato, M.A. M.Ed. is an Organizational Psychologist as well as a working artist. She founded the Tree Group in 1981 and has been helping Organizations reduce clutter and streamline systems for more efficient management. About ten years ago she expanded her focus to include individuals who work at home and then individuals who need help decluttering their homes. Frances works with the individual to discover the meaning of clutter and develops a process to allow people to let go and live in a more clutter and stress free environment.
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