My #1 Tip for a “Less Stress” Holiday Season

It must be that time of the year…

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Everywhere I turn I see signs of the holidays. Stores have skipped right past Thanksgiving and they’re poised for the annual Christmas frenzy. I swear it happens earlier every year!

I don’t know about you, but the busyness of church pageants, teen service projects, family get-togethers, and Christmas shopping can make my life spin crazily out of control. After years of strain, I’ve found one practice that makes my whole holiday season more manageable and less stressful.

It isn’t shopping ahead of time…

It isn’t baking my goodies weeks in advance…

It isn’t even ensuring that the family Christmas letter is in the mail by Thanksgiving… (Actually, I’ve given up on that one!)

No, this one holiday tradition is as simple as grabbing a garbage bag, collecting my spray cleaner and paper towels, gathering the vacuum and broom, and getting ready to work.

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My best tip for a less stressful holiday is quite simply this: Take some time this week to deep clean your home.

Have you ever had guests offer to help with the cooking and you were afraid to accept their help because your cupboards were a certified disaster area?

A simple question like, “Where are the muffin pans?” can be a busy mom’s worst nightmare!

A clean kitchen means that you can gratefully accept help knowing that no one will be buried under an avalanche of pots and pans when they open your cupboard.

A clean bathroom means that family and friends can open drawers and doors to find anything they need without fearing that something nasty will jump out and bite them.

Clean bedrooms help our children find what they already own and have somewhere to put the new articles they’ll receive as gifts. Ever “re-bought” something your children already own because it’s been forgotten in the mess? Yeah, me too…

An organized pantry will save you money. No more buying ingredients for baking when you already have them hidden in the recesses of your pantry shelves. Knowing that you are low on sugar, or flour, or baking soda will save a last minute emergency dash to the store.

With tidy closets and drawers, there won’t be a mess to overwhelm you when you’re hiding holiday surprises from curious sneaky eyes. As a bonus, you won’t “lose” those hidden gifts and forget what you’ve already purchased.

Do you homeschool? Get your kids involved while getting your home in order. A couple of days spent cleaning, sorting, and reorganizing will teach important life lessons that can’t be learned in textbooks.

Are your kids in school all day? Roll up your sleeves and get ready to work. Turn on some music and delight in bringing order to your home. When your kids get home, include them in the “fun”. Your whole family will benefit from an orderly home.

A little time spent now, before the craziness of the holidays overwhelms you, will make a huge difference in the level of peacefulness in your home as you celebrate.

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Trust me, it works!

Write some cleaning lists, grab your supplies, and Get 'er done!

Happy Homemaking!

Megan