Tis the season for fun and festivities, which means more party attire, kids’ toys and decorations coming into the home.
Family organizing expert Jessica Litman, CEO and founder of The Organized Mama, shares her tips to keep your space clean and under control during the holidays.
Clear the countertops
“When the party invitations, gift lists and schedules start to pile up in the kitchen, it’s time to designate one area where everything should go,” Litman said. “This will make it easier to keep the counters clear and for everyone in the family to know where to find their things before running out the door.”
Litman said to collect all the papers and store them in a tray. For a DIY organizing system, try hanging a couple of clipboards on the wall in the entryway to hold important reminders and leave messages, or empty out a drawer and use shallow baking pans as bins for each person to place their grab-and-go items.
Prep for cooking and cleaning
With all the time spent in the kitchen cooking, baking and cleaning up after family parties, make sure that you’re set up for easy maintenance.
A Lazy Susan is a great way to create more room in a cabinet and store ingredients and utensils in one place for quick access, while keeping the mess to a minimum.
Litman suggested lining it to keep surfaces free from sticky residue. A pre-cut, circular shaped liner is simple to install, prevents items from falling over and is easy to wipe clean without having to remove the Lazy Susan from the cabinet.
Litman also suggested decluttering drawers and stocking up on to-go containers so you can send guests home with leftovers.
Store the décor
There likely will be an excess of bows, ribbons, gift bags, tape, scissors and wrapping paper around your home in the coming month. Instead of using a cabinet or drawer to store these items, Litman suggested hanging an over-the-door organizer in the closet and using the compartments to keep extras neat and tidy.
When the holidays are over, Litman said to store small ornaments in egg cartons and wrap breakables in bubble cushioning for safekeeping until next year.
Make way for play
All of the gift wrap means the kids will have new toys that need to be stored. Before the holidays begin, Litman said to go through your little one’s playroom and donate items they no longer use or have grown out of.
Once the room is clear of clutter, wipe and line storage bins and cubbies with a machine-washable liner that contains antimicrobial protection that resists the growth of odor-causing mold and mildew, keeping surfaces spotless throughout the cold season and ensuring there always is a tidy spot to put holiday crafts, games and puzzles.
Following these simple tips will allow you to enjoy neat spaces all season long.