Have a wonderful Christmas everyone … I look forward to starting at the beginning of the new year with our plan to get a one-year, or even a three-year stockpile out of whatever your budget may be. In the meantime, I have these suggestions:
- Use something unconventional for wrapping paper instead of buying wrapping paper. You’re just going to rip it and throw it out anyway, so use something that you don’t mind ripping and throwing out. Some ideas I’ve tried are old maps (remember all those folding maps we used to use before Mapquest and GPS?), Sunday paper cartoons, store shopping bags (for the ones that give paper bags), and re-using boxes like shoe boxes that are colorful and clean.
- Bake a goodie for someone instead of buying a present. Everyone loves cookies, and most cookie recipes make a few dozen. Make three different kinds of cookies and split up 6 of each into plastic wrap, tie the plastic wrapped cookie bundles with a ribbon, and put one of each of the three kinds of cookies in a colorful bag, box, or basket. Instant present that’s pretty and appreciated.
- Have guests coming over suddenly and have too much stuff lying around? As an emergency clean-up, I have been known to scoop the general “stuff” into my luggage that normally sits empty … zip it up and put the luggage back in the closet … then after the guests have gone home, don’t forget to take the stuff back out and deal with it. I’ve heard tips like this from friends who shove things last-minute into ovens, car trunks, and bathtubs. Strictly as an emergency last-minute thing, of course!
- Get up a half-hour or hour before everyone else and have the house to yourself, quiet, where you can think and plan before the demands of the day starts. You won’t believe what a difference in your stress level that little bit of time at the beginning of the day will make. I get up and just think about my day and what I have to do, and make a list and organize my tote bag if I need to.
- Yeah, the tote bag. That’s my favorite organizational tool for running errands and “stuff I have to do”. I put them in a tote bag that comes with me when I am in the car, so I remember to drop off that roll of film, use that coupon to pick up the dry cleaning, and mail that letter.
Best wishes and Merry Christmas to everyone and I will be in touch and hopefully see you all again next month! Please feel free to leave your favorite holiday time-saving tip in the comments for everyone else to enjoy!