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home staging, staging homes

Holiday Time Management

During the busy holiday season, it's more important than ever to organize and manage your time properly to maximize your enjoyment of the season. If you utilize holiday time management techniques, you'll remove much of the stress, have full control and recapture the joys of the holidays. Just as you group "like kinds" together in your decorating, group "like tasks" together to streamline your work load. Here are a few more quick tips to help you.

  • Make Lists - I've operated by lists my whole life. Sometimes they are mental but the most effective ones are on paper. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into 3 columns. At the top write the headings: Have To; Want To and Wait Till 2008. Then begin to write items under each column. By putting off till 2008 the things that can truely wait, you'll have a happier holiday season.
  • Learn to Say "No" - You've got to be selective with your list. In your Have To column, look for ways to achieve the task but in an easier or quicker manner. Re-evaluate the chores. Maybe some can be moved to a different column.
  • Get Going - Begin your preparations early. Shop on line, for instance. When the purchases arrive, wrap them immediately and store in a closet until the right time. Get your meal menus set early. Some food could be made days early. Spread out the tasks.
  • Get Help - Don't try to do everything yourself. Children love to help, especially the younger ones. Figure out what they can do so they feel included. Delegate tasks accordingly to members of your family - even to your guests. Get other people to help with cleaning, decorating, baking. Hire help if you need to.
  • Buy Online - Don't Stand in Line - Many online retailers offer free or discounted shipping during the holidays. Make your shopping lists early. Research. Know the prices before you order to make sure the shipping charges haven't been added into the prior pricing. Some retailers (online and in stores) mark up the prices for the holidays, so you really aren't getting the sale you think you are. Shop wisely.
  • Don't Rush About - Take more time to enjoy the tasks associated with the holidays. Group tasks together whenever possible. Plan out the tasks to be done and plan a route that includes them in a logical sequence.
  • Make Time for Enjoyment - Plan fun time with your family. Plan time to visit others. Put it on your calendar. You know the phrase, "We always have time for the things we REALLY want to do." Sometimes you have to actually schedule events that you wouldn't normally do to make sure you do them.
  • Work Ahead - Add to your list the things you will shop for AFTER the holidays are over. There are great bargains in late December and early January. This is when I shop for wrapping paper and ribbon for the next year. I always start shopping for Christmas during the summer and early fall. So then when the holidays actually arrive, I'm almost done.

Holiday time management is really quite easy if you prepare in advance and plan carefully. Once you make the plan, stick to it. If you're working on home staging projects or redesign projects for your clients, incorporate your appointments into your lists for best results.

Quick Links for this Issue
November's Decorating Issue II
Planning Great Parties
Thanksgiving Bouquets
Christmas Lights
Thanksgiving Ideas
Carving a Turkey
Roasting a Turkey
Purchasing a Turkey
Dried Floral Arrangements
Making Time for Family and Friends
Furniture Lifter and Sliders Set
Some Selected Free Tips
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Barbara Jennings is author of 10 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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