Do you have 5 minutes? Are you feeling the pressure of the holidays sneaking up on you? I think we can both say that even when we are at our busiest, we still have 5 minutes to set aside for something that REALLY matters. So let’s dive in quickly here, because the *MAGICAL* holidays are upon us!
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When I’m preparing for the holidays, I think of it in terms of two categories.
Planned encounters and unplanned encounters.
We have plans with friends and family to come over for dinners, celebrations, etc. Then we have times where we have someone drop by with a holiday treat or we exchange a quick gift before they leave town, and I want my home to be ready to welcome them. And when I say ready, I don’t mean perfectly cleaned (because I do live here and have 2 kiddos) but that our home is welcoming and ready to receive them.
So let’s not waste time chatting anymore about it! I’ve got a series of quick 5 minutes tasks from cleaning to gift giving ideas right here to help you prep your home for the holidays so you can focus on the REAL MAGIC of people and time with them instead of the other nonsense!
MY * 5 MINUTE TASKS * LIST TO PREP YOUR HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS + BEYOND
1. CLEAR OFF THOSE COUNTERS
You guys, this seems obvious but trust me, take 5 minutes to clear those counters off in your bathrooms, kitchen, entryways, etc. I’d suggest a few things here. Only leave it out if you absolutely have to or love to look at it and it brings you joy. And I will challenge you to really test this out for a few days; see how little you actually need out. Did you know that your brain has to work harder the more things it has to look at in any given area? My brain can’t handle it, can yours? Let’s give our brain a break, shall we!
RECOMMENDATION: Clear off your counters one evening, and then spend the next day or two with the clear counters and bring things back on to them as needed. You will find just how little you really need out.
And don’t forget to grab a bag and take it along with you with you’re clearing things off for things you no longer need and can donate!
2. PUT THINGS AWAY
We all have things that end up finding homes throughout our house that don’t belong there. Those shoes…those books…and who’s jacket is this? Take everything back to its’ home and let it rest!
RECOMMENDATION: Do this as a family and set a timer for 5 minutes. Strategize who is going to do what and where, put on some good music, and go! Use this timed exercise throughout the coming weeks as your home needs a little reset and tidying up and get everyone involved to help out (or do it alone, in peace, if that’s better for you!).
3. DONATION BOX CHALLENGE
This is a good one, because don’t we ALL love a good 5 minute challenge to get our engines revved up (and help us get rid of some unwanted items)? Ok, so here’s how it works, grab a box (or 5) and walk through your house and fill up your box with items to donate that you no longer need. You can do one box per room, or one big box for the house, whatever you feel comfortable with.
RECOMMENDATION: Have some quick wins early filling up your box by starting in the KITCHEN. Again, set the timer, grab your box and get started. Look for duplicates, items that are rarely or never used, items with one very particular purpose, things that are broken, etc. If you want to spend more time, go for it! But 5 minutes and one box (the size of your choosing) will help you get started and make quick, non-emotional, practical decisions.
If you have kids, and they are old enough to help with this task, get them involved and have them fill up a box to donation to a locate charity with toys and books that are in good shape that they no longer use or have outgrown. I always want my girls to understand GIVING before RECEIVING. If your kiddos are still really young, like mine, carve out a few 5 minute chunks here and there when they are out of the house to get this done quickly and painlessly!
4. BRING IN THE SCENT OF THE HOLIDAYS
Ok folks, this one MIGHT take you only SECONDS! I think one of the best ways to welcome the holidays is through SMELL…whether it’s baked goods, the smell of a fresh wreath, or a clean and cozy warm blanket on the couch, they all say welcome to our home and happy holidays in a genuine, nostalgic and simple way.
RECOMMENDATION: So here’s the pro-tip that takes VERY LITTLE TIME.
Gather up a stock of your favorite holiday candles for your living room and hand soaps to set out at your sinks. This is a great time to shop and support local small businesses for great seasonal products that aren’t normally in stock during the year. And if you’re an EO (essential oils person), there’s limitless combinations you can add to a diffuser to refresh your home as well!
Look for soy or bees wax (and non-synthetic) based candles that will last longer. And check the burn time hours on each so you know how long you can expect it to last. Look for soaps that are moisturizing in these colder months and without (if possible) those “unknown” fragrance labels that are often hidden with junk that our skin really doesn’t need. I’m not always successful with this but I do try to when I can. As or EOs, be critical of where your oils are being sourced so you know you’re getting a good quality oil for the purest and most refreshing (and healthful) scents possible.
Now your home can smell like the holidays in seconds when they walk in, and your guests will have the smell of the holidays if they need to freshen up in the bathroom during their visit. Easy!
5. GIVE THE GIFT OF THE DISAPPEARING GIFT
In a world that is obsessed with STUFF and is very much a THROW AWAY SOCIETY, let’s rethink the idea of gifts and how we give them. Focus on time and experiences rather than things that become permanent in someone’s home.
Here’s some ideas for disappearing gifts great for adults and kids:
edible gifts (treats, breads, fruit plate, holiday cookies, etc.)
bring someone a dinner: homemade or their favorite take out
plants or flowers
tickets to the ballet or zoo
trip out for ice cream
online course to learn a new skill or craft (SKILL SHARE or CREATIVE BUG )
restaurant gift cards
homemade basket of edible treats
paper goods + organization helpers (recycle when you’re done) SHOP some of our favorites HERE.