Today my goal is to set up my fall holiday decorations. I think today I will put on a little music just for ambiance. Christmas music that is.
This weekend I was at a local craft store and they already had their Halloween decorations on clearance to make room for Christmas decoration. Crazy, but I guess it is a good time to put those lights on the house.
With the holiday anticipation and excitement also comes stress. Stress about family get togethers, setting out all the decorations and most of all, money. Financial stress can be one of the hardest issues to tackle. But with a little ORGANIZING, STRATEGIZING and FINANCIAL PLANNING you can ease your stress level this season.
Create a list now of those people you WANT to exchange gifts with. Go ahead and make the list as long as you like. Now circle the people you WANT to exchange with. The ones you can't wait to find the perfect thing for. Not the ones you feel obligated to exchange with. Put the other names on a separate list.
For the first list (the ones you want to exchange with), think about a a price range for each person. Now add up that total using the highest price points. You may need to adjust either your exchange list or your price points at this time or consider making something for them. Do the same for your other list and add up your totals. Add in any wrapping paper, supplies, last minute gifts and shipping costs.
This is your spending plan. Does this look overwhelming? Seeing everything on paper gives a clearer picture of what our mental goals are. Often we do not realize the scope of our plans until we see it on paper.
As you review your gift list and spending plan, remember to think about gifts that you might be able to buy in multiples. What about notecards or thank you cards? Maybe even a few stamps to go with them? If you have coworkers, can you bring in a shared gift? Breakfast treats? Gourmet coffee or tea? What about some fresh fruit after the beginning of the year when everyone is starting their new eating routines?
Consider what you can make, bake or do. So you have a special talent? Sew, knit or cook? Personally I can hardly wait to make my Grandma's Finnish cardamom coffee bread to give as gifts. Again, with a little planning, you can start early and have the time to do some gifts by hand.
Were you surprised to see how fast that spending plan grew? Are you wondering how are you going to reach that goal? Simple. Organize, Strategize and Plan. Put this list in an envelope in a place where you will find it.
STRESS FREE HOlDAY:
Ø Each week add a specific amount of money to your envelope. Maybe the amount is the budget divided by weeks until December. Keep track of what comes in and what goes out.
Ø As you begin to accumulate gifts for each person(s), store them all in the same location. Maybe a storage bin in the basement or garage.
Ø Write the gift that you are going to exchange next to the person you are giving it to. Note where you have this gift located.
Delight in the fact that you have a plan and are already started on a financial lower stress holiday season.
Yesterday I wrote about how changing your frame of reference can change your perceptions. It’s hard to make a mental mind shift when we once have linked a meaning to an idea about something or someone. But not being open to new perceptions keeps us stuck. We hold onto old beliefs and consequently are stuck in past ideas. We don’t allow ourselves to mentally grow and see or do things in a new way. We must be constantly tested and self test to provide verification that our beliefs are true. It is our way of validating our beliefs and keeps us safe from change.
Joseph Hallinan writes about the Role of Regret in his book “Why we Make Mistakes”. He asserts that “people feel more regret for actions than inaction”. If we don’t do anything (or change our perceptions), we have less responsibility to manage. We are not haunted with the “what if’s”. As you have probably heard before, it is easier to stay the same and keep on the path of least resistance.
So what does all this have to do with organization? A lot! We hold onto things, memories, papers, presents, clothes and a hundred other “things” because we would much rather not do anything because that makes us responsible for our actions. And “what if” I do something, throw something or consider something “wrong”?
The good news is that there is no wrong in action. We make the best decisions we can utilizing the tools available to us at that time. We only feel we made the “wrong answer” when a future incident or fact comes to light. As Joseph Hallinan states “hindsight does not equal foresight”. That’s good to remember!
Is there a project, closet cleanout, idea, vacation or some fun thing you want to do? What is holding you back? What old belief are you hanging onto that is preventing you from moving forward? What positive test can you find to validate your decision to do, toss, go and be?
Go for it!
Most people fall into two categories with photos. Either they have an abundance of them or very few of them.
We take photos for a variety of occasions. Vacations, weddings, family gatherings, special events, sports activities, graduations and get togethers. They remind of us great friends and places we’ve been.
But how many are really good ones? And if you are the picture taker, how many are there of you? Are there photos that you want to hand down to future generations? Do they represent who you are and how people think of you? Finally, can you find those photos to share and enjoy? Are they stashed away in a box? Online? Deleted?
Taking the time to schedule events allows you to actually get things done versus mentally saying you should do something. Whether it’s a photo session, dentist appointment or date with a friend, take the time right now to schedule in that phone call. (@lindseyraephotography)
Deal at Office Max. For every $5 you spend, you can receive a college or wide ruled notebook for FREE. Check them out!
Work life balance. We all hear about how important this is. But what are you doing about it today? Can you spare to give yourself some time?
No? Too busy at work? Too many places to be? Set an alarm for one minute. Close your eyes until you think one minute has passed. If you didn’t make it the full minute, sit and watch the one minute pass. Seems like forever doesn’t it?
Don’t you deserve at least some of those minutes? If you find yourself in the same crazy routine day after day, start taking time out for yourself. You deserve it! Maybe it’s scheduling a 20 minute “off site meeting” on your calendar twice a week. Get outside. Go to your car and sit in silence. Listen to the sound of you breath or just listen to the silence.
We don’t get more minutes. What are you doing with yours today?
No matter how you divide it, there are only 24 hours in a day. You can make more money, buy more things, make more friends and have more of just about everything else.
But you can't make more time.
So what are you doing with the time you have? Are you getting done what you want to get done? Are you doing what you want to do? Or are you spending your time always doing what others expect you to do?
Today, make a list of how you want to spend the next week. List your commitments. Then list you wants and needs. Budget those "me" times into your schedule. It's ok to put time in your week for you.
How many ways have you tried to contain and control cords? I think there are a million. But this handy gadget was just too cool not to pass on. Compact and ready to use. http://www.tinylightbulbs.com/all-products/nibbles-cablekeep.html
Welcome to my blog. I am glad you are here to read the musings on organizing and finding balance in your life. I hope you find them inspiring and motivating.