Tis the season of hustle and bustle. Am I right? First it was Halloween costumes, Halloween parties, buying candy and getting ready for those trick-or-treaters to ring the doorbell. Next up? Shopping for coordinating outfits for family pictures, arranging the photography session, extra trips to the grocery store for the family Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving. Now we’re on to Christmas plays, Christmas parties, shopping for that perfect gift. It can be a wild and crazy ride!
Out and About Free Printable
Last year I vowed to spend more time savoring the season from Halloween into the New Year. Because 1// I LOVE this time of year! The cool weather, the tiny white lights, the smell of cedar, crackling fires, Christmas carols. 2// My children are growing quickly. One is questioning the existence of Santa Claus. I want to focus on the things that will matter in 10 years. Selecting the perfect heel for my party dress is not one of them. Bundling up the family and heading to the Christmas parade, however, does make my list. As does sipping hot chocolate by the fire while listening to Christmas carols. We will only experience this Christmas once.
I spent the year before in a constant state of reaction. Not a good place to be. I remember the first cool snap we had in November. You know, the first time the boys needed to wear pants instead of shorts to school. I realized I had never exchanged the pants that were too short for a larger size. The shopping bag was right where I left it…in the coat closet.
// Plan to hustle before the bustle //
So, this time around I did things differently. A little planning goes a long way. I began thinking of all the things I would need to get done before the big day(s). I broke each big event into tiny tasks and wrote them on my calendar. No longer did I have an overwhelming to-do list, but I had scheduled tasks for specific dates.
Out and About Free Printable
I began checking off these tiny tasks in October and November. By the time December arrived, I had accomplished a lot of the running around. Don’t get me wrong…it still takes a conscious effort to know when to stop. I had to make myself slow down and enjoy the quiet moments. I had to force myself not to fill the pockets of time I created with busyness.
// When You’re Out and About, Know Your Route //
Another time/sanity-saver was my errand basket. When I am already on the move, I can make the most of my outing. If I am grocery shopping across the street from the dry cleaner I use, it makes perfect sense to take an extra 5 minutes to drop my slacks by instead of having to make another 30 minute round trip just for one errand.
I used to stash notes in my handbag, returns in the coat closet, and clothes that need to go to the cleaner in the laundry room. Because I do not usually have time to play a round of hide-and-seek before I walk out the door, this strategy is not a fit for me. The one thing that DOES work is my Out and About cubby. I created one place…mine is a basket…that lives near the back door. Everyone in the family knows its purpose. When something needs to leave the house, it gets deposited in the basket. All those items to donate to charity, shoes to be repaired, library books to return or even sales flyers go straight to the basket. All I have to remember when I leave the house, is to grab whatever I need from the basket.
I also keep a notepad and pen with a complete list of each item that corresponds to the errand. If I know I’ll pass by the cleaners on my way to take the boys to soccer, I’ll grab the pants that need to go and cross that off my list.
Now when we leave the house, I am confident I have everything! The only thing I need now is more time to actually get out and about!
Click here to download your own basket label and notes to give it a try. And let me know…what works for you? How do you keep it together?