Start Planning for the Holidays Now

The ongoing supply-chain issues that emerged after the #pandemic have many people wondering if their holiday plans will be upended for a second year in a row in spite of effective vaccines and loosened restrictions.

We at The Organizing Blog can’t predict whether all of the gifts you want to buy will be available, if there will be shortages of turkeys or if your flights will be cancelled. But it can’t hurt to plan ahead!

For example, you might want start shopping for gifts today. CNBC says that consumer demand will be high, while slowdowns at manufacturing facilities and ports of call worldwide will affect supplies of many of the things people want and need.

Think about what the people on your gift list might like starting now. If you can get the jump on buying those things, it will free up more time as the holidays draw near, keep you from stressing about gifts last-minute and spread the costs over several months.

Minted suggests creating a budget and gift list eight weeks out from Christmas — and that’s next week. If you plan to have a family photoshoot, you can also set the date and start getting your mailing list together for holiday cards.

You may also wish to stock up on the foodstuffs you’ll use to create Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. Early in the pandemic, staples such as flour and butter sold out on grocery shelves; buy them now so that you can treat your family to cookies and pies.

A good #decluttering and #cleaning will help prepare your home for holiday parties and other goings-on. Clear and dust any surfaces where you’ll display holiday knickknacks and check the string lights. It will help stage your home for the holidays that much faster.

As for the #stuff you declutter, bag any lightly used clothing and household items and contact ClothingDonations.org for a #donation pickup. Your #donations will be resold to help fund veterans programs, so you’ll be spreading good cheer all season long.

The holidays were stressful enough before the global pandemic, but #COVID-19 has brought new challenges to annual celebrations. Prepare for them early, and you can sail through the holidays with as few disruptions as possible.

Eliminate Unused Clothing as Cool Weather Sets in

No matter where you live in the U.S., chances are you’ll be swapping shorts and T-shirts for flannels, sweaters and jackets this month. That makes fall the best time to sort through your old clothing and eliminate anything that you haven’t worn for the last few seasons to streamline your closets and drawers. Turn the ones that can’t be repurposed into rages and contact ClothingDonations.org to make a donation. We’ll send a truck out to your location on the day you designate for a free, contactless #donation pickup — and get those extra items out of your way for good. #CoolWeatherProjects

Fall Cleaning: Just as Important as Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning always gets the spotlight. Why? Because people feel like they need to make a fresh start after a long and grueling winter. But fall cleaning is just as important; after all, you’ll be indoors for three months or more, why not spend it a clean place?

The first and most obvious thing to do is get your furnace inspected if you own your own home, and change the filter even if you don’t. You’ll want to enjoy consistent heat throughout the winter, as well as clean air coming out of the vents.

Then, you’ll want to initiate a thorough cleaning. The first step — as always — is to purge some of the things you don’t need. The holidays are coming, and you can make space for new stuff — or all of the guests you’ll be hosting at your Thanksgiving, Christmas and Super Bowl parties.

Town & Country magazine has a list of 50 things that you probably don’t need to keep: condiment packets, outdated reference books, canvas totes, unworn costume jewelry, extra mugs, leftover paint and old phones. They’re just taking up space.

Bag up any lightly used clothing and household goods that might be of use to someone else and contact ClothingDonations.org for a contactless #donation pickup. A truck will visit your house on the appointed day to take that #junk away for good.

Then, start a targeted, room-by-room dusting and cleaning. Take as many hours or days as you need, but concentrate your efforts to make sure everything gets organized, dusted, wiped, mopped and sanitized.

Dust, pollen and insects such as moths probably blew into your home over the summer. Don’t let pests set up shop and overwinter in your basement or rafters. “See who’s hiding where and giving them a squish or kick to the curb before they start snacking on you or your clothes,” Apartment Therapy says.

Think of fall cleaning as a fresh start on a new season — one in which you’llbe spending a lot of time indoors. Don’t you want to live in a clean, sparkling and healthy home? Get started while you can still can!

Keep Your Fall Fashions Clutter-Free

Saturated colors, logos and head-to-toe cable knits made a big splash on fashion’s runways this fall. But for those among us who aren’t ready to drop thousands of dollars on a single outfit, there’s another concern: how to refresh one’s wardrobe and look good for the fall season without creating more #clutter?

You may get the urge to shop as fall begins, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The temperatures are falling, and you might need new flannels, sweaters, jackets and other cool-weather clothing to wear, even if you’re working from home during the #pandemic. Specific items may need replacing after shrinking or wearing out.

As you shop, however, be mindful of the fact that every new item you buy will need to find a place in your closet or dresser. Ask yourself: Is this purchase truly necessary? Will it fuel a Marie Kondo-style sense of joy? Will I use that garment often enough to merit a spot in my limited space?

If the answer to each of these questions is yes, consider the storage space you have and what’s already in it. If you have are happy with your clothing storage and want to add a few new items to the mix, eliminate one item that you no longer use or just couldn’t work into the routine for each new item you buy.

If — as is more commonly the case — your closet and drawers are stuffed with things that you no longer like, no longer fit into or no longer use, #purge those unwanted items when you start shopping. Keep only a few essentials that you love, says Minimalism Made Simple, and your closet and mind will quickly become less #cluttered.

If you don’t have time for a complete purge, consider getting rid of two or three items for every new item you buy. That way, the overall numbers of garments owned will steadily decrease until your closet contains only successful new purchases and other items you cherish and love to wear.

As for the #stuff that doesn’t make the cut, bag up any garments that are in good enough shape to be worn again and contact ClothingDonations.org for a #donation pickup. You’ll feel good knowing that you look great and have an #uncluttered, #organized closet space while at the same time helping #veterans. That’s the way to kick off the fall season!

Observe POW/MIA Day by Donating

Observing POW/MIA Recognition Day today can be as simple as writing a card to a former POW, visiting a veterans home or donating to a veteran organization such as the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA). Helping veterans through VVA’s ClothingDonations.org is easy: Gather up any lightly used clothing and household goods you no longer need or want and call for a free, contactless #donation pickup. VVA will resell your donated goods to thrift and secondhand stores and use the proceeds to help fund veterans programs such as the ones that identify and local MIAs’ cremains and give them a proper burial.