This is a guest post from writer Caroline Smith, who tries her best to manage her time and money wisely whilst running a busy household. As well as writing, Caroline runs a website that sells a range of slipcovers for chairs that can be used to give old furniture a facelift for the holiday season.
(Her article is written with new moms in mind but the concepts can be used by seasoned moms as well! Enjoy!)
Holidays seem to arrive faster each year, and for new moms, they can be extremely stressful. Trying to adapt all of the special events around the babies’ schedule is trying enough, but the added stress of decorating, buying gifts, preparing holiday treats and coping with visitors leaves little time for normal household cleaning chores. This is so sad because moms want the first holiday with their child to be particularly memorable and should enjoy the season along with everyone else. Take a moment to relax and think through these ideas for making household chores a little easier:
• Put an empty, beautifully decorated holiday basket in the corner of each room. At the beginning and end of each day do a five minute run-through to throw objects that do not belong in that room into the baskets. Empty the baskets as time permits throughout the day, but if you do not find the time, cover the contents with a big stuffed Christmas bear. Guests will never know that it is not part of your intended decorations.
• Cover most wooden surfaces with table cloths or table runners so that you can shake the fabric to remove debris. This is faster than dusting each day.
• Use holiday colored slipcovers on all of the couches and chairs in the family room. These will prevent stains during the holiday season from ruining the upholstery, but they will also be easy to throw into the wash as the need arises. Slipcovers are also less expensive than buying new furniture and hide a multitude of problems from the eyes of holiday visitors.
• Spray a large towel with Endust and quickly run over any uncovered wooden surfaces to remove dust. This covers large areas quickly. For smaller areas, put an old glove or sock on your hand and remove dust as you walk through the room. Hide boxes of baking soda in each room for odor control or place a few sticks of cinnamon in the decorations to give a holiday fragrance.
• Make sure that each room in the house has a trash can during the holiday season, even if you must buy an extra one or two from a dollar store. This will keep Christmas clutter, like wrapping paper and bows, under control.
• Before beginning any food preparation, run the sink full of sudsy water. Put pots, pans and utensils into the water as you work. If you run out of time, you will not have food dried on the dishes at the end of the day.
Saving just a few minutes each day can result in a significant chunk of time to spend with your family over the entire holiday period. By being organized and keeping your home tidy, you don’t need to spend lots of money on new things to make your home look welcoming.
Do not let holiday household chores ruin the season for you and your new little one. Simplify the work so that you can find time for cuddling. The house will survive for these few weeks, but you will never have the opportunity to make these same memories with your baby ever again.