Welcome to a brand new series. This series is all about simple little tips and tricks and other ideas I have for organizing, cleaning, and other home management type stuff. There will be no real rhyme or reason to the order the tips appear, I just thought it would be fun to do short, simple posts on the topics that are usually at the fore front of my brain. Over the last 7 years I’ve put many hours into figuring out how best to organize our home and everything else that comes along in life. I’m not done that journey yet, in fact, I don’t think I’ll ever be done, but the tips, tricks and random bits that I share in this series stem from this crazy journey and the different paths it has taken me down. I hope you enjoy!
Scattered Snippet #1
Perfect Your Stash and Dash Strategy
The holiday season is fast approaching and with it brings visiting friends and relatives of all sorts. I don’t know about you, but I always that number of drop in visitors we receive tends to go up this time of year, and most often I’m only given an hour or two (if I’m lucky) notice that company is coming. Maybe I’m weird, but I like to give the main areas of our home a fresh cleaning before company comes. An hour is enough time to do the cleaning part, but what about the tidying? When the clock is ticking it’s easy to feel that you have to pick and choose your battle, but really you don’t. If you have a stash and dash strategy you can be ready for last minute guests in no time at all. Here’s what you need:
- A basket in each room, or an empty laundry basket. Think only of your main areas. When a friend calls to say “I’m coming over” you can quickly stash away items that don’t belong in the room into the baskets. If you don’t have or want a basket for each room, grab an empty laundry basket and go room by room filling it with stuff that doesn’t belong in those rooms.
- A space to hide things away, like a closet or a room where you can close the door. In case you just don’t have time to put those items away, or you have larger items that you’d like to hide, having a closet or room you can stash things into quickly saves you precious time. Just be sure you can close the door so guests won’t see it. Also, please note, the oven is NOT the place to stash stuff, especially if you are scatter-brained and forgetful like I am. Don’t learn this less the hard way like I did. (Did you know Pyrex can break? Well it can if you put it in your oven, forget about it and then turn on the self-clean cycle!) Leave the oven empty!
- Have a plan for after. This part is crucial. You don’t want to just end up with baskets full of clutter and a closet that overflows. Have a plan to tackle the stuff once your company goes home. Or set aside time the following day. DO NOT leave it and forget about it. Write yourself a note, or two, or three, (or four if you’re like me) and place them in areas you know you’ll look. Or set a reminder on your phone … or do all of that plus add something into your Google calendar and set it to alert you of your very important, must not be forgotten event. (yes it’s over kill, but hey, sometimes you need overkill)
- Evaluate for next time. Take a little time to think about the items you stashed. If they are items that continually find their way into certain rooms, maybe look into making a home for them in that space. For us, it’s books. I trail books behind me like Hansel and Gretel trailed bread crumbs. So I try to make sure that there is somewhere in each room to hold a few books. It’s so much easier to work within how your home flows than it is to fight against it.
There you have it. Four steps to creating a stash and dash strategy. I do not recommend using this strategy all the time, but it can come in handy when you need to ‘fake it’ just a little bit. And the best part is, your friends and family will never know! Unlike mine who are now all shaking their heads and smiling at the Pyrex comment because they know it so something I would have done.
Do you have a different strategy for getting ready for last-ish minute guests? How about oven horror stories?