OPINION: Get organised before the Christmas crowds arrive
I KNOW there are things I like to get done before people start filling up my house over Christmas, but my mind isn't what it used to be and it all seems a bit overwhelming. This year, I'm getting on top of the pile by tackling the things that need doing in my house one room at a time.
Start with your fridge and microwave. Clean the tops, fronts and insides, then shift them to clean the underneaths as well. Next, it's on to the drawers.
Organise the cutlery and utensils, clearing out stuff that shouldn't be in there but has migrated during the year. Also take stock of your cutlery to see if you need to replace missing pieces. While you're checking through the drawers, take stock of your hand towels, dish towels and tea towels, making sure you have enough, as well as foil and wraps for the food you're likely to pre-prepare.
Now it's on to the cupboards. Go through your plastic containers, throwing out anything that is broken and matching up lids with bottoms. Check out the pantry and make a list of all the food stuffs you have in there that you might use at Christmas to save you from buying more.
In the master bedroom, the best place to start is with your closet.
This might be hard for the fashion lovers, but you'll want to go through both your own and your partner's clothing, shoes, jewellery, belts, hats, bags and so on. Anything that didn't get worn this year, or doesn't fit any more, should be thrown away (if old) or donated (if wearable).
Kids' rooms and guest room
In the kids' rooms, start in the closet as well. With clothing, make sure there are no hand-me-down opportunities before you throw away. If your child has grown out of something but it is still wearable then donating it is best. Next clean out the bookshelves, getting rid of books that are damaged or not read anymore.
After that, it's on to the toy bins for anything that should be thrown out. In the guest room, clean the nightstand to make sure it doesn't have anything useless in there, and that there's some space available for your guest, particularly if they're staying for a few days. Put some clean towels in the room.
Bathroom and laundry
In the bathroom, empty out the toothbrush collection, where your children's old toothbrushes apparently go to die. Then take control over the bath toys, cleaning as you go. Shower caddies should come next, just go through all the bottles and simplify as much as possible. Next up in the bathroom are the cabinets. Check your toiletries and medicine cabinets, taking note if there's anything you're out of, or anything that is outdated and needs replacing.
Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum