For many people summertime means travel, travel means packing and packing means stress! It’s stressful because it’s hard to fit everything in, then when you get to where you’re going, you can’t find items easily, which means tearing your suitcase apart to find it!!
I love hosting showers! Babies and weddings are just fun events to celebrate! They are both gifts from God, and that alone makes them special! This past Saturday I had the blessing of having a wedding shower in my home for a sweet young woman who has been a part of my Adult Bible Fellowship this year. I had so much fun coming up with a menu and decorations to help her celebrate her upcoming fall wedding!
I thought I’d show you how I plan and work ahead of time to keep things from being too stressful the morning of the shower.
Decide on a color scheme – I used pink and deep maroon flowers, the colors of the bride’s wedding.
Begin to decorate the week before. Here are some things I had done before Friday~
Sketched on my chalkboards
Make/prep whatever food you can ahead of time. My do-ahead’s included:
Cooking the sausage for the sandwiches
Cutting strawberries for the scones
Putting all the dry ingredients for the scones in Ziploc bags, ready to mix
Get out all the dishes/platters you’ll need ahead of time. The night before set the tables, label platters and places where the food will be placed. I use sticky notes on the platters telling what food goes there. Then the day of the shower, if someone wants to help, they know where to put things. or if I’m working alone, that keeps me from getting frazzled!
Get the pitchers, utensils, plates and napkins ready.
The day of the shower, try to have the food ready for the oven, or finished, if possible 30-60 minutes before your guests arrive. Then you can have the kitchen clean and you’ll be ready to greet your friends as they come.
Also, accept help if others offer! A friend from church did the fruit and the punch. My daughter came an hour early and helped me finish plating food. Oh,and having a husband who is so wonderful to do dishes is a super-duper blessing!!!!
Working ahead is the best way to keep from being stressed. A relaxed hostess can make her guests feel welcome because she really will be glad they came!
All those pretty planners that were sold in the month of December or January were so inviting. There were stickers and binders as well as pretty pens to mark up the dates. Did you purchase one? Maybe you got one from Target or ordered a special Erin Condren version. At any rate, how’s it going? Is it still in use? I think it’s easy to get started in those kinds of organizational tools and then let it slip off into the Ocean of Good Intentions.
Sometimes our feelings of being overwhelmed are due to over-scheduling ourselves. Over-scheduling can come from lack of planning, and a lack of planning comes from getting a bit careless. This is true of my own life. I’ll tuck my planner in the cabinet, then start the week off and realize I’m going in circles, and not really sure what needs to be done that day/week. The reason? I didn’t write it down! Why? I was just too lazy to sit down and do it.
If you feel overwhelmed and don’t have a planner, can I encourage you to try some sort of daily list? It can be written in a simple notebook. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy to get you organized. Here’s my strategy:
At the beginning of the week, I fill in all the appointments and daily routines I know I need to do.
Each day I add the other things that I’d like to accomplish, such as blog posts, cleaning, service to others, etc.
As I accomplish each task, I check it off. This lets me realize at the end of the day, that even if some things were left undone, I did get some things completed!
If other things come in and keep you from doing what you’d planned, accept it as the Lord’s intervention and go with it! If you give each day to Him, your time is not your own and He will allow you to do what is necessary.
If you find you’re not getting things done and there was no “Divine Intervention,” make sure to look over your day and see where you’re wastitng time. You might want to
Limit social media until after noon or after those tasks are completed.
Get up earlier, if possible.
Try to work on a time schedule – write out the time in the day when you think you should be on that next task.
Proverbs 28:19a He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread
Hard work pays off. If we forget to “till the land” (prepare for a future time) we will feel overwhelmed with everything that is left undone. A little tilling now will allow you to reap more than just bread! You’ll reap the blessing of a rested heart.
Do you use a planner each day or do you need to start one?
After returning home from vacation, I went to the grocery store for a few things like fresh veggies and fruits, milk and eggs. Other than that, my freezer and pantry had what I needed to get through a week of meals. Bulk shopping when things go on sale keeps me from having to buy a long list of items every single week. I love that!
I hate clutter in my house. I like everything to be put away, however, I have a hard time keeping the hidden places in my house straightened up. Places like drawers and closets are just hard for me! I stepped into my pantry and my bedroom closet this week and decided I didn’t like the way they looked. I’ve never had a walk-in pantry or walk-in closet before, and I am determined to make these spaces not only function well, but also be pretty!
I have a set of stack-able drawers in my closet for belts, socks, etc. Because the drawers are clear, it looked messy. So, I took scrapbook paper and lined the front of each drawer with coordinating patterns and colors to give it a neater look.
I have a small table in my closet to hold my jewelry organizers. I have two necklace trees to keep chains from getting tangled. I love my earring picture holder my dad made me. It keeps the fish hook earrings in perfect view!
I also have a tackle box for earrings and bracelets. This box is great for travel!
Now on to the pantry ~ I had one little area that needed attention. I have quite a collection of aprons and just had them hooked through one of my pantry shelves. They hung on the floor and looked messy. Soooo, I found a cute little hook at TJ Maxx for $8. It is perfect to keep the aprons within reach and looking lovely!
Do you have some hidden spaces that need some organization? Attack one or two spaces this week. If you’re like me, you’ll be happy about walking into or opening that space after you’ve done some straightening!