Routines & Holiday Decorating
I've been slowly "re-establishing" my routines since January, after they'd almost all disappeared under too much busy-ness (I cut the extra stuff out, and suddenly I can stick to routines again). It's been slow going (I just started making the bed daily again), but I finally feel like I'm getting control of the house. I still have a ways to go, but it's definately at least 75% better than it was last year.
Now it's time for us to begin decorating for Halloween (Halloween is to us like Christmas is to most people - done over-the-top and early, with a big annual party to celebrate), and I realized that this year, everything is going to be easier because of my routines. We start decorating in the basement (because it's so early, and no one can see what we're doing down there), and normally the laundry is the big thing that's "in the way". This year is our 5th, and it's the first year that I don't have to work around piles of laundry all over the basement! The laundry is *caught up* - and I can't tell you how weird that feels not to have to stress over where to "hide" the extra dirty clothes during the party (I'd never usually get caught up, and they'd all end up in the laundry nook, hidden behind a curtain). This year, since the laundry isn't an issue, not only do I not have to worry about hiding it, I can also expand our decor to use the laundry nook as well.
Normally we *intend* to get started early with organizational items like replacing posters on the wall with theme-oriented ones, getting invitations ready, etc. Instead, we usually have to clean up first to find a place to do those, so we get started later than we wanted because we had to clean. But last weekend, after my weekly housecleaning "routine", we replaced last year's posters with this year's in the space of an hour (we just leave them on the walls all year long aside from the living room ones - those replace the artwork I have hanging there the rest of the year). This weekend we'll be able to easily put our invitations together after the weekly housecleaning is done, because there's plenty of space. I have the added bonus of knowing exactly where the box of stuff for the invitations is, because of my office purging project this summer!
Cleaning will be easier too, since I've got a weekly cleaning routine in place, and the whole kitchen routine going on.
Like I said, it's not perfect yet. I'll need to take an afternoon and go through the basement to clean up "clutter" before I can get the decorating going (my weekly cleaning routine doesn't extend to the basement - yet). But it won't take nearly as long as in previous years.
Now if I can just focus on getting a routine for weekly basement cleaning down next year, then things will just keep getting better!
Have you found that routines really help with things like seasonal decor changes (if you do that sort of thing) and entertaining? I knew in my head that they would, I just don't think I realized just how *much* until this particular week...