Staying Organized on Holiday Break – for the Empty Nesters

Perhaps your darling cherubs are returning home from school for the holiday break. We both know that they will expect to come and go as they please without checking in, just like at school, right?  That is a topic for another professional! As an organizing professional, I would like to focus on how you can stay organized while they are home, assuming they have brought their laundry and other assorted belongings with them. Here are some tips:

  • Before they arrive, do you need to return their bedroom to a functioning state?  Is your craft stuff all over their bed/desk/dresser, or is the elliptical taking up all the available floor space?
  •  Will you need to stock up the pantry/fridge/freezer with their favorite foods? Buy more detergent and toiletries for them?
  •  For many, this is also a time when college students exchange their summer wardrobe for winter, so are their winter things accessible and clean (clothes, boots, coats/hats/gloves, blankets)? This is a good time to check if  your child has grown out of any of their things so you can donate outgrown items and purchase new ones.
  •  If you have changed the flow of the house since they left, do you need to give them a tour and explain any changes, or set some new ground rules to keep the house functioning while they are home (e.g. putting their things away daily, keeping up with the laundry and dishes, etc.)?
  •  If you have stockpiled their things during any decluttering processes, this is a great time to have them decide on the items (donate, trash, keep). You may want to limit the amount of space their things can take up until they are out on their own, and have this discussion with them so you are both clear.

If you are an experienced empty nester, feel free to chime in below for any additional tips.  Enjoy their visit, it will probably go faster than you think!

About Melissa Belliard

Melissa is committed to helping her clients find the organizing system that works for them, with compassion and creativity. She has been helping her friends and family get organized for years, and loves decluttering closets and cabinets, especially for empty nesters and folks who are downsizing. Melissa brings her 16 years of experience as a Human Resources professional to her work, including compassionate listening, leadership, and creative problem-solving skills. Melissa is also a part-time massage therapist, and has raised two great kids. She loves being out in nature, listening to music and dancing, as well as bringing women together in community.

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