By Guest Blogger: Geralin Thomas, president of Metropolitan Organizing ® LLC
While the holidays may seem far away, you can guarantee less stress for that busy time of year if you take advantage of time this autumn to get ahead of the game and cross some items off your holiday to-do list. Here are a few ideas to minimize the chaos.
GATHER ALL YOUR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS in one place. Make last minute donations no later than December 31, 2008 for credit toward this year’s taxes.
PLAN YOUR TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS. If you plan to fly, it’s no secret that the price will drop two days after you buy the ticket. I highly recommend YAPTA.com, which is an airlines fare-checker. Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant (YAPTA) is a free-of-charge website that helps you check airfares for various airlines. It will automatically send you a note if/when the fares drop. (You purchase the ticket on your own.) YAPTA.com installs free on your computer. The best news is that it continues checking the fares even after you buy your ticket, and you may be eligible for a refund. (Again, you contact the airline and negotiate the refund on your own.) Line up hotel reservations and car rentals to avoid the dreaded news of no vacancy and no availability.
SHOP THE MALLS ON TUESDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS. These are the days of the week that the malls are less crowded.
HO, HO, HO, OFF YOUR PACKAGES GO! Avoid the post office during the holidays whenever possible. Did you know you can get free Priority Mail boxes and request a free pickup? Your mail carrier comes to your house and picks up your packages, free of charge. For more information, or to print a shipping label, go to www.usps.com, click and ship.
TRAFFIC. When scheduling your appointments, don’t grab the first morning slot, because chances are you will end up waiting in rush-hour traffic. Instead, ask for the first appointment after lunch. And remember, by not sitting in traffic you will waste less gas.
Geralin Thomas is a Chronic Disorganization and ADHD Professional Organizing Specialist. She helps clients lead less cluttered lives in their homes and home offices and encourages them to strive for excellence rather than perfection in all matters related to organizing, procrastination and productivity. For more information, visit: http://www.metropolitanorganizing.com.