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When my husband and I met at the ripe ages of 18 and 21 we were so bright eyed, bushy tailed, and terribly naive. We fell in love and wanted to get married between semesters of college. We wanted to do it around December 16th but some relative in my then fiance’s huge family had already called dibs on that date, so we settled for the 23rd.

“Two days before Christmas? Do you really want to do that?” People asked us.

Yes, we did. It was a brilliant idea. … Or so we thought.

Nearly 14 years and three kids later we’ve realized that was not a bright idea. It was actually kind of a crazy idea. But it worked for our situation. And thankfully our parents were kind enough to show up.

Know what else is a crazy idea? Moving over Christmas. Yet here we are. If you see me share any cute pictures of my home this year know that this is what’s really going on behind the scenes…

Definitely not making the cut for the ‘gram.

We decided early on that even if we closed before Christmas we would wait to move until after. And trust me, I know this could be A LOT worse. Had we had to show and try to sell our home in the middle of all this I’d be curled in a ball in the corner right now crying and unconsolable. Thankfully we do have a little breathing room and flexibility. But still… This time of year is a lot.

Last year at a Talk Early summit we heard from a home organization expert, Rachel Rosenthal. When things are disorganized it can impact your stress level. Especially this time of year when we have a slew of notes and requests from teachers. So many dates and events to remember and so on and so on. One of the things she suggests is setting up a command center.

In her words:

Command centers are a low-tech, high-reward system that will cut down on the time you spend coordinating everyone’s busy schedules. The command center is where we keep our calendar and is a way to take stock of what we have going on in our lives so that we know the fundamentals of who, what, when, where, why, and how. I have one designated go-to spot for everything.

Right now everything gets tossed into a pile on my kitchen counter and I inevitably miss things that I forget to add to our digital calendar. I’m not really attempting to be awesome this Christmas BUT next year, I’m totally going to have it together with a command center in my mudroom.

I started packing a few weeks ago, and I’ve just been doing a little bit each week. Yesterday I tackled everything in the bathrooms. A large part of the packing process is getting rid of things we don’t need. In the past when we’ve moved we’ve taken A LOT of stuff that we didn’t need, so I’m trying to narrow things down a bit.

Here was what I pulled from my bathroom yesterday. Everything on the bed, and these boxes to the side of my bed all came from my bathroom cabinets and drawers. There’s actually even more than this that wasn’t pictured. It was nuts.

This is what I narrowed it down to:

Now picture that going on in every area of the house. From clothes, to toys, to kitchen supplies. It’s been a process but I’m so glad I took the time to go through it all and didn’t just pack everything. Once we move in I’ll worry about getting them unpacked and into neat containers.

We are going to ring in a new year in our new home and I’m looking forward to having so much more order in our new space. Granted, I know myself and that I’m just not an extremely neat and organized person, but I am trying to do better.

With a house in boxes, a moody 4-month-old, a slew of family coming to town, and a move a few days after Christmas. There’s a lot going on, and the timing isn’t great. And it sometimes feels like a lot to manage. But I get up every morning, meditate and remind myself “I can do this!”

How do you keep yourself mentally together over the holidays? 

This conversation was written in partnership with TalkEarly, and organization focused on having healthy conversations around alcohol responsibility among our families. For more resources on having open and honest conversations with your children please visit TalkEarly.org


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AmyRyb says:

I keep a note on my phone that lists everyone we need to buy for, along with gift ideas. I bold the items when we buy them, and officially check the person off when everything is bought and under our roof! However, I keep them in the list so I remember what I need to wrap for them!

I also keep a list of gift ideas for the four of us, so when people ask for ideas I have some available. Now as we’re getting closer to the end I’ve started another list with all of the things that still need to be done–stores to visit and what I need there, when early gifts or supplies might be needed (for school), or anything else I’m worried I might forget! Sometimes I’ll find myself with unexpected free time and that list is a great resource for making the most of it.

I usually take one day off of work this time of year to just go out and shop. I did a lot online this year–definitely a sanity saver itself–but there are some people you just need to go out and browse for, so I try to wrap up all of those gifts on that day.

Also, I’d like to thank my kid’s teacher for suggesting we skip her gift and buy supplies for the classroom instead, and my boss for suggesting we all just give to charity instead of buying for each other. Those are usually two of my highest stress gift decisions, so those were welcome options!

Iggy and Yve says:

Wow. Great job getting rid of things! We are transitioning to a minimalists lifestyle and we cannot tell you how much calmer and happier we are. Our house is so much cleaner now. In fact, we are teaching our kids as well. Our son is 14 months and he puts things that he sees out of place back in their proper place. He shocked us the other day by taking his folded pants that we had placed on the rocking chair in his room, walked over to his tall drawer, opened it, put the pants inside then walked back to his bed. He learned clean-up by 9 months (our daughter too) and when you finish changing him, he takes his changing mat, folds it and puts it back to where it was. Magic does exist… Oh and they know how to vacuum as well at 14 months and 3 years. We are trying to teach others to declutter as we also continue to learn. Wishing you the best with your move!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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