Red Door Organizing

How to Minimize Stress and Prepare Your Household for the Holidays
by Laura Bush Jenkins

Albemarle Tradewinds recently connected with professional organizer Mandy Whitehurst of Red Door Organizing to understand how to survive and thrive over the holidays.  Here, Mandy shares how you can plan meaningful time with friends and family while avoiding common pitfalls.

I'm uncomfortable having guests at my home since my space is messy.  How can I display appreciation and hospitality instead frenzy and embarrassment?  Instead of expecting yourself to transform into Martha Stewart overnight, find one or two small things you can start and reward yourself for taking action on them.  

Is it true I have to spend a lot of money at brand-name stores to get organized?  I recommend shopping from within your own home first.  Otherwise, all you are doing is putting your junk inside fancy containers without considering what really works for you.

How can I be creative within my budget, especially if I have a large family? Grocery shopping is an area where large families typically overspend.  Compared with other variables like electricity and water, this is actually something you can control.  Consider diligent meal planning- whether it's cooking from scratch, adhering to a weekly menu, or selecting foods which provide lasting energy on the front end instead of leaving your hungry, scavenging for more.

How can I shift my child's attention towards giving versus expecting an unrealistic number of presents?  You may point out by international standards, most Americans are wealthy.  Revisit the Golden Rule and ask how they would feel if someone thought of them by making an effort to give.  You can talk together about charitable causes that interest them and set a giving goal as a family.

How do I talk to my spouse and/or in-laws about my plans?  Paint a picture of your dream and share what's worked for your family.  Talk about how you feel and what you've noticed instead of putting words or expectations onto someone else. 

Lastly, what should I consider doing after the holidays so my house stays in great shape?  This is different for everyone, so ask what worked according to your preferences and what habits you can continue incorporating to attain the feelings you want in your home.  It's usually a tweaking process to implement new organizational habits instead of falling back into patterns that overwhelm and create clutter.  Getting another viewpoint from someone who understands your goals can also be a time-saving resource for accountability and fresh ideas.

Want to learn more or share what's worked for you and your family?  We invite you to personally connect with Mandy at  To gain clarity and prepare for the holidays and beyond, ask her about a personalized consultation for yourself or someone you care about.      
"Also visit 'Red Door Organizing ' on Facebook for daily tips and inspiration. "

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