Last week, I wrote about making things "just a little bit better" around my house. By taking baby steps and being content with slow, but steady progress (for the time being, anyway), I can chip away at everything that has to be done and get a sense of accomplishment even when there's still a lot to accomplish.

Of course, last week, we had two weeks until Christmas.

But I digress.

I've written before about some of these baby steps, but, since we're on the subject, I thought I'd share them again today.

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Strategic list-making. Last week, I talked about making sure my lists had a mix of short-term and long-term items on them. While this is a good strategy at any time of year, it's essential as the holidays approach. If we're not making at least small progress on our holiday preparations, we can lose the joy of the season in the last-minute mad dash that results from letting the day-to-day task overwhelm the preparations for the not-so-distant future.

Give it five. As Christmas approaches, the clutter at my house can grow exponentially. Gifts to be wrapped and decorations to be put up (among other things) begin to encroach on living space. 'Tis the season to employ Give it Five! not just for quick pick-ups, but for decking the halls as well. Rather than dragging out a huge bin full of decorations, why not open the container and select only a few decorations (one five minute session)? Then, put those up before taking out anything else out. The house gets decorated more slowly, but grows more festive as the holidays approach. And if everything doesn't make it out of the attic, is it really such a big deal?

The number game. Don't have time to clear the decks? Pick a number and pick up that number of items and put them away. My number varies based on the size of the pile and the time I have available, but shrinking piles and clear space are great motivators. Once you get started, you might just keep going.

Or, you might step back, enjoy the improvement, and take a break. After all, you need to conserve your energy if you're going to celebrate the season.

Copyright 2016 Lisa Hess