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BBB ON HOMES Follow tips for managing holiday schedule

December 23, 2018

This time of year is a healthy mix of fun and festivities, and exhausting to-do lists. Many people are juggling multiple tasks: decking the halls, planning and making holiday meals, shopping for gifts in addition to keeping their homes clean and work assignments on deadline.

The Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas offers the following tips to find the support and resources you need to stay on top of it all and enjoy the season:

Consider outside help. No time to hit the grocery store before your holiday guests arrive? Save time by scheduling grocery delivery. If you’re in a time crunch, consider hiring a house-cleaning service. Knowing your cleaning priorities can help you find the best, most trustworthy service provider to tackle the job. Check with the Better Business Bureau at BBBHouston.org to find businesses offering these services throughout your area.

Build a routine and stick to it. Get time on your side by creating a realistic schedule, and try to stay as close to it as possible. If you have a good plan of attack, you’ll be less likely to run out of time. Think big picture and try to chip away a little bit every day, so you don’t get too overwhelmed. For example, if you know you have holiday guests arriving in two weeks, create a daily to-do list. Set aside a day to prepare the guest room, a day to clean your home, a day to tackle last-minute shopping and a day for meal planning and cooking.

Take time off. Conversely, don’t be afraid to put a cap on your schedule. Take short breaks throughout the day and try to not work in the evenings. Instead, trade work for time with your family or getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

Use organizational tools. Sometimes getting on top of schedules requires a little extra help. Enlist the help of a free downloadable app or invest in a calendar or planner to help you keep track of to-dos, vacation days and guests, so nothing slips through the tracks.

Don’t be afraid of shortcuts. Faced with unexpected guests? Don’t worry about a deep clean or planning an extravagant meal. Instead, clean your home’s hot spots — tackle bathrooms, entryways, the kitchen and living room. You can always tuck away laundry that needs to be folded, bills to be sorted and more behind your bedroom door, and your guests won’t be the wiser.

Have a back-up plan. It’s always wise to have a Plan B. Enlist a friend, significant other or family member who can help you pick up the slack if you find yourself needing some help over the holidays. Having support on speed dial means that when you’re stuck in line at the post office and need to be home to let in the house cleaner, you have someone who can help you be in two places at once.

The Better Business Bureau is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Visit www.bbbhouston.org or call 713-868-9500. Leah Napoliello is senior director of Investigative Services with the BBB of Greater Houston and South Texas. Send questions to Leah Napoliello, Better Business Bureau, 1333 West Loop South, Suite 1200, Houston, TX 77027, or e-mail lnapoliello@bbbhou.org. Include your mailing address and phone number.

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