Organizing For The Holidays
Take some of the stress out of the holidays by getting organized now.
The key to holiday organizing is to start early, take baby steps, and make lists (i.e. gifts, budget,
meals, cards, etc.). Now is also the time to go through clothes, toys, and other household items to
make room for the presents soon to come.
can almost cause as much stress as shopping.
Plan to complete your cards over a week or two. Gather all your letter-writing materials before you
start, and keep them in one place until you finish.
If you like to
send a general update along with a personalized note,
write that first. Then add a personal touch to a
couple cards a day, and you will be finished in no
Before you ever step foot in a store, have everyone
make gift lists (including stores). This way you can
give to others what they want instead of something
that will become clutter to them. Plus, you have one
less decision to make. Make shopping easier by
setting a deadline so you can enjoy the holiday
season. The earlier you start and finish your
shopping, the shorter the lines and better the
selection. When you can, shop odd hours for a less
hectic experience; avoid malls and post offices on
the weekends if possible. Shop online when
you do not know what to get someone for a holiday
present, think consumable; a consumable gift will
probably not go to waste or add to the clutter. You
can even have everyone contribute to a group meal or
activity, or you can set up a Secret Santa exchange.
When it comes time for wrapping, create a separate
space with all necessary supplies so you can wrap
easily and quickly, if necessary. For extra-large
gifts, use a paper, holiday tablecloth for wrapping
Do not overwhelm yourself by cleaning the house from
top to bottom; concentrate on the public areas.
Guests will appreciate your hard work and still be
able to enjoy your company. If you tend to decorate
similarly from year to year, take a picture of your
decorations to speed the process next year. Prepare
for unexpected guests; keep an inventory of quick
food items such as cheese and crackers, tea and
coffee, frozen cookies, etc. For your planned
gatherings, allow enough time for cleaning, cooking,
and decorating by counting back from the time of your
party. Keep meals simple or ask guests to bring a
dish to reduce your preparation time and stress.
Delegate or ask for help with some of these
activities; it will take a little of the stress off
you and may even turn several of the chores in to
Once all the festivities have passed, the idea of
cleaning up and taking down the decorations may
invite some of that stress back into your life. Stop
it in its tracks – have an informal
“undecorating” party. Most chores take less time
and are more fun when you have friendly company and a
couple extra hands. When it comes to Christmas
decorations and supplies, use appropriately sized
storage containers that are sturdy and label, label,
A couple extra minutes at the end of this season
could save hours when it is time to decorate next
year. This is also a good time to update your card
list while everything is fresh in your memory. If it
turns out you forgot someone this year, you can
always send a New Year’s card.
Just remember, the holidays are about friends,
family, and fun. Take the stress out of holiday
preparations and enjoy the good times by preparing
early, asking for help, and keeping it simple.