Christmas is a perfect time to spend with family and friends. It's a great time to entertain and taking part in annual traditions for the entire family. And, if you are like me, it's also important to decorate the inside and outside of the house in holiday fare. Unfortunately, we can't do it all. So, to help you determine what you plan on doing this holiday season, I have compiled several tips from my own and my fellow Professional Organizers experiences. I hope it helps you determine what you and your family want to do this holiday season.
First, I will start with my tips. My tips are primarily based on prepping your activities and your home. I personally use these tips, and it helped me reduce stress and enjoy the season more. I hope it helps you.
1. Dust before you decorate your home. Shake out the items before bringing them into the house to minimize the dust on stored items.
2. Make a list of things you need while you are decorating to save you time and money. Make a list and place it in your wallet. This task will remind you to get the stuff when you are out shopping. Also, check online for any coupons for the products you need and print them out.
3. Have a replacement light bulbs compartalized container with attached lid (see the image below from Amazon (affiliate) and accessories for the tree and outside's string of lights. Having one place for these small items will help you save time if you need to repair a string of lights.
4. If you use temporary hooks (like 3M-Command Hooks) or other small decorations, have them organized in a compartment container above for quick decorating. After you use them, remove the tape and reattach the front and back parts and place in this bin for next year. I love when I don't have to hunt for the back of the hook.
5. Review your holiday platters, baking supplies, table clothes at least a week before your party. Make a list of items you need, ingredients you need and what you will be using while making your menu. When you go out, you will have more direction on what you need, and you will save time.
6. With your calendar at hand, determine what traditions BEFORE Thanksgiving for this year. Visit my post about Organize Your Holiday Traditions Tips. This post gives you a free tradition form to fill out and help you get organized for the event.
Now, on to my excellent Professional Organizers' tips about keeping the fun in the holidays.
Hilda M. Rodgers from Overwhelmed to Organized suggests to "plan ahead (and do things ahead), so you aren't overwhelmed with everything at the last minute and can enjoy the holidays."
Seana Turner from The Seana Method says "traditions are wonderful, but you don't need to perform every tradition each year. There are seasons to life, as well as unexpected situations and developments. Some years we can pull out all the stops, while others it makes sense to scale back. Take each holiday season as it comes, and don't drive yourself crazy."
Helena Alkhas from Helena Alkhas A Personal Organizer speaks from her own experience. "My personal practice around the holidays (we have 15 people for several days) is to go to Costco at the beginning of Nov and make a big shopping trip for everything I can stock up. From TP and napkins, canned goods and chicken stock to wine and sodas, I get it all out of the way. Then when it’s cooking and hosting time we just shop for perishables, making it a lot less stressful."
Vlasta Hillger from Simplify Experts suggests "getting help! It's the best holiday gift of all; we don't have to do it all alone."
Mel Carruthers from More Organised suggests to "agree on a budget for gifts with your family and stick to it. Think thoughtful gifts, not expensive."
Well, there you have it. I hope this inspired you to take the time now and prep and create your limits for this holiday season. Feel free to visit all these lovely organizer's blogs to get even more tips this holiday season. I hope you have a beautiful and joyous time.
Now it's your turn. What is your favorite time to help you maximize fun and minimize stress this holiday? Please leave a comment below. And, please share with others that may also get overwhelmed this time of year.