For most people, the holidays are a very busy time of year. There is so much to get done in a usually a small amount of free time. The shopping, cooking, and decorating can really leave your head spinning. At least mine feels that way around this time of year. Here are 10 Tips to Staying Organized This Holiday Season and get a handle on your holidays so you can sit back and enjoy like the rest of the family.
1. Using a calendar is a must. If your phone has one, use it and set alerts. Get another calendar for your home and place it in an area where all family members can see it and add appointments. This allows everyone to be on the same page for events, and helps you not over-schedule.
2. Set a budget for everything. This includes holiday gifts, clothing, parties and other engagements. Creating a budget allows you keep a handle on your wallet and not go overboard. Make sure to do this before the hustle and bustle of the holiday starts! You’ll know ahead of time when you have to pass on something.
3. Make lists. Just like Santa, make a list of everyone that you will need to shop for and set a budget for each person. If your budget is too tight, decide whom you will leave off. It is totally OK to just send a card to distant relatives and friends. Don’t guilt yourself into overspending.
4. Find a way to de-stress a couple times during the season. This time of year is stressful, but it should also be fun. Make sure to set time for yourself. If your budget allows, schedule a relaxing pedicure, lunch with a friend or maybe even just a coffee date. A clear mind is an organized one.
5. Shop early. This doesn’t necessarily mean on shop on Black Friday, but also don’t wait until December 23rd. No one feels like they have it all together if they are rushed.
6. Don’t over-commit. There is nothing wrong with saying no to some of the invitations you receive. When you aren’t over-scheduled, you’ll feel more organized if you aren’t trying to do everything at once.
7. If you do holiday baking, plan early. Know what you will be making and gather the non-perishable ingredients before you need them. Go through the pantry and take stock of what you have on hand, and then fill in the gaps for what you need to buy. You may find items in the pantry you didn’t remember you had and save yourself some money.
8. For cards, don’t try to do them all yourself. Most kids can easily help out by addressing or adding labels to the envelopes. Keep the notes in your cards short and sweet. People will be happy to hear from you and receive the card. They won’t even notice you didn’t write a novel inside.
9. If you plan to leave town, make arrangements for pets, house keeping and mail delivery well in advance. This way, there is no mad dash to figure out what to do at the last minute. You will be able to relax and enjoy your travels.
10. For wrapping gifts and decorating, don’t feel pressured to do more than you want or can manage. Gifts don’t have to look picture perfect. The kids are just going to tear through the paper in 3.2 seconds flat. Take some time, trim the tree with the kids and make a fun day out of it for you and the family by throwing on some holiday tunes and enjoying some hot chocolate.
The holidays will be gone if you blink too long, so don’t stress about what you can’t do…enjoy and savor what you can do without making yourself crazy.
What is your best tip for staying organized during the mad rush of the holiday season?