The holidays are hectic for everyone, even the most organized folks. Most people feel a little frantic during November and December, which can detract from the fun everyone wants to be having. Holiday planning tips are the best way to get around this stress. Create a plan, stick to it, and avoid rushing around at the last minute.
Create a Holiday Itinerary
Organize Christmas plans, visitors, and travel times by creating an itinerary and starting a Christmas planner. During the holidays, it seems like everyone has different plans, dashing from party to party with a dish of food or cookies in hand. The best way to keep you and your family sane is with an itinerary. Itineraries are great even when you're not traveling. Make one for your at-home holiday time. Post it on a dry erase board or a chalkboard so you can add and change things as your plans fluctuate.
Clean the House Before Hanging Holiday Decorations
When the house is a mess, adding holiday decorations and preparing for holiday guests is a nightmare. For staying organized over Christmas, start by cleaning the house. Your decorations will stand out better when they aren't competing with clutter to catch your eye, and your guests will feel more welcome staying in a clean house.
The holidays are busy, and you've got a lot to do when getting ready for the holidays, so focus on the parts of the house that see the most traffic. Before you sort through your Christmas decorations storage, clean the living room, the kitchen, and the guest bedroom thoroughly. Just declutter, dust, and vacuum in the rest of the house before trimming the tree or hanging lights.
Organize Your Living Space
If you look around the house and think, "How do I get organized for the holidays," it may be as simple as tidying your living space. Take the opportunity to rearrange your closet, the kids' toy chest, and other cluttered areas of the house. You might even find some like-new items you can re-gift. Get a better idea of what to tell relatives and friends when they ask what to get you for Christmas as you reassess your items. The last thing you need is duplicates of toys the kids barely play with.
Many people use storage units for holiday decorations to keep them from cluttering closet and attic space. Use the time before the holidays to visit your self-storage. Swap your summer items for your winter clothes, holiday decorations, and extra blankets.
Get Holiday Shopping Done Early
Want one of the best holiday organizing tips? Shop early. Trying to buy and ship all the gifts on your list is difficult when you only leave yourself a week or two before Christmas. Buying last-minute presents on Christmas Eve is stressful, too.
Start before Thanksgiving. Lots of stores begin their Black Friday sales a week or more before Black Friday, so you can go deal hunting without fighting through crowds and getting up at the crack of dawn. Shopping early is great because you don't have to do it all at once and overwhelm yourself. Spread it out over a week or two so that it fits within your schedule. If you have someone in your life who could use some organization, this gift guide can help.
Worried about where to hide Christmas presents for a few weeks? If there are prying eyes in your life, keep presents a surprise by hiding gifts in your storage unit.
Decorate However You Want
So what if your holiday decor doesn't look like it came out of a magazine? Decorating for the holidays should be fun, not stressful. Set aside a day dedicated to decorating and get the whole family in on it. Put up the decorations that make you happy in a way that's simple for your home. Utilize helpful tools like non-permanent wall hooks for a very organized Christmas. If you need some inspiration, there are lots of good simple decorating ideas for the holiday season.
Throw away decorations that don't look their best anymore. Old, dirty, and damaged decorations don't bring festive cheer to your home, and you're wasting valuable storage space keeping them all year. Keep your favorite decorations neat, tidy, and clean with some smart Christmas prep.
Use List Apps
Paper lists get lost easily, but you've always got your phone on you. Download a list app like Evernote or Wunderlist or find a specific Christmas planning app to keep track of your holiday plans, gifts, and grocery lists. Some of them even remind you to do things based on your location, so you won't forget to pick up gravy when you drive by the grocery store. Online shopping with price comparison apps is another option; you get the best deal without driving from store to store.
Create a Gift-Wrapping Station
Pick a corner of the house that doesn't get much traffic and set up a makeshift wrapping station. You won't end up with ribbons, bows, and tags all over the house, nor will you spend valuable time tracking down tape and scissors. A few plastic containers will help you organize wrapping paper supplies. It doesn't have to be fancy. A folding table, an old desk, or even a patch of floor will do.
Reduce some of the stress associated with the holidays by planning well and getting organized. Your schedule won't stop unexpected guests from dropping by, last-minute holiday party invites, or family drama. It will, however, keep you sane during day-to-day holiday preparation, which frees up mental energy to enjoy yourself.