Holiday season organizing can be different than everyday organizing. You’re not just finding homes for things, ridding yourself of clutter, and reducing chaos. During the holidays, you’re also dragging out boxes of holiday decor, preparing more elaborate meals, and hosting guests. Our holiday season organizing guide is designed to help you do more now so you can enjoy the food, company, and fun later.
Don’t Just Add More Stuff
Decorating for the holidays can be so much fun! The problem for many of us is that we simply keep adding to what we already have, and it gets crowded, cluttered, and chaotic. Instead of just dragging out your seasonal decorations and finding places for them, go through your home first and temporarily box up decor from shelves and walls that you can use for holiday decorations. This way, you’re “trading stuff for stuff” and not just adding more.
Plan Meals Ahead
Expecting holiday guests? Would you rather spend time visiting and enjoying their company than working away in a hot kitchen? Plan now for meals you can begin making ahead and freezing. Here’s a list of some meals that work well to make ahead and freeze:
- Chicken enchiladas
- Spaghetti (freeze the sauce; boil the noodles fresh the day you serve it)
- Pulled pork
There are many other options for prepare-ahead meals, but the idea is to do more now and enjoy the time later with your guests so you are not so exhausted.
Rely on Lists and Set a Budget
Set a budget for what you can afford to spend for the holidays. Use it to guide you in how much you should spend on food, decor, and gifts. Make lists now about what you’ll need to be buying over the next couple of months. Write down the ingredients for your favorite holiday dessert, make a list of the gifts you need to buy, and make a to-do list of everything you want to get done. The lists aren’t meant to overwhelm you; they’re meant to keep you on task and on track so you do more than you must. They can also keep you from buying stuff you don’t need just because it’s on sale!
Shop Early and Keep It Simple
Relying on your lists, start shopping early. Watch for sales. The key is to not stray far from the lists or from your established budget for the season. Keep gifts simple.
Take Time to Enjoy the Moments
There’s no avoiding some chaos and stress during the holiday season, but be sure part of what you include on your to-do list is time for you. Don’t schedule so much that you’re frazzled at all times; make sure you have some down time. Go get a massage or a manicure or whatever pampers you. Spend an afternoon reading a good book. Do what you can to approach the holidays differently, with no expectation of perfection and no need to say yes to everything.
How do you stay organized during the holidays? Share your tips!