holiday planning + organization
With the elections behind us, we sets our sights (and actions) to what is in front of us - the HOLIDAYS!
There's no doubt the holiday season can be stressful. If you're not careful, just thinking about the volume of things to do can trigger anxious thoughts and steal your joy.
With the commitments to holiday parties and other events, even the most organized time-managers can get overwhelmed. There is also an increase in advertising filling our TVs, phones and mailboxes with clutter leaving us with more emails to sift through, more mail to recycle and more plans to coordinate.
Given that we have more on our to do lists during the holidays, it's important to set yourself up for success with some planning and organizational systems that can help lighten the load. Below are some tips for getting a jump start on your holiday planning and organization.
Before buying anything new for the holiday season, taking inventory of what you already have creates a clearer picture of where you have gaps. Doing this step will also help you save both time and money in the long run. Some items to inventory may include previously purchased gifts, gift wrapping, seasonal clothes for you and your family, and favorite recipes.
Write It Down
There is a reason Santa makes his list and checks it twice. The reason is that it's effective! Taking the time to write everything down that you need to accomplish will help you be more successful. It allows you to assign time estimates for each item on your list giving you the full picture, and time commitment needed to get everything accomplished.
Contain Your Decor
If you don't have dedicated bins for your holiday decor, that is the first thing you'll want to do to organize your decor. Cardboard boxes can work in a pinch, but ideally you would invest in clear plastic bins for each holiday and label them. While I love the festive look of the red, green and blue bins, my recommendation is to buy clear. When you buy special holiday bins one year and you need to find a matching one the next year, it's not always easy (I know this from experience).
One of my favorite bins to use to store holiday decorations is the Weathertight Storage Box from Iris USA shown below. They are sealed to keep out moisture so they can be used in the house or in the garage.
For your specialty items like wreaths and ornaments, I recommend you use containers designed to hold those items as they will stay looking nice longer. Some of my favorite items are below. If you've never had a bin to divide your ornaments, I'm telling you it's a game-changer!
Simplify Where You Can
And last, but certainly not least, is for you to consider ways that you can simplify. This could mean taking some things off the list, delegating the task or thinking about doing the task in a new way. Some examples below:
Consolidate shopping trips
Think delivery - both your gifts and your food can be purchased online and delivered saving you the trip
Chose make-ahead or store-prepared items to your menu
Hire it out - you can hire people for almost anything from shopping for your presents to picking up your dry cleaning. If you have more money than time, this can be a lifesaver.
Combine a social event with a to-do like cookie exchange or volunteering
Bow out - sometimes, saying "Thanks, but no thanks" and keeping your peace is the right answer
What's most important for us to remember is that while the holidays can add complexity and stress to our lives, there are many things we can do to minimize the stress. The most important tool in the fight is our mindset. Keeping a calm and peaceful mindset can go a long way in helping you accomplish all of your goals!
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