Holiday Organizing Makes Life Easier

When the holiday season approaches we are faced with many additional stressful tasks.  Holiday cards need to be addressed, holiday gifts need to be purchased and wrapped, the house needs to be cleaned and decorated, holiday meals need to be planned and the foods need to be bought.

After the holiday you will need to find room in your home, your closets, your bureau drawers and the toy chest for all the new Christmas gifts the family receives.  Take some time now to go through the clothes, toys and other household items to make room for the presents to come.

If you want to relieve some of the stress associated with the holidays the key is to get organized early. Start with the greeting cards and holiday letters you send.  Give yourself a week or two to complete this project so you won’t feel overwhelmed.  Gather your cards and letter writing materials together in one place and keep them in this place until the project is finished.  Address and write a personal note on a few cards each day and you’ll be finished before you know it.  You can complete this task early and send the cards and letters a little closer to the holiday.  At least, one task is finished in good time and without a lot of stress.

Have everyone give you a “wish list” (including the stores where the items can be purchased) before you even start shopping.  This way you don’t have to guess what someone wants.  Instead, you can give everyone what they want and not give something that will never be used.

If you don ‘t know what to give someone think consumable.  A consumable gift will probably not go to waste or add to the clutter.

Do your shopping as early as possible and try to shop at odd times when the stores should be less crowded.  Avoid the malls and post office on the weekends, if possible.  Consider shopping online whenever possible.

Wrap gifts right after you purchase them so you don’t have a huge wrapping job to tackle at the last minute.  Set aside a separate space with all the necessary supplies for wrapping so you can wrap easily and quickly.

Don’t waste a lot of time and a lot of energy cleaning the house from top to bottom.  Concentrate on the public areas where your guest will be.  If you decorate your house the same way each year, take a picture of your decorations this year to use as a blueprint next year so you can speed up the process.

Keep some quick food items on hand for unexpected guests.  Have some cheese and crackers, tea and coffee, cookies, etc. so you will be ready if someone stops in.

When you are having a planned event allow enough time to clean, cook and decorate the house.  Don’t try to accomplish everything at the last minute.  To reduce some stress, keep meals simple.  Ask guests to bring a dish to reduce some of your work load.

After the holidays have passed you are again faced with the project of cleaning up the house and you need to take down the decorations.  Try to enlist some family members or close friends to join you in an undecorating party.  Chores are more fun if they are done in the company of friendly people and with a couple of extra hands.  Be sure you have storage containers to hold the decorations you take down so they will be in good shape for next year.  When you have some free time update your card list while everything is still fresh in your mind.

Take some of the stress out of the holidays and enjoy the good times by starting preparations early, keeping things simple, and asking for help when needed.