From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center/DivinelyOrganized
Preparing & Organizing For The Holidays
Does the thought of the holidays stress you out? Are you dreading the food prep and holiday guests? Will the addition of holiday gifts leave your closets, drawers, and toy chests bursting? Do you feel like you need more hands, time, and help to keep your house and life organized? Then you came to the right place.
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Take some of the stress out of the holidays by getting organized now. The key to holiday organizing is to start early, take baby steps, and make lists (i.e. gifts, budget, meals, cards, etc.). Now is also the time to go through clothes, toys, and other household items to make room for the presents soon to come.
Greeting cards can almost cause as much stress as shopping. Plan to complete your cards over a week or two. Gather all your letter-writing materials before you start, and keep them in one place until you finish. If you like to send a general update along with a personalized note, write that first. Then add a personal touch to a couple cards a day, and you will be finished in no time.
Grove Collaborative/Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Products
Before you ever step foot in a store, have everyone make gift lists (including stores). This way you can give to others what they want instead of something that will become clutter to them. Plus, you have one less decision to make. Make shopping easier by setting a deadline so you can enjoy the holiday season. The earlier you start and finish your shopping, the shorter the lines and better the selection. When you can, shop odd hours for a less hectic experience; avoid malls and post offices on the weekends if possible. Shop online when applicable. If you do not know what to get someone for a holiday present, think consumable; a consumable gift will probably not go to waste or add to the clutter. You can even have everyone contribute to a group meal or activity, or you can set up a Secret Santa exchange. When it comes time for wrapping, create a separate space with all necessary supplies so you can wrap easily and quickly, if necessary. For extra-large gifts, use a paper, holiday tablecloth for wrapping paper.
Do not overwhelm yourself by cleaning the house from top to bottom; concentrate on the public areas. Guests will appreciate your hard work and still be able to enjoy your company. If you tend to decorate similarly from year to year, take a picture of your decorations to speed the process next year. Prepare for unexpected guests; keep an inventory of quick food items such as cheese and crackers, tea and coffee, frozen cookies, etc. For your planned gatherings, allow enough time for cleaning, cooking, and decorating by counting back from the time of your party. Keep meals simple or ask guests to bring a dish to reduce your preparation time and stress. Delegate or ask for help with some of these activities; it will take a little of the stress off you and may even turn several of the chores in to fun activities.
Once all the festivities have passed, the idea of cleaning up and taking down the decorations may invite some of that stress back into your life. Stop it in its tracks – have an informal “undecorating” party. Most chores take less time and are more fun when you have friendly company and a couple extra hands. Don’t forget to bring along a glass of your favorite beverage for the undecorating party. When it comes to Christmas decorations and supplies, use appropriately sized storage containers that are sturdy and label, label, label! A couple extra minutes at the end of this season could save hours when it is time to decorate next year. This is also a good time to update your card list while everything is fresh in your memory. If it turns out you forgot someone this year, you can always send a New Year’s card.
Just remember, the holidays are about friends, family, and fun. Take the stress out of holiday preparations and enjoy the good times by preparing early, asking for help, and keeping it simple.
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Until next time…I remain in my Element – God Bless!
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Great ideas – pinned and shared
Thank you Carol. You are always so supportive. 🙂
Hi Giulia. Thank you for stopping by. I am happy you enjoyed the post.
Christmas is more fun and festive when we plan ahead! Thanks for these tips.
You are welcome Michele. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂
Great tips. I am still struggling with the idea that Thanksgiving is next week, let alone thinking beyond that to Christmas.
Ha. You are like a lot of folks Audrey. Thanksgiving is earlier this year by a week, but we had better get ready because Christmas isn’t far behind. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.
Great tips, especially the greeting cards, I always buy a new box at the end of the holidays, guess I better get them unpacked. Thank you for joining us on #omhgff this week!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
YES! The thought of Christmas madness stresses me out! Thanksgiving is ok. The major part about Christmas is buying gifts for our adult children and their spouses, not knowing what they want, trying to figure it all out, just too much aggravation. However, buying for the grandbabies is and always has been a pleasure.
Hi Karen, I am glad the tips helped. Thank you for hosting every week and for stopping by.
Hi Dee, I stopped stressing over the adult children. My tradition is to give everyone, including grands, a good bag with stuff they can use. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, undies, slippers, etc. Then the adults get a gift card and I spend my time wrapping gifts and enjoying buying for the little ones. 🙂 My kids now all look forward to their goody bags. They love the surprises they get there and then they get money in a gift card to purchase what they really want. Works for them and less stress for me. And I still get to buy for my grands. It’s a win-win in my family. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.
I have chosen your post to be featured on Oh My Heartsie Girls Friday Feature Special Holiday Party. It will also be featured on Pinterest and Instagram, you will be able to find it at either #omhgww or ohmyheartsiegirl
Please stop by and share other posts so everyone can enjoy!!
Hope you enjoy your week!
Oh thank you so much Karren. I appreciate that so much. I hope you and your family had a fabulous Thanksgiving.
Thank you so much Karren. I appreciate the feature so much. I hope you and your family had a fabulous Thanksgiving. Again, thank you.