The holiday season is upon us friends! The typical hustle and bustle of this time of year can be stressful if you let it be. Here are 10 tips to help you plan for the holidays, so you can remain relaxed and enjoy the season.
- Early-Mid November, make a list of everything you want/need to accomplish during the weeks to come—decorating, shopping, sending cards, baking, etc. Schedule deadlines on your calendar. Doing so will keep you on task and will turn your ‘to do’ list into a ‘done’ list.
- Early-Mid November, put up outside holiday lights, but don’t actually turn them on until the beginning of December. This is especially important for those who live in cold weather climates. Waiting until December to put up outside holiday lights may be a painfully cold experience. The timing of inside decorating can be a personal preference. Some families like to decorate late November, late December, or sometime in between. Stay tuned for some advice from me toward the end of December about how to take inventory, pack up and store holiday decorations to make next year’s decorating a simple, low stress process.
- Early-Mid November, if you are planning on sending out cards during the holiday season, review the list of friends and family to whom you plan to send holiday cards and confirm/update their addresses. Once you have the list confirmed/updated, make/purchase your holiday cards and stamps. Schedule time on your calendar through the end of November to address and prep your cards, so they are ready to be mailed by the first week in December. Don’t overburden yourself by trying to address the cards in one sitting. Plan to address a certain number of cards each day over the course of multiple days. FYI…. It can be relaxing to do this task while watching TV or listing to music.
- Mid-End November, plan your holiday gift giving list. Include on that list a note about where you plan to shop for each gift item (e.g. on line or in store) or if you plan to make the gift. Always check for available coupons before shopping (this can be applicable when shopping for gifts or when shopping for supplies to make gifts). My favorite thing to do is to conduct a Google search on the internet for “<insert store name here> coupon codes” (if planning to purchase an item on line) or “<insert store name here> printable coupons” (if planning to purchase an item in store). This technique has saved me a lot of money on purchases over the years. I don’t go shopping without checking for coupons first.
- Before you shop, decide whether you plan to use gift boxes, tissue, and wrapping paper or gift bags and tissue paper. Your local dollar store is a great place to shop for these supplies. If planning to use boxes, make it a practice to ask for a free gift box when purchasing any gifts at a store. That will be one less wrapping supply item for you to purchase.
- As you purchase or make a gift, cross it off your gift list and wrap it right away (box or bag). Similar to addressing holiday cards, waiting until the last minute to wrap all gifts in one marathon session can create a lot of unnecessary stress during the holiday season.
- If hosting or attending gatherings during the holidays, follow similar advice as outlined above. Well in advance, make a list of everything that needs to be done (invitations, decorating, shopping, cooking, baking, hostess gifts, picking out attire to wear, etc.), and make a schedule on your calendar for each task to be done, so that things are not left until the last minute. As you are planning, remember… The more that can be done ahead of the event, the less stress you will feel the day of the event. If hosting, consider asking others to contribute a dish to the holiday feast, so that the burden (and cost) of cooking is not all on you. Having the party catered is an option for consideration as well. If attending, be sure to offer to contribute to the holiday feast. Even if not accepted, your host will appreciate the offer!
- Doing any baking during the holidays? I don’t do a lot of baking, but I have heard that some cookie dough can be prepared and frozen a few weeks ahead of time, which can enable you to spread out the cookie baking/decorating process over the course of a few weeks, rather than trying to accomplish it all in one day. When you are ready, simply thaw the cookie dough for a few hours, bake, cool, decorate, and voila! Gotta love that!
- While exchanging/opening gifts, be sure to have a garbage bag ready and nearby to immediately collect the used/ripped wrapping paper, tissue paper, etc. This will ensure that gifts do not get mixed up with trash and the room remains in a state of somewhat decent order and calmness.
- Last, but not least, be sure to continue to make time for yourself during the holiday season! Eat well, continue your workouts, indulge in a relaxing activity (bubble bath or a mani/pedi?), sit back, pause, reflect, and be grateful for all the wonderful things and people you have in your life.
And on that note….. I would like to say “THANK YOU” to all clients, Facebook friends, Pinterest and Blog followers of Organize with Beverly, LLC. I am truly doing what I love and loving what I do. I look forward to continuing on this journey with you, as it evolves.
Thank you for organizing with me!