Organizing for the Holidays. (Plus a free event planning checklist!)

Holiday Organization - Organizing with a Side of Fabulous

The holidays are sneaking upon us. The best way to prevent some of the stress associated with the season is to head it off at the pass. How do we do that? 

A little organizing of course. 

Oh! Were you hoping I had a magic pill or unicorn butlers or something? Sometimes I wish I had them too, but since I don't this will be the next best thing. 

First and foremost - don't panic. Breathe and know you'll be fine. 

Now to the organizing! 

Home - a.k.a. "Why did I not address this all those times I thought about it???"

Again, don't panic. It won't help anyway. The urge here is usually to toss everything into a box for "later." Considering how many of these "later" boxes I've come across with clients, we know that you're not going to get back to that box. So instead, don't give into the urge. Do these things instead: 

  • Take advantage of this opportunity and think of it as a fabulous time to clear space for 1) the new things that will come in for the holidays and 2) fresh space for the fresh new year. 
  • Go into each room that guests will be in and remove anything you don't need, want, or use anymore - typically the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and guest room if you'll be having overnighters. This doesn't have to be a big "thing." Don't even think of it as a "thing" or organizing project. Walk into the room, and moving around clockwise or counterclockwise, remove anything that you don't need, use, love, or simply want anymore. Don't overthink it. Simply remove what you don't want anymore. Do this one room at a time so it doesn't become too overwhelming.
  • When you finish each room, get those things out of the house by trash, recycling or donating. If you have a lot, do it at the end of each day you work. Either way, get things out of the house as quickly as possible. This is extremely important to relieving the anxiety of the "stuff." 
  • At this point you may have created enough space for the house to look good enough. (Good enough is perfectly acceptable!) However, if not and you still to hide things away do so...but not before you've removed everything you don't need, use, or love! Then vow to organize next year so that this doesn't happen again. 

Decorations - a.k.a. - "Why didn't I organize these before I put them away last year?"

  • Take some time to locate and pull out all your decorations. Go through them and make sure everything is still in good, working condition. If not or you just don’t like it anymore, toss it out.
  • Separate everything out according to what it is – outdoor, indoor, tree, etc.
  • Determine when you want to put them up and write it down on your calendar. If you've don't have too much, you can do it all at once. If you do more elaborate decorating then you can put it out in stages.

Gifts - a.k.a. "Why didn't I buy gifts through the year so I didn't have to do it all at once when stores are landmines of crazy?" 

  • Make a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving this year, along with ideas of what and where it can be purchased – in store or online.
  • If you’re on a budget, this is the place to allocate how much money you will spend on each person to help keep you under budget.
  • Already purchased some gifts through the year? It’s time to pull those out and get them wrapped up. (Remember, every little thing you do ahead will save you time when you’ll really need it – in the middle of holiday crazies.)

Parties and Events - a.k.a. "Why did I agree to do this? My kitchen is merely the storage space for my wine." 

  • Are you throwing a party this year? Make your invite list and send your invites out now. I've already started receiving invites for December parties. Getting on people’s calendar early will help others with their party plans. Also, start preparing and planning for your party now so you have time to breathe and look like the ultimate hostess.
  • What will you be attending? School, work and family functions. Travel. Friends parties. Special holiday shows like The Nutcracker. Look at everything you know you'll be attending and get it on your calendar.
  • Want additional tips? Download this party planning checklist. 

Get the free party planning checklist!

Make your holiday party planning easier with this handy-dandy, free event planning checklist!

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The grand plan: a.k.a. the Master Calendar (or as I called it through my event planning years, The Timeline. Yes capitalized because it is that important.)

Put everything down on a single, master calendar:

  • When you’re going to decorate.
  • When you’ll be in a certain part of town near the store you want to buy X's gift.
  • Travel plans.
  • When you’ll go to the grocery store for party foods.
  • When you’ll make x dish to freeze ahead for x party.

Get every single thing, no matter how small or minor it may seem, onto a single calendar. This way you can get things out of your head and into a single place where you can see everything you need. Then, to make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed, only look at one day at a time.

Pro tip: if you like to keep track of things electronically, I highly recommend TickTick. It's a simple outline form task manager that is super-easy to use and stay on top of everything. 

Additional Pro tips:
•    Schedule self care. Maybe a pedicure or yoga class while you’re out shopping? Taking some time just for you will help you maintain energy through the season.
•    Plan and prep meals for the week so you have quick, healthy options to 1) avoid fast food and 2) counterbalance the indulgent parties. (Check back Friday for a frittata recipe and fall meal plan for one to help with this part.)
•    Don’t feel bad if you don’t stick to the calendar. The calendar/list is a tool to make things easier, but it’s not your drill sergeant. Take time to enjoy the season and know that it’s OK to say “no” to something if you need a breather.

Follow these tips to sparkle and shine through the holidays with ease.

What are your favorite tips to making the holidays easier?

Want some extra help to get through the holidays with a little more organization? I have a number of options to choose from whether you need a little help or a lot. Contact me today!

Get the free party planning checklist!

Make your holiday party planning easier with this handy-dandy, free event planning checklist!

Powered by ConvertKit