5 Helpful Tips to Make Your Holiday Season Easier!
By Amy Peterson, Professional Organizer
The holidays are supposed to be merry & bright, but the holidays can bring stress and anxiety. My goal every year is to enjoy the holidays – spending time with family and friends. But we all know the holidays bring a lot of extra work. To help you prepare for the holidays, here are a few tips I have adopted over the years.
Tip 1. Make Lists – take time now to breathe & look ahead at your schedule. Making a list ahead of time and visualizing all that has to be done can really help organize your to-do list. Be realistic – this is probably not the time of year to begin a home remodeling project. Also, see if there are any things/events you can eliminate from your schedule. Download this checklist for your holiday to-do-list!
Tip 2. Get out the Calendar – think about what holiday traditions you want to enjoy & put these events on your calendar. Do not say yes to every party you get invited to – try to keep some margin in your schedule. Some things we schedule every year – visiting special relatives, setting up the Christmas tree & making gingerbread houses.
Tip 3. Set a Budget – How much can you afford to spend? Some of the best gifts are ones that have meaning. Look for great deals before paying full price too (keep an eye out for great deals this season on our shop.designideas.net site). Also, you could offer “service” gifts to friends & family – free babysitting, car washes etc. If you are an excellent baker, you could give a “pie of the month” to a friend. Be creative – there are tons of things you can do that are low cost or don’t cost money at all.
Tip 4. Automate It – create master lists to use every year! Create a Christmas card list & update the addresses each year. Don't forget a grocery shopping list. Instead of re-inventing the list every year, I have typed up the shopping list on the computer. Each year I mark it with additions, deletions and tips for the next year.
Tip 5. Get Supplies Early & Schedule Help –
- Purchase wrapping supplies early! This way you can wrap as you go or at least be prepared with enough tape, paper, bags etc. Wrapping the night before can be overwhelming and take too much time. Having your gifts wrapped early not only looks pretty under the tree but it takes the stress off of you too.
- Purchase Christmas cards or schedule the family photo. If you can’t handle doing Christmas cards this year – skip them! It is ok! I love sending cards every year but one year I was so over-committed that I had to skip sending cards and guess what - people missed them but they understood!
- Schedule to have your house cleaned! – this is a special treat but totally worth having a clean house during this extra hectic time of year.
- Hire a sitter or trade with a friend if you need some extra time to shop or wrap.
Amy Peterson is former co-owner of The Closet Guy, Inc. She currently lives in Springfield, IL with her husband Brooke and their three children, Marina, Bay and Porter.