Well, here we are just over a month before the holiday season. I know! Where did the time go? With shopping, parties, entertaining, wrapping and everything else you need to do (besides your regular work and home life) this time of year makes it difficult even impossible at times, to stay organized through the holidays period. Here are a few tips to help keep you organized and hopefully a little calmer during the holidays.
I know a lot of you put off the holiday shopping until the last minute but try to set some time aside to get it done earlier. With all the stress that the holidays already put on you why add to it with last minute shopping? Put it in your calendar and treat it like an appointment – no changes.
Arrange a babysitter if need be or if you’re able to book an afternoon off work, even better. The shopping malls get crazy with each passing day, as you know. Last minute shopping is the perfect recipe for stress. Leaving shopping to the last minute almost guarantees that you are buying something that may end up as clutter in somebody’s home.
Many malls are now offering valet parking service for a small fee. The money goes to charity and what better way to start a nerve racking adventure than being able to pull up to the front of the mall and have your car parking looked after.
If you haven’t already, gather all of your wrapping supplies and keep them in one place. Make a list of what you are short of and get out to buy what you need before the selection is minimal in the stores. I created a wrapping station several years ago with all of the wrapping essentials for all occasions stored there. Everyone knows where it is and it saves time running around looking for the paper, tape, bows and everything else.
Planning The Feast
Holidays to me are all about the meal with family and friends. Sure, the gifts can be nice but there is nothing like the laughs and conversations you have around the dinner table. Make a list now of everything that you will need for dinner. Order the turkey, the ham or whatever you cook now to celebrate to ensure you have the size you need.
If wine is on your list you can expect crowds at the stores so get out there early while your favorite is still in stock and avoid the long line-ups. Don’t forget the extras like the cranberry sauce and rolls. Oh, I’m getting hungry already!
Make Room For New Gifts
You know family is going to spoil the kids with a lot of gifts so make room now and reduce the stress of trying to make everything fit into the same space later. Have the kids involved. It will build their excitement leading up to the big day.
The Art Of Gift Giving
I’m sure you have already given plenty of thought to what you’re going to purchase for your loved ones. Many of us anguish and plead for hints or ideas trying to give that special gift.
My children are all a bit older now so one year we purchased charity items for people in need in third world countries on behalf of each child as part of their gifts that year. School supplies for a school in need, goats for a family that would produce milk, things of that nature. They were touched by it and it got them to thinking of what the holidays are all about.
Many gifts over the holidays are returned or even worse, not used at all and end up adding to the clutter that people already have. When thinking of charities there are a few websites that track how much of your dollars actually make it where the funds are really needed. When in doubt gift cards are always appreciated and with the new consumer laws most will not have an expiry date.
The holidays can be a very stressful time for most of us but with a little bit of planning and home organization we can reduce the stress and stay organized during this time.
To learn more about how us professional home organizers in Toronto can get you ready for the holiday season there is still time. Contact us here to see how we can help. We even offer home holiday decorating services!