Getting And Staying Organized For The Holidays

Image result for christmas images
Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and maybe you’re already getting tired of the holiday ads on TV. It’s hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner. We all know that the holidays around Christmas are the most stressful of the year. Here are a few ideas to help stay calm and organized during this hectic time.

Holiday Shopping

stay organized during the holidaysThe shopping centers will confirm that a lot of you put off the holiday shopping until the last minute. Set some time aside to get it done earlier.  Calendarize it if you need to 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 over the holidays and for purchasing items that tend to lead to clutter.

Gift Wrapping

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.  A basket or even a box will do to hold the tape, ribbons, bows, etc. that you will need.  I use an old cookie tin for bows to keep them from being flattened.  Gently tie all of your rolls of wrapping paper together.  Prepare a ‘wrapping station’ somewhere in the house and bring all of the gifts to this area for wrapping.  Everyone will know where the station is and you will not have to hunt down the supplies when other people wrap gifts.

Meal time

Christmas to me is 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.  If you order a fresh bird for dinner, get it ordered soon to ensure the type and size is available. If wine is on your list, you can expect crowds at the stores so get out there early while your favourite is still in stock and avoid the long line-ups.  Don’t forget the extras like the cranberry sauce and rolls.  The Christmas meal is one of my favorites of the year.

Do you have room for the new arrivals?

Now is the time to go through the toys or clothes of your kids and purge what is no longer usable or just doesn’t fit any longer.  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 get involved.  It will build their excitement leading up to the big day. Don’t forget about your own closet too.

Gift Giving

I’m sure you have already given plenty of thought to what you are going to purchase for your loved ones.  Many of us anguish and plead for hints or ideas trying to give that special gift.  Many items over the holidays are returned or even worse, not used at all and end up adding the to clutter that people already have.  When in doubt gift cards are always appreciated and with the newer consumer laws most will not have an expiry date.

The holidays are traditionally a very stressful time for most of us but with a little bit of planning we can reduce the stress and stay organized during this time.  If you need assistance in getting ready for Christmas there is still time.  Contact us here to see how we can help.


Ideas for Clutter-free Gifts

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

Getting close to the holiday gift giving season I thought this was a great time to remind everyone that you can express your love and appreciation for friends and family without giving “stuff”.

I remember many years ago we would see these huge piles of gifts at our family gatherings, sometimes spanning several feet out from the tree.

Generosity is great, but it was ridiculous to see the amount of gifts that people were receiving. I was just as guilty as everyone else in falling prey to the commercialism of the season. Plus, I’m sure many of you have received gifts that you don’t really like but felt obligated to keep and store, hidden away in some closet. So why not provide a clutter free gift this season?

One type of clutter free gift is a donation to charity in that person’s name which helps those less fortunate. There are a number of great causes out there but recently I’ve come across With this charity you can purchase, in the name of your giftee, anything from 3 baby chicks (for only $15.00!), a goat or a bunch of mango trees which will provide food and sustenance to a struggling family in a third world country, to clean drinking water or mosquito netting to prevent malaria.

What’s great about this is that in many cases the donation dollars are matched and or hugely exceeded so your dollars actually are multiplied extensively. And, your giftee will receive a personalized card telling them about the purchase made in their name. I urge you all this holiday season to consider a gift from your heart and help those less fortunate.

There are many other charitable options as well, all in different price points.

A gift of an experience is another option and can be one of the greatest gifts of all.  The giftee gets to keep the memory of the experience forever in their hearts. The possibilities are endless and can include event tickets, pre-paid lessons, travel experiences, restaurant gift cards and so much more.

It will make you and the recipient all feel wonderful!

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

Enjoy the holidays and create memories for life.

Holiday Gift Wrapping

How many of you out there will be furiously wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve? The time it takes to wrap holidays gifts is often under estimated and can cause a great deal of stress. Especially if your supplies are scattered throughout your home and you already feel frazzled. frazzled Now’s the time to set up a gift wrapping station. A space you dedicate for preparing packages and wrapping gifts in ease and in privacy. Perhaps it will be on the workbench in your basement or utility room, or the desk in your home office? Or maybe on the floor in your bedroom or at your kitchen table? But before you can start you need all supplies at hand. Then it’s super easy to wrap and enjoy this task. One way to keep all supplies at hand is to have a clear plastic/resin, four or five drawer rolling cart with deep drawers. Canadian Tire is one place to find these fairly inexpensively. Keep tape, scissors, stamps, and other wrapping tools in the top drawer, ribbons and bows in the next, flat pieces of wrapping paper & remnant paper in third drawer, gifts boxes and gift bags in the fourth and fifth drawers. Wrapping paper can be corralled in an old crock pot or an umbrella stand.
Also, before you go out and purchase gift wrapping supplies, check out your own home first. Often times we forget that we bought supplies at last years’ post holiday sales. So enjoy wrapping your gifts this year and take some of the stress out of this holiday season.