It’s that time of year again! It’s the time where nights and weekends are packed with holiday parties, gift shopping and time in the kitchen. It’s a great time of year but if we aren’t ready for it, it can be stressful. Being organized can make this time of year full of joy, as it should be, and not something to dread. Here are our tips for staying organized this holiday season.
We all know Santa is making a list and checking it twice, but we think you should be too! Write down a list of people that you need to buy gifts for: your boss, your spouse, your mother… then write down ideas of items you want to buy them. We recommend keeping the list with you all the time, like in your cell phone, because you never know when you will pop into a store and find something on sale! You can keep a separate list for your kids if you need to buy them multiple items. If you don’t have a list, holiday shopping can be like going grocery shopping when you are hungry and you will buy things you don’t need. As you buy gifts for the people on your list, check them off to let yourself know they are complete and to make you feel accomplished.
Once you have all the gifts you need it’s time to start wrapping. We recommend storing all your gifts and wrapping supplies in one area. In or near a space where you will be doing the wrapping is best. Keep all your wrapping supplies like paper, bags, tissue, tape and scissors together so they are ready when you need them. Try to wrap the gifts and label them as you buy them so you don’t get overwhelmed as the holidays get closer.
We know holiday season is already in full force but after this holiday season try to think about gifts for next year. We know this might be the last thing you want to do, but think about all the great after holiday and other sales that go on all year. If you take the time to plan out what you might need for next year’s holiday season you can buy all year long and save time and money. Also if you buy small gifts all year and store them with your wrapping supplies you will be ready for those forgotten or unexpected events that you need a gift for!
Whether you like to truly deck the halls or only want to put up a tree, keeping your holiday décor organized will make setting up and breaking down that much easier. We always talk about grouping like-items and storing them together, but when it comes to Holiday decorations try to store them by room. For example if you display your nativity scene, stockings and lights in the living room package those items together and label the container “Christmas Living Room.” This will make it easier when decorating because you can take the bins to the space you will be decorating in, instead of taking one item at a time out of the “Misc. Christmas” box.
We know it is easy to buy cute decorations specific for each holiday but we like to use more versatile items we can use all year around. Consider a center piece, use one simple vase that can be filled with seasonal items. Here are some examples of items we fill in the vase over the year:
Fall/Halloween- Candy corn
Thanksgiving- Squash, fall leaves and twigs
Christmas/Hanukkah- colored ornaments, dreidel, faux snow, holly leaves
New years- Glitter, beads
All year around- wine corks or large gum balls/various candies
Other multipurpose decor ideas include:
Changing images in frames around your home- you can even keep different holiday images behind each other to make rotating them even easier.
Decorative pillow cases- if you like to have seasonal decorative pillows buy pillow cases in the same size as your everyday throw pillows so you only have to store the case and not the pillow.
Colored light bulbs- if you don’t have the time or space for string lights simply change out your outdoor bulbs from white to colored lights to get in the holiday spirit.
Checkout some of these ideas on our Pinterest page!
We all know the holiday season means a lot of eating, but who is doing all the cooking? If it is you try to create menus in advance and build a shopping list based on the menu. You can also create a cooking timeline for the day based on how long things need to be cooked and plan back from when you want to serve dinner.
Another great reason to plan your menu in advance is to help you decide what can be delegated to other guests or family members. That way when someone asks what they can bring you can pick a menu item off the list, keeping the overall meal intact without requiring you to cook it all.
Now what to do with all those leftovers? We know eating turkey and stuffing for a week can get old so be creative. You can find creative leftover makeovers on Pinterest. But when it comes to saving leftovers it is important to label them. We like to add a piece of tape to the top and write the date it was packed up. This will help you know when the items you are saving might be ready for the trash. For a list of recommended leftover shelf lives visit meinorder.com/leftovers
We hope that these recommendations on getting organized this holiday season will help you relax and enjoy what the holidays are truly about. If you can think of any questions about planning your holiday please head over to our Instagram page to Ask the Organizer!