The holidays are a busy time for families to shop for presents, decorate, and spend time with each other. Getting organized for the holiday season can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you’re a mother in charge of most holiday tasks. In this post, I discuss ways to get organized for the holiday season, so you can focus more on spending quality time with family and loved ones.
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Ways To Get Organized For The Holidays
Creating lists are one of the key ways to get organized. When planning the holiday decorations for your home, create two different lists. One list will be for holiday decorations you already have at home. The other list will be for holiday decorations you will need to buy. Examples of holiday decorations are:
- Christmas tree and stand
- Christmas tree skirt
- Holiday lights
- Tree topper
- Snowman decoration
- Santa Clause decoration
Make a list of people you want to buy Christmas presents for. Once you complete this list, decide if you also want to write the name of the actual gift you will buy/make for this person. This will make the shopping more organized. However, some people don’t always know what they will get until they actually see it. If this is the case for you, just make a list of people you want to buy gifts for.
I also suggest buying Christmas gifts ahead of time. The most popular gifts tend to disappear early in the holiday season. Also, the best deals happen early in the holiday season. You will save yourself stress and money by getting your gifts early.
There are ways to get organized during the holiday season, so clutter does not easily creep up on you. During the holidays, set up storage bins, specifically for Christmas-related materials in your home. Make sure each bin is clearly labeled. Examples are:
- Gift wrap
- Gift tags
- Holiday craft materials
- Christmas cards
Some people prefer clear bins, so they can see through them. Personally, I’m fine either way. The key to organization is making sure all the bins are clearly labeled. If you have a lot of storage bins, consider labeling the categories in alphabetical order so they are easy to find.
I highly recommend organizing the family holiday vacation at least several months ahead of time. Prices are typically cheaper for airfare and hotels before the holiday season arrives. Also, things tend to get booked quickly before the holidays. Once your family decides on a destination, here are things you want to think about:
- What is your budget?
Costs include much more than airfare and hotel. Be sure to include other costs such as food, souvenirs, and activities. If you stay in a hotel, don’t just budget for the base cost. Hotels have lots of additional costs such as taxes and destination fees. If you plan on using a rental car, some hotels charge a parking fee for every night you stay there.
- Where will your family stay?
There are lots of options for stay when you travel. Hotels, hostels, and Airbnb are common lodging choices when you travel to places. If you visit family out of the area, there’s also the option of staying at other family members’ homes.
- How long is the vacation?
- Will you be traveling by airplane, car, or train?
- If you have pets, will they come with you or will you need to find a place for them to stay while you’re gone?
If you plan on hiring a pet sitter or putting your pet in a kennel, be sure to reserve this at least a few months ahead of time. Pet sitters and boarding kennels get really busy around the holiday season.
- What will you need to pack?
Make a packing list for you and your children. This will make packing much easier before you leave for your vacation. It’s very easy to forget things around the holidays.
- If you work, how many days do you have available for paid time off?
Decide if you will be going back to work the next day after you return or if you will need a few days to recover. I always recommend having at least a few days to recover, especially if you are traveling out of your time zone. However, I know it’s not always possible for working parents.
There is never a shortage of activities during the holiday season. For most families, the level of holiday activity increases at school, work, and home life. Examples of extra activities include:
- Holiday performances at school
- School-sponsored volunteer projects
- Family gatherings
- Annual holiday party at your job
I suggest keeping a large calendar posted in your home to track all these activities.
If you are a hosting a holiday gathering at your home, there are a few ways to help you get organized:
- Create and send out invitations for this event (with a RSVP due date).
- Once you confirm the number of people attending, create a list of food items.
- You can also do a potluck style gathering. I love this idea because you save money, you do less, and everyone has a chance to try everyone’s different cooking styles.
- Decide on decorations. Will you keep the existing holiday decorations or add a few extra special things?
- Delegate tasks to different people in your family. My daughter usually loves to decorate and set things up, so I usually have her decorate a part of our home and set up the table to look festive. I send out my partner to the store to pick up the different things I will need for the gathering. Not only do you increase your organization, but you also help reduce stress because you’re not doing everything on your own.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and disorganized by all the extra tasks and activities that come with the holiday season. Using these strategies to get organized for the holidays will save you money, stress, and time.
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