Everywhere I go right now, everyone asks, “So, are you all ready for Christmas?” instead of commenting on the weather. In whose mind is that a helpful question? Of course, I’m not “all ready.” I’m not sure I even know what “all ready” means. If I interpret it as having everything perfectly organized and having nothing left to do, then I’m sure most of us feel like dismal failures at the moment. But take heart. Here are a few last-minute tips on how to stay organized during the holiday season.
In fact, there is still plenty of time until Christmas. Even if you’re a super busy person like I am, you can still accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. So, don’t worry if you still have a few things to do at the last minute.
Please spend a few hours tidying your home before the holiday season starts. I guarantee you it will be worth it. Even though you’re busy and have a lot of balls in the air, putting things back where they belong and tidying hot spot areas like closets, kitchen counters, and the fridge will make your life easier over the next few weeks. It will get messier, but at least the holiday mess won’t add to an already overwhelming amount of clutter.
Pack Away Some Toys
If you have children with a significant toy collection, put some of the toys they don’t use very often (if at all) into a large bin. Then, store the bin away in the basement or attic. You might be surprised that once they open their gifts, they won’t miss those old toys one bit. And you can donate the unwanted toys after the holidays.
Leave Gift Shopping Until the Last Minute
Why on earth am I suggesting this, you might ask? If it doesn’t freak you out, wait until Christmas Eve to shop for the last few things. Generally, stores are super quiet on this last day. This tactic works if you know exactly what you want and have a couple of options in case some items are sold out. Another bonus is that everyone is in a good mood, so you’ll get great customer service. While you’re at the mall, make use of the gift-wrapping centre. It will save you time, you will be supporting a great cause, and you won’t need to buy (and store) Christmas gift wrap for an entire year.
Purchase Proper Storage Bins for Decorations
Take care of your holiday decorations like you care for your other valuable possessions. Please purchase some proper containers if you don’t already have them. You can find specialty bins for ornaments, lights, wreaths, and even your artificial tree. If you put everything away in good quality, purpose-designed containers, putting them away this year and getting them out next year will be a breeze. And you will be preserving them for years to come. Here are a few examples of what is available:
Schedule ‘Do Nothing’ Time
Arrange your schedule so you can spend 24 hours doing absolutely nothing at some point between now and the New Year. If you’re busy parents, take turns with other parents sending the children for a sleepover. Or ask the grandparents to give you an ‘experience’ gift by taking the kids overnight. Just so we’re clear, doing nothing means absolutely no: computer, phone calls, text messaging, social media, or guests dropping by. It also means no cooking or cleaning (or maybe just the bare minimum). Say YES to one day each year where you do nothing and think nothing. You’ll find you accomplished a whole lot of nothing.
I wish you all a wonderful well-organized holiday.
For more tips on how to stay organized during the holiday season, check out my other posts on surviving and thriving during the holidays.