The holiday season is one time of year you DON’T want to live in disorganization. Few things are worse than hiding Christmas gifts, only to forget, come December, where you put them. It’s also no fun cooking for a crowd when your kitchen counters are piled high and your cupboards are stuffed and overflowing. With that in mind, here are a few tips that will help you get your home organized for the holidays:
- Plan early
October is a great month to start making your holiday plans, even if it’s in thought only. Once Halloween rolls around, it seems the rest of the year flies by whether you’re ready for it or not. So plan early, considering all of the holiday entertaining you plan to do and when who you need to buy gifts for, travel plans, out-of-town guests who will be visiting, etc.
- Make a to-do-list
Make more than one list if necessary. (Check it twice!) For example, one list might be entitled “gifts to buy.” Another might be “dishes to serve for Christmas dinner.” Whatever important events are part of your holidays can and should have a list connected to them. You can continue adding to your lists as necessary. Hopefully, with thorough lists, you won’t forget any details.
- Prioritize and schedule
You probably already do this. Ensure you rank activities in the order of their importance. Most importantly, make sure you write anything and everything holiday-related on your calendar, including things that might seem trivial, like “pick up fresh turkey at the butcher’s.” Better yet, if you’re smartphone or tech-savvy, use a calendar app. There are lots of great ones out there that you can use to set reminder alarms. That way, even if you forget to look at your calendar, you’ll still be reminded by your pre-set alarms.
- De-clutter your home
Start in one particular room or corner of a room and work your way through the house. Start with the areas that are more likely to be heavily trafficked over the weeks leading up to the holidays or that your guests are more likely to see or spend time in. That way, if you don’t manage to get to the master bedroom before December 25 you can just keep the door closed when the dinner company arrives. Don’t try to do too much at once, or you might get discouraged quickly. That’s why it’s important to start early. This way you won’t feel overwhelmed by messes because you waited until the last minute to de-clutter.
- Take a break when you need it
Invariably, you’ll forget some dinner ingredient, or you’ll end of throwing a big pile of dirty laundry into a basket and hiding it in the closet, or you’ll encounter some kind of disaster that will negate some of the cleaning you’ve worked so hard at. Try to remember that stuff happens, and you have to just roll with it. If things aren’t perfect, it doesn’t really matter. What’s most important is that you’re able to enjoy the holidays yourself, even if things don’t go exactly as planned.