7 steps to get organized before the holidays.
The last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed with the holiday rush. It seems like every year the holidays sneak up and it's easy to get swept up in holiday events and to-do lists. So, let's get ready before the time comes this year. I'm sharing 7 things you can do to get organized before the holidays arrive. Because, who doesn't want to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate instead of stressing out about last minute things? Not me, obviously... especially if there's marshmallows involved.
1: YOUR GOALS
What do you want to accomplish? How can you prepare for that now? That's where we are starting. The very first thing you can do to get organized for the holidays is to create a list of goals for this season. A goal may be to shop ahead for gift wrap, or to host a family dinner... whatever your goals are for the season ahead, jot them down and put this list somewhere you will see it daily.
Seeing it daily will bring your goals to the forefront of your mind. Get inspired to prepare in whatever way you can to achieve these goals as soon as possible, then when the holidays roll around you will feel more ready.
2: YOUR PURSE
...Because you'll be shopping, possibly switching from one purse to another for different events, or trying to find receipts for returns. Get your purse organized before then! Start by emptying everything out, toss any trash, give a new home to items that may not need to be carried around with you, and organize what will stay in the purse. This will be a big time-saver for you and is something I recommend doing at least once a month.
3: YOUR CALENDAR
Our calendars tend to get pretty full of holiday events, so start mapping out what the next couple of months will look like. If you're wanting to get people together, start sending out some type of save the date. This could be as quick as an email to family, a Facebook event for friends, or an invitation to a company holiday party. Mark which days you plan to do holiday shopping, meal prepping, gift wrapping, and plan for a day where you'll do none of these ;)
4: YOUR FINANCES
You'll want to know how much money you have available to spend on gifts for others, donations to charities, holiday meals, and more (Black Friday anyone?). If you have not yet, establish a budget. Your budget should include what you can spend as well as what you want to spend it on. It's too easy to overspend during the holidays, so choosing ahead of time what you want to spend your money on and how much of it you can spend is a great way to make sure overspending doesn't happen. More importantly, be sure to keep track of your budget and spending throughout the holiday season. I like to use Mint.com for budgeting and tracking expenses, it's free and super user-friendly. By the way, that's what we call free advertising... you're welcome Mint.com.
5: YOUR CLOSET
Are your winter clothes out of the boxes yet? If you haven't brought out the scarves and gloves from storage, now is the time to do it. You'll want to check out my blog post: how to organize your closet. It's a quick guide to help you with this organizing process. Before the holidays are here, you'll want to know what clothing you already have, what could be donated, and what you may need to add to your personal shopping list (an ugly Christmas sweater, of course). Click the link above and have fun with the process!
6: YOUR PANTRY
Even if you don't plan to throw a holiday party or have family over for a festive dinner, getting your pantry organized will result in less stress for you as you prepare for any meal. Take some time to empty your pantry, toss expired foods, and organize all items by category. Use containers to decanter any food that you always have on hand. Print my free & fancy pantry labels (at the top of my Blog main page) and spruce up that pantry.
7: YOUR HOME
Is it time to declutter those main living areas in your home? You will definitely want to do this before decorating for the holidays so as to not create the feel of more clutter. Grab two cardboard boxes, label one MOVE and the other GIVE. As you declutter the main living spaces in your home, you may find that some things belong elsewhere, and some things may not be needed anymore. The move box is for items that need to be moved to a different location like the attic, kid's room, office, etc. The give box is for items that can be donated or passed down to friends or family. By decluttering, you'll create more space for those holiday decorations, and your clean-up-quick-because-people-are-coming-over routine won't be as stressful.
So, let's take the time now to avoid any stress later. You like my motto?
If you find that you need someone's help to organize, let me do the work! I offer professional organizing services in Austin, Texas and absolutely love transforming spaces. To learn more about my services or to schedule a free consultation, visit my main page.
Happy Holidays, all!
Founder and Professional Organizer,