An organized and stress-free (or stress-reduced!) holiday season? Sign me up! Here are some great tips for having an organized Christmas that you can start implementing now!
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The Secret to Having an Organized Christmas
Like the Boy Scout motto, being prepared for the holidays is key to alleviating some of the stress.
You can take some of the stress out of the holidays by getting organized now. The key to holiday organizing is to start early (yesterday would not have been too soon!), complete small tasks, and make lists for everything from gifts to the holiday budget to meals and Christmas cards.
Now is also a good time to go through closets and gather clothes, toys, and other items that are no longer used or no longer fit to make room for all of the holiday gifts that are sure to arrive.
You Might Also Like: How to Organize a Closet
Organized Christmas Planner
Having a Christmas planner also helps a ton! It gives you a place to keep everything together – from gift lists to dinner menus – and makes organizing the holidays easy. Here’s the Christmas planner that I made and use. I print it out, hole punch it, and stick it in a binder. Then I include some clear page protectors to put receipts in as I get them.
At the end of the holiday season, I take everything out of the binder and place it in a large manila envelope, label it Christmas (year), and place it in my filing cabinet for reference next year. That way I can get an idea of what worked, what didn’t work, notes I made for myself about what to change, and, probably most importantly, I can remember what I got everyone so I don’t duplicate gifts! Oh, the struggles of having to buy for a lot of people! 😉
Christmas Card Organizers
Sending out Christmas cards can cause almost as much stress as shopping. For some people (like me!), it causes more stress than shopping!
When you start planning early, you can space out the cards and complete them over the course of a couple of weeks.
Christmas Card Organizing Box
The trick is to gather all of your letter-writing materials before you start, and keep them in one place until you finish. A decorative box from the craft store works great for this!
You should keep together:
- Christmas Cards
- Return Address Labels
- Envelope Moistener –> This is the kind that I use that’s saved SO much time!
If you like to send a general update along with a personalized note, write that first and keep it with your other supplies.
You can then add a personal touch to a few cards each day, and you’ll be finished in plenty of time to mail them out!
Organized Christmas Shopping
Before you even start to shop in stores or online, have everyone make a gift list of things that they’d like. This way, you save a ton of time and you give them what they want. The bonus is that you also then have one less decision you have to make!
Although it may be intimidating, give yourself a deadline for when you want to be done shopping so that you can enjoy the holidays. Waiting until the last minute is stressful and often results in going over your budget!
The earlier you start and finish your shopping, the shorter the lines and better the selection. Try to shop at odd hours (during the working hours in the week or later in the evening) for a less hectic experience and fewer crowds. If at all possible, avoid the malls and post offices on weekends – they get crazy!
Shopping online when you can also saves a ton of time and energy. If you order it ahead of time, plan to wrap it on the weekends so that by the time Christmas gets closer, all of your shopping and wrapping is complete!
If you’re not sure what to get someone, think of a consumable gift like coffee or cookies or even expensive body wash or cologne. Consumable gifts have a better chance of being used than yet another scarf or piece of jewelry!
When it comes to wrapping, think of it in a similar way as you did the Christmas cards. Set up a spot with all of the necessary supplies so you can wrap gifts easily and quickly.
You might want to have on hand:
- a variety of wrapping papers
- gift tags
- a pen or marker
Cleaning the House for Christmas
Your friends and family and coming to visit for the holidays because they want to see you not how clean your house is. Don’t spend time worrying about whether everything is 100% dust-free – just do your best.
Concentrate on the Main Areas
While, yes, it might be great to have every single room in the house immaculate for the holidays, concentrate on the main areas of the home where everyone will be.
Living Room Clean-up
Grab a large basket or plastic tub and collect everything in the living room that doesn’t belong or needs to be moved out of the way. Extra throw pillows and blankets for cuddling while watching movies? Probably not needed when Aunt Edna comes by for Christmas dinner. Pack things up and put the tub in the garage or in a room that’s not being used.
Don’t forget to run a dust rag over furniture and the television before you vacuum!
Pro-Tip: Be sure to label the bin before you put it in the garage or a storage area even for a day or two, because it has been heard of that people forget where they placed the bin and then find the things they put away months later. I’m admitting nothing, but I may or may not have learned this particular trick after finding things in the garage in July that I had put away a few days before Christmas the year before in my attempts to tidy up… Again, I admit nothing. 😉
Kitchen Wipe Down
Food is always a big part of the holidays, so the kitchen is the best place to be. Try to put away as much as possible, wipe down cabinet doors, sweep the floors, and wipe the fingerprints off of the appliances.
Beeline for the Bathroom
Cleaning the bathroom is my least favorite job, but I’ve gotten it down to a science. The trick is to work quickly and not pick up a bottle of cleaner more than once. So, spray the cleaner on the hard surfaces once, spray the glass cleaner on the mirrors, etc. and then move on to the next surface. The great thing is that if you deep clean your bathroom about a week before everyone is coming over for the holidays, you can just do a quick spot cleaning the day before or morning of the gathering. It makes it so much easier!
An Organized Christmas Dinner and Snacks
It can be overwhelming (not to mention expensive!) to do it all yourself, so don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to bring a dish. Even someone to bring the crackers and cheese plate can be a huge help.
Some other options for things guests can bring include:
- the fruit tray
- a veggie tray and dip
- desserts (pies, cakes, puddings, etc.)
- a side dish
- dessert plates and napkins
If you plan out your meal ahead of time, you can get a good idea of what you need to shop for, how long it will take you to prepare the items, and what things you may need to delegate because you don’t have enough oven or stovetop space to cook.
Plan on stocking up on the non-perishables weeks before the holiday so that you’re not battling the grocery store crowds a few days before Christmas!
Cleaning Up After Your Organized Christmas
Taking down and putting away all of the holiday decorations can be stress unto itself. But having an organized Christmas extends to having an organized after-Christmas too.
Nip post-holiday stress in the bud by having an informal “undecorating party” where you invite close friends and family over to help take things down and put them away. Good music, fun finger food and snacks, and plenty of beverages will make it a fun and stress-free clean-up day.
Putting Away Decorations
Perhaps the most important thing you can do while taking down the decorations is to make sure you put them away in labeled containers and boxes. Not only will it make putting them away easier, but you’ll give yourself a mental high-five next Christmas when you go to get everything out for the holidays!
The Ultimate Organized Christmas
Having the most organized Christmas ever means that you accept the fact that not everything has to be perfect and that you start planning early. If you’re worried that it’s too late to start planning, don’t be! Starting today (unless the guests are going to be arriving in 15-minutes), is absolutely fine. Do your best. Take a deep breath. And remember that the peace of the season wants to fill your heart. You can do this.
Merry Christmas, friends!