November 30, 2009

Holiday Organizing Tips (Part 1)

The holiday season is a very busy time of year. Gifts to buy, dinners to cook, guests to prepare for, travel plans to make, holiday cards to send out, etc. Here are some great organizing tips that will help you get everything done, while still having time and energy left over for fun with friends and family.

Plan Early
The earlier you start planning and preparing, the more time you'll have to get things done, and the less stress you'll feel in the long run. The less stress you feel, the more enjoyable the holiday season will be.

Decide On & Schedule Priorities
Choose which holiday activities you'd like to take part in this year. Have a family meeting and take a vote. Write them in your planner on the days you plan to do them. All of the other not-so-important things can be scheduled around your priorities. It's perfectly okay not to get to everything. Focus on doing only what will bring the most joy and meaning to your lives during the holiday season.


Gift Buying
Create a list of people you'd like to give gifts to. Write down a few ideas for each person. Decide on your gift-giving budget and challenge yourself to stick to it! Consider giving clutter-free gifts like edibles (i.e. chocolates or gourmet coffee), I owe you's (i.e. "I owe you a dinner night at my home"), or gift certificates to a favorite restaurant, theater production, day spa, or a manicure or pedicure. Get creative and put together a small care package gift basket or type up your favorite work out tunes to give to those who like to work out. Focus on giving meaningful, thoughtful gifts rather than just another trinket to put on top of the fireplace mantel.


Create a Holiday Baking Binder
Gather your favorite holiday baking recipes. The Internet is a great source for finding recipes, for those you don't have. Insert them into sheet protectors and place in a small three-ring binder. Take inventory of baking ingredients and supplies already in your cupboards. Create a list of everything you need to purchase. Take the list with you when shopping for easy reference.

Bonus Tip: At the end of the holiday season, pack your holiday baking binder away with your holiday decorations. You'll be instantly ready for next year.

Holiday Cards
Turn a daunting task into an enjoyable one. Write out a few cards each day rather than all at once. Keep everything you need for the task in a small portable basket. Such as, stamps, glue sticks, pens, return address labels, and address book. Take the basket to your card writing place and you're instantly ready to go.

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