The holidays are fabulous, but let’s face it, they’re also stressful. The days are shorter, the expectations higher, and the to-do list is daunting. Knowing that there must be a few things we could do now to ease the pain and heighten the joy, we reached out to a few people who make their living being organized and helping others be organized. Their advice goes far beyond how to keep your pantry tidy or what hangers are best for your closet (although they do that well!). Follow today’s advice, and embrace a happier and healthier holiday season!
Okay, one quick tip before the true professionals start … this one is from yours truly. Holiday cards: if they stress you out, give yourself a break. Send a photo through Paperless Post. Post a holiday wish on Facebook. Or, be grateful for all of your friends and family who have the time to get a family photo taken for their holiday cards and take the time to smile at each card and say a little prayer for each family and let go of your own guilt for not sending one. A few years ago we didn’t send cards, and we may not this year. I was drowning, I threw in the towel, and that’s the best thing I could have done for my sanity and thus, for my family’s sanity. It’s okay. I’ve had two friends end up in the hospital with symptoms mimicking heart attacks in the pre-holiday stress. Take on what you can handle and be honest with yourself and with others if you just can’t do the extras. In the end, it’s giving back, having time to express your gratitude and love for friends and family, and for many of us, being thankful for God and his presence on Earth. Keeping your true priorities for the season top of mind, and making your plans according to these, will keep you balanced — and that is what we all want!
Okay, with my two cents out of the way, on to the experts with three great tips each!
The Home Edit
First, we have advice from The Home Edit. This company not only has the most calming Instagram feed, filled with organized spaces, but they help you organize and plan better, more functional spaces too. Not only can they recommend the best organizational products for your space as well as do full home edits, but they also offer sound advice for planning, as seen here with these suggestions for prepping now for a better holiday season.
Joanna and Clea of The Home Edit suggest:
1) Whether it’s an hour or an afternoon, set aside time to get up to open up the bins containing your Thanksgiving and holiday items. Edit the items you have and purge anything you haven’t used in past years or don’t think you’ll use going forward. With the items you want to keep, sort them into categories, such as ornaments, table decor, wall decor, etc. Once everything is sorted properly, label your bins accordingly to streamline your holiday prep for future years.
2) Set up a corner for gift wrap supplies to avoid it taking over your house. You can purchase gift wrap and ribbon containers, a gift wrap console — or, if you don’t want to invest in specific organizational products, you can use a clean trash can to temporarily hold the holiday gift wrap, and a few large Tupperware containers to hold an assortment of ribbon, bows, gift tags and holiday cards. Keep a separate bin for pens, scissors, tape and tools.
3) Create a gift list, by person, to keep you organized. You can check it off as you purchase and wrap each gift. This will prevent you from the last minute holiday panic and let you pace yourself through the wrapping process.
Life is Organized
Next we get advice from a frequent contributor to StyleBlueprint, Mridu Parikh of Life is Organized. Mridu has a huge online assortment of videos and strategies for organizing your life, as her mantra is “get more done with less stress.” She works to promote effective strategies and organization both in the home and at businesses, helping them organize to “get it all done without falling apart …” For businesses, she teaches how to organize your work day, your work place, your work tools and your to-dos to be more efficient and more effective.
Mridu’s suggestions for tackling holiday stress now includes these three tips:
1) Take an inventory of your stuff now. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out you’re short on linens, have one too many broken ornaments or have a crock pot that’s too small. Test everything with electrical parts, bulbs and batteries. Get rid of anything you don’t like, is worn out or you don’t use. You can add your needed decorations or housewares to your to-do list. Getting ahead of the “little” things is a big time, energy and anxiety saver as the holidays sneak up on you.
- Gift shopping lists itemized by person
- Decorations organized by room or location
- Travel plans, including what to buy and what to pack
- Menu plans with specific grocery lists
- Holiday cards, including ordering and assembling
3) Then take your lists and fill out an all-encompassing calendar leading up to the holidays. Include everything that needs to be scheduled, including travel plans, guest arrival days, work parties and holiday get togethers. But most importantly, block off time for shopping and preparation days, with specific tasks from your to-do lists. With these plans and timeframes in place you’ll alleviate the stress of keeping everything straight in your head.
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