My friend Erin from Managing the Manor is stopping by today to share a few of her favorite tips to help you get organized in preparation for the crazy holiday season. Take it away, Erin!
This special time of year is filled with many traditions, parties, shopping, decorating, and of course eating…lots and lots of eating! But as joyous as this season can be, staying organized during it all can be a chore and possibly quite overwhelming. The good news is that there are simple things you can do now to be prepared for the holidays—things cost little or no money. In fact, there are some things to help you save or even make money. That’s always good news, right?!
The list below is based on 3 things we started doing this year to help make our holidays run more smoothly.
1. Create a schedule for each event/party.
List all the guests you plan to invite, menu concepts, a grocery list, and any other items needed such as paper products, decorations, favors, etc.
My events are kept inside my planner on a notes page beside each week. I also utilize the Notes feature in my iPhone to jot down any items I think of when my planner isn’t with me.
Bonus TIp: If you’re feeling extra motivated, buy an item or two (non-perishable) from your lists every week leading up to each event. This will give you time to look for good sales and help spread out the expense a bit. Your checking account will thank you!
2. Create a holiday gift list.
List all recipients, along with gift ideas, and enter a budgeted amount for each. This will help you stay on track for spending. If you’ve already started shopping (yay you!), then list what you have bought for each person. This will help you stay organized when wrapping.
My gift list is also kept inside my planner. Because it usually stays in my purse, I have it with me when shopping and can refer to it if I find something from my gift list. I’m already way ahead on my shopping than I have been in years before because of doing this very thing! #winning
Because several people on my gift list may read this, I won’t share a picture of it. You get the gist, though!
3. Declutter your spaces.
This may not sound like a holiday-ish tip, but it absolutely makes sense for this time of year. While you may not have time to do a full reorg of each room, you can at least pull out unwanted or unused items and take action on them. It’s especially helpful for kids’ spaces, to make room from goodies from Santa.
For example, these are some of the bulkier toys in our bonus room that were seriously outgrown by our 3 year old son.
I gathered them, along with other smaller toys, and put them into storage in our attic over the weekend. He hasn’t even missed them!
Our toys were put into storage (for a future little one to use), but another thing to consider is to sell them. Sites like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook could be used to sell any gently-used toys and electronics. People may be looking for good deals on items from their shopping list, so you’ll just be helping each other!
And it doesn’t have to stop with kids’ stuff—you could possibly sell your own clothes, electronics, and appliances to make a few bucks. I plan on listing a gaming system, gym equipment, an iPod, and some clothing items on Craigslist and/or a Facebook page. The money from that can be used to fund other gifts on our list this year.
One final thing to consider is to donate items to charity. Yes, you will get a tax deduction; but more importantly, you will be helping out other families in need this holiday season. That could be the greatest gift you give this year!
Thanks to Casey for letting me drop in again to share these simple tips. This type of effort on the front-end is completely worth it, especially when it helps you to stress less this holiday season. I can already feel a huge benefit from being more organized this year, and I hope you all feel inspired to do the same!
What helps you stay organized during such a busy season?