50 Tips and Ideas for Staying Organized These Holidays

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How to stay organized these holidays... The holidays are here again and all the hustle-and-bustle that comes with them. Here are few tips on staying organized even as you have a fun time and usher in …

How to stay organized these holidays... The holidays are here again and all the hustle-and-bustle that comes with them. Here are few tips on staying organized even as you have a fun time and usher in the new year with your family and friends.

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  • 1. 50 Tips and Ideas for Staying Organized These Holidays By: Claire Abdul-Azeez, http://organizedproductivity.com
  • 2. How to Stay Organized These Holidays • The holidays are here again and all the hustle-andbustle that comes with them. • Here are few tips on staying organized even as you have a fun time and usher in the new year with your family and friends.
  • 3. Time Making sure that you organize your time and keep to your schedules is crucial to truly enjoying this holiday season. Seriously, think about it. Once the holiday is over and you are into the new year, you’ll be going right back to your normal, everyday routines. To make the transition back to normal life smoother and easier, its simply better to stick to a reasonable schedule right now and prevent your time management from becoming a hot mess. Here are some tips to help you stay organized and in control of your time and other areas of life this holiday season.
  • 4. 1. Plan in advance Take the time to create a detailed plan for all the activities you will be involved in, as well as assigning dates to each. Be as specific as you can.
  • 5. • 2. Maintain normal schedules Stick to your regular schedule, as you will be continuing with it once the holidays with all their excitement are over. Stick to your regular wake-up times, home chore schedules, regular appointments, etc. That way, you won’t have to try to “get caught up” in January. • 3. Pre-plan and schedule dishes Make a detailed plan of all the wonderful dishes that you will be making. If you’re going to be dining at friends’ or a restaurant or ordering takeout, write and schedule that down as well. • This way, you’ll know what your schedule looks like and avoid over-booking yourself. You do have to fun after all; it’s a holiday!
  • 6. • 4. Shop ahead of time Needless to say, staying organized (and sane) these holidays means doing your shopping well in advance. This way, you’ll also snag special shopping deals you might miss if you leave it too late. • 5. Avoid peak shopping times Even as you go for your holiday shop early, avoid the peak hours.. you know, the weekends and evenings. • Doing this will save you hours that you would otherwise have spent standing in line with dozens of other frustrated shoppers.
  • 7. • 6. Use your calendar Use your calendar, planner, or whatever time management method works best for you. • Make sure to add new events and activities to it as you learn about them, and keep it where you and other family members can see it easily.
  • 8. • 7. Be selective with invitations To really be on top of your time management this holiday, you’ll need to say no to at least some invitations. • Saying yes to every event or activity will take a toll on your time and likely leave you feeling worn-out, not refreshed after the holidays. • 8. Save some time for fun Make time for some fun, rest, and relaxation in your schedule.
  • 9. AT HOME
  • 10. • 9. Maintain your normal organizing routines Stick to the home organizing routines you had before the holidays. Make sure the daily chores and cleaning get done, and avoid piling them up and having them become a big deal later on. • 10. Keep your pantry stocked Goes without saying, you probably don’t want to have to run out to the grocery store in the middle of Christmas dinner. I sure don’t. • Make a master list of everything you would use to stock your pantry normally plus all the extra things you need to celebrate. Purchase enough supplies to last through the holidays.
  • 11. • 11. Assign specific holiday to-dos to each family member Get your family actively involved with keeping the home life organized during the holidays. Assign them holiday-specific tasks that they are responsible for getting done and maintaining. • Things like caring for the needs of your house guests, receiving and displaying the gifts and cards your receive, and keeping the holiday decor clean and in order are individual tasks that you could (and should, whenever possible) assign to family members to get them involved with your holiday organizing efforts.
  • 12. • 12. Freeze leftovers to avoid waste Freeze your leftover holiday food in good storage containers and you can use them once the festivities are over. Christmas is typically a time when a lot of food gets wasted but by being prepared, you can avoid that.
  • 13. • 13. Use an artificial tree instead Yes, I know we all love the big, natural trees with their lovely woody scent. But we don’t all love the mess that the pine needles make on the floor or having to haul and get rid of the once-fabulous tree after a few days. • Why not use an artificial one which you can easily store and re-use many times over. This saves you money, time, and energy. You should consider it.
  • 14. • 14. Set shorter, more regular cleaning schedules I know the holidays are practically bustling with activity and that’s why shortening your cleaning and organizing schedules during this time is a good idea. That way, you can break your normal 30-minute cleaning session into 3 10-minute ones in a day and fit them into your busy schedule. • 15. Turn excess cards into home decor Find creative ways to display your Christmas cards that doesn’t involve them being strewn all over the house. Make a garland out of them or create a wall mosaic. • 16. Stick to your budget Yep, your holiday budget… a very touchy topic. Simply but, making one and sticking with it is a good way to keep your finances organized these holidays.
  • 15. • 17. Delegate tasks Don’t think you have to do all the holiday organizing on your own. Delegate.. to your family, guests, whoever is on hand to help. • Come up with ways that they can pitch in. They’ll be benefiting from the finished work, anyway so its only natural that they should help. • 18. Accept help And if they offer to help with organizing before you ask, even better. Don’t shy away from accepting help.
  • 16. • 19. Organize to give/donate Go through last years gifts, clothes, and household stuff and look for ways to make someone one else’s holidays bright by donating items that your family no longer needs. • An added benefit is that you create space in your home and lives to receive more this holiday.
  • 17. • 20. Use your lists to stay organized and keep them visible Use your lists to stay organized these holidays. This is not the time to rely on your memory. Yes, use your grocery list, holiday recipe list, guest list, gift-recipient list… you get the point. • Make your lists, use them and cross items off as you go to give always yourself an idea of where you are at any moment. • 21. Store your ornaments safely and creatively Actually, this tip is more for organizing after the holidays.. but did you know that shredded paper is just great for storing fragile ornaments (and other things)? • So next time you’re shredding in the office, remember to save some shredded paper for ornament storage.
  • 18. • 22. Shop your home first Before doing your holiday shopping, take time to shop your home first. No doubt, doing this will prevent buying unnecessary stuff and save you some money. • 23. Take inventory of your holiday supplies And throw away or donate any that no longer fit.
  • 19. • 24 Spoil yourself with a cleaning service If you find that you really don’t have time for cleaning and organizing at home these holidays, treat yourself to a cleaner who’ll come in and handle some of those tasks for you. • 25. Or how about a laundry service? What with all the extra laundry that you might be up against these holidays, especially if you have house guests, treating yourself to a laundry service is not a bad idea for keeping your home organized this season.
  • 20. • 26. Prepare your holiday recipes in advance. Seriously, you don’t want to discover that your time-tested Christmas dinner recipe is M-I-A just when you’re ready to begin cooking.
  • 21. Kids • 27. Designate a kids area You probably don’t want your kids or their friends running about and making a mess in your home just because it’s the holidays. • Give them an area that they can call theirs, to play in and entertain themselves and they are more likely to stay out of the grown-up areas.
  • 22. • 28. Let them participate Teach your kids the importance and benefits of staying organized these holidays and let them participate. Give them responsibilities, no matter how little, and reward them for helping. • 29. Teach them to maintain Instead of having to clean and organized a completely messed-up home, teaching your kids to maintain their surroundings goes a long way to prevent that. • How do you that? Teach them things like returning their toys into storage after using them… clearing their plates of food and putting in the dishwasher after using them… making their beds in the mornings.. and so on. • Not only do you teach them to maintain your organized home this way, but you also teach them the importance and necessity of being organized and help them grow up with it!
  • 23. • 30. Have them de-clutter as they go by storing items immediately This is one way to teach your kids to stay organized. Help them learn the important habit of returning stuff back to the right place once they are done using them. • 31. Keep your precious dinnerware safe with kid-safe items Use kid-safe tableware to avoid having your precious, expensive ones destroyed this holiday season.
  • 24. • 32. Reward them for organizing Have your kids helped with organizing around the house? Reward them. This will be a good reason for them to do so in the future. A sort of positive reinforcement to build good organizing habits in them early on.
  • 25. Guests • 33. Create your guest list Know who you will be expecting this holiday, and when. Avoid last-minute stress situations and not enough seats on the dinner table. • 34. Encourage house guests to stay organized Are you having house guests over? Get them involved with keeping the home organized. Do things like providing clear and adequate storage in their rooms, keeping them aware of your daily routine, and accepting their offer to help.
  • 26. • 35. Factor in pickup times If you are the one who has to pick them up, be sure to factor that into your time schedule to avoid any delays or an overbooked schedule. • 36. Have them bring some of the food If you will be organizing dinner for family and friends, ask your guests to pitch in by bringing some of the food. This reduces the time and effort you have to spend making the meals. Unless, of course, you absolutely adore that sort of thing and don’t mind doing it all yourself.
  • 27. Holiday trips • 37. Plan ahead Planning ahead for your holiday trips reduces the stress caused by last-minute to-dos and could save you money as you take advantage of special offers. • 38. Create a last-minute checklist of things to do By last-minute, I’m not referring to creating your checklist at the last minute. Rather I mean creating a checklist of last-minute things to do before you head out on your trip. • This could be stuff like checking that all your lights and electronics not in use have been turned off, your security system is switched on, your pet has been taken to the sitter, and so on.
  • 28. • 39. Pack individual suitcases for each family member A good tip is to pack individual boxes for each family member when travelling. That way, unpacking and settling down when you arrive is easier and everyone has immediate access to their stuff. • 40. Confirm and re-confirm your hotel and travel arrangements Make sure to re-confirm your arrangements just before your trip to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • 29. Gift-giving • 41. Do your research Do proper research when planning for your gift-giving. This way, you’ll avoid buying repeat items or giving the same things you did last year. • You’ll also be able to take advantage of special offers and save some money.
  • 30. • 42. Wrap in batches Set apart a specific time to wrap all or most of your gifts. Doing them in batches this way is way more productive than wrapping each time you buy one or a little at a time or lastminute or not at all.
  • 31. • 43. Use a family master list Use a master list to organize your family’s giftgiving. This will make it easy to see any duplicate items and organize your family’s gifts budget. • 44. Recycle You probably still have some leftover material from the last holiday season. Shop your house for wrapping paper, gift bags and other stuff that you can use for this year’s gift-giving before you go out and spend on another set.
  • 32. • 45. Have a station for gift wrapping and storage Don’t just do these activities whenever, wherever. Create an area – even if’s just a storage box full of wrapping supplies – where the family’s gift wrapping can be done. Then have a designated area to safely store them till it’s time to mail or open them.
  • 33. • 46. Store leftover materials Store your leftover materials for use during the next holiday season. • 47. Assign wrapping paper to each family member A helpful idea is to color-code your wrapping wrapper and assign one color or design to each family member. This makes it easier to identify who has what, in case of tags falling off. • 48. Use gift tags To make differentiating wrapped gifts easier.
  • 34. • 49. Plan for unexpected giftgiving Keep a supply of general gifts like a box of chocolates or candles to give in “emergency gift situations”. • 50. Use an online cardsending service Don’t have time to buy and sign greeting cards for everyone on your list? Use online card-sending services.
  • 35. • Did you enjoy reading this slide? Please spread the love by sharing it with your friends through the links below. Thanks! Claire Abdul-Azeez http://organizedproductivity.com • Click to visit my blog http://organizedproductivit y.com for more organizing and personal productivity tips today.