Get Organized this Christmas Families Connect

Tips For Staying Organized, And Sane, During the Holidays

The holidays are nearly here. We recently spoke with two professional organizers for their tips on keeping your holiday household running as smoothly as Santa’s sleigh.

Having a master shopping list in your daily planner, purse, or on your phone is key to keeping it together during the holidays, according to Joanna Teplin, co-owner of The Home Edit  “If you find yourself at the mall at lunch time and with a few minutes you have that list right on hand.”

Teplin also notes that shopping online versus shopping in stores really depends on the person. “If you enjoy drinking hot chocolate and immersing yourself into the hustle and bustle and you enjoy it…go for it. If you enjoy doing shopping online, that is a great way to shop, too. You have to assess what your lifestyle can handle and what you physically have the energy for. I do like to support local boutiques and businesses.”

Some families find it helpful to have a “gift closet” where they keep housewarming and other such gifts on hand, just in case. While Teplin says that it is helpful to have a few universal type gifts handy, such as pretty notecards or a cute children’s book, she warns against keeping too much stowed away as it will simply add to clutter in your home.

Teplin notes that there are a few items to stock up on in preparation for the holidays. “A small but comprehensive selection of wrapping paper , gift tags, tape and scissors and cards all stored neatly together so that when it’s time to wrap it’s an enjoyable activity and not stressful. It’s really fun to wrap if your supplies are neatly put together rather than having to run around the house looking for odds and ends.”

Many home organization stores offer bins specifically for rounding up all your gift wrapping supplies. Teplin also recommends over-the-door gift wrapping station which are great on the back of a laundry room, kitchen, or pantry door.

Tips for Holiday Organization

  • Designate an area for storing wrapped gifts so that you aren’t trying to shove them in a closet or other space in your home.
  • Order personalized cards as soon as sales begin. Preship the envelopes so you can begin addressing them well in advance. And then make sure you have stamps.
  • Using one type of wrapping paper per person so that once you pull them all out  it is very clear who each gift belong to (especially handy if you forget a gift label.)
  • When entertaining, focus on a theme and color scheme that isn’t necessarily holiday specific, such as winter or red. Keep it simple so that you’re relaxed as the host or hostess of the party.
Mridu Parikh, owner of Life is Organized, echoes the need for simplicity and suggests forgoing adult gifts. “You have enough anxiety with your lists, shopping and gift wrapping for the kids. Why add more tension by having to shop for the adults in your life too (that likely already have everything they need)? Agree with them to share an experience together – a dinner out or family vacation – in lieu of a gift exchange.”
Parikh also encourages families to create their own traditions and do what works for you and your family.
“Don’t get caught up in the ‘I have to’ or “This is how we’ve always done it” trap. If running around between two sets of grandparents, your cousins and your home is causing your kids (or you!) to melt down, simply change the tradition. Have others visit you in shifts, around nap schedule, or make ‘dinner’ at 3 pm. The goal is to make the day memorable for its enjoyment, not for its chaos.”
What tips do you have for keeping your sanity and Christmas spirit?

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jamie reevesJamie Reeves is a Nashville-based writer, editor, and lover of all things social media. She and her husband Alan have two daughters, two dogs, and too much laundry. This busy soccer mom can typically be found cheering from the sidelines or in her car on the way to school or sports practices. She loves traveling with her family and exploring fun things to do in Middle Tennessee. Jamie has been pontificating about poop and pinot noir at Blonde Mom Blog, since 2005.

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