The holidays are a fun, event filled time of year where we stretch our time and budgets to enjoy the season of festivities with family and friends. But if we don’t prepare a game plan it can lead to an overloaded schedule, empty wallet and exhausted family! I want to discuss ways that we can get ahead of this busy time of year and stay organized before the holidays are upon us!
1. Set a goal: what is your main goal or priority during this holiday season? Is it to spend quality time with family/kids? Socialize with friends and family? Gift giving? Or maybe partake in time old family traditions? Make sure to decide on what your main priority is during the holidays and let that be your guide on what you add to your schedule. Each year my husband and I need to sit down and discuss what is most important to us so when we are looking at our schedule it’s easier to pair down what is important for us to go to or do versus what can be pruned out. If we said yes to every event or pushed to do everything possible we would all end up frazzled and not fully enjoy the holiday season.
Pro Tip: find a polite way to decline the events that don’t align with your goal for the season. “We would love to go but unfortunately it doesn’t fit into our schedule this year but thank you so much for the invitation.” It’s okay to say no!
2- Plan it out: if you have a planning system make sure to sit down and use it to plan through the holidays. Be realistic. If you know you, your child (or husband) is introverted, don’t over plan or intentionally plan nights in. If you need suggestions for how to plan check out my blog post on planning.
3- The “B” word – Budget: I can’t say that I love budgeting but it must be done. It does no one good to end up spending more than anticipated and trying to make up for it later. Sit down and list out who you are buying gifts for and what events you will be going to (to see if you need to buy outfits or hostess gifts for those as well). BE REALISTIC, if you put $20 for grandma to make the budget stretch but always spend $60 chances are you will end up with an unrealistic budget. If you are realistic and don’t have enjoy, work on creative ways to make the budget stretch. Maybe swap Christmas outfits with a friend, make homemade presents for some, shop deals and coupon clip. Meal plan through the holidays. Hold a garage sale. If you realize you don’t need to use all of your budget consider giving to those in need this holiday season, through your church, or local community. For the future set aside money each month to go towards your Christmas budget.
4- De-clutter beforehand: if you know you are getting presents (especially those with kids) consider de-cluttering before the new gifts come. Filter through what your kids don’t use as much or what you don’t use or what doesn’t serve a purpose anymore in your home. Now is the perfect time to hold a garage sale or donate household items! Buy the bin to store new gifts beforehand, figure out how you will store any gifts for your kids.
Pro Tip: Figure out how you will store any gifts for your kids or spouse beforehand! When you buy your kid’s present buy a bin or container for that item as well. Then you will stay organized before you even get the new items in the house!
5- Sort through and organize holiday decor: as you are getting out the holiday decor sort through what you use and don’t use. If you haven’t used it in the past two years chances are you won’t use them again. Consider donating them! If you have two sets of holiday decor (maybe you were all about snowmen for years but now you are a collector of Santa) consider sorting out your collections and switching them between the years.
Pro Tip: Organize the holiday decor you want to keep. Stores sell great budget friendly ornament storage containers and light organizers. Invest in containers so you will be organized for years to come. You will know exactly what you have and it will save you time to pack and unpack!
If you feel like you need help getting started with these tips down below is a quick worksheet to help you get started! 5-tips-to-stay-organized-through-the-holidays