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The 12 Days of Christmas Organizing – Our Guide to Surviving the Holidays

The 12 Days of Christmas Organizing – Our Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Every year we promise ourselves we’ll start earlier, buy less, be more organized. Christmas organizing is always on the agenda, at least to begin with. And then suddenly we’re only six weeks away from Christmas and even closer to the start of Chanukah. With a myriad of other holidays occurring in November, December, and January, it’s no wonder the season goes from “ho ho ho” to “boo hoo hoo” very rapidly.

The holiday season is meant to be joyous, but stress levels rise dramatically this time of year. We’re all supposed to be experiencing holiday cheer, but many of us feel overwhelmed, stretched too thin, and worried about money. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday dinners and parties, community plays, and school functions how are we supposed to keep everything in order when every single day seems full?

These 12 days of Christmas organizing will help you have a stress-free home just in time for the holidays.

On the first day of Christmas

Create a holiday to-do list – Break it down into categories if that helps you, but no matter how you organize it, get your list down on paper (or in an app). Start organizing your holiday décor.

On the second day of Christmas

Set deadlines – Decide when and how that to-do list will get done – and put it on your calendar.

On the third day of Christmas

Schedule holiday parties – If you’re having a party, let people know as soon as possible. Everyone is busy and you want it on their calendars. Also, planning a party early eliminates the last-minute rush.

On the fourth day of Christmas

Send holiday cards– Send cards and packages soon to avoid the rush to get them out on time.

On the fifth day of Christmas

Declutter – Get rid of anything that you don’t use before you’re overrun with holiday items.

On the sixth day of Christmas

Sort through decorations – Do you really need all of those ornaments? If something is broken, or hasn’t been on the tree in years, time to get rid of it.

On the seventh day of Christmas

Keep tabs on what you have – From gifts that you’ve purchased months ahead of time or how much wrapping paper you have left over from last year, don’t spend good money on duplicates.

On the eighth day of Christmas

Sort through toys – For parents, this is a perfect time to sort through what your kids don’t need or play with to make room for incoming gifts.

On the ninth day of Christmas

Don’t be a slave to tradition – If a running tradition is boring the older kids, or if something didn’t quite work last year, don’t be afraid to try something new or ditch an activity altogether. There are plenty of ways to celebrate and develop new traditions.

On the tenth day of Christmas

Prioritize the important things – You may not have time for every activity you want to do. Prioritize what is most important and do what you can with extra time.

On the eleventh day of Christmas

Do a little housework – Regardless of how many cookies need baked, the laundry still needs done. Don’t forget about the daily chores that keep your home running and ready for guests.

On the twelfth day of Christmas

Leave yourself time to relax – Don’t get too involved in all your planning and take moments with your family to enjoy the neighborhood decorations and hot cocoa.

Christmas Organizing with Less Stress

Staying organized during the holidays can be tough, but a little bit of preparation goes a long way. As you go through the 12 days of Christmas organizing, these tips can help you avoid overwhelm and appreciate the season.

Start Early

We may not have our lights up yet, but department stores have had their Christmas and Chanukah displays up since before Halloween! Maybe they’re onto something. Start thinking now about the great clutter-free gifts you can give to your friends and family to avoid rushing around in December.

Holiday Organizing

Well, the weather may not have turned chilly yet, but that doesn’t mean the Holidays aren’t right around the corner. And while you plan for that tasty turkey (or tufurkey for some of us), now is a great time to think about how to get the most out of your holiday organizing. What is holiday organizing, you ask? It’s anything you do to make your holiday season go by as smooth, stress-free, and fun as possible so that you can focus on the people in your life that matter most.

Think Outside the Gift Box

Sometimes the best gifts that we can give others are not things at all. Consider giving of your time. If you can’t be near the person you are giving to, volunteer or donate to an organization that supports a cause close to their heart. Check out our blog on gifts of the heart for inspiration.

Get the Whole Family Involved

Kids are great. They are tiny little gift-making machines. Have the kids spend some time making art projects for family and writing stories to go with them. Or, have the kids help you pick out pictures to use in a personalized photo calendar or photo book. These are clutter-free gifts that really mean a lot to family.

Make a Schedule

I know, it’s not fun and fancy, but having a schedule can be a lifesaver during the chaos of the holiday season. Carve out 20 minutes a week to plan out which errands you can accomplish. Be strategic and harness your inner Professional Organizer. If a store has a gift you need and it’s right by your dentist office, plan to pick up that gift before your appointment, even if it is only halfway through November.

Ask for Help

Don’t feel that you must accomplish it all. Have the kids help with chores they can do, have your spouse run some errands on their way home from work, or call a professional organizer to help tackle some of those projects that are too overwhelming to do alone but need to get done before your out-of-town family arrives.

Cris Sgrott

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