Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Organizing Tips


Unless you're Martha Stewart with a huge staff to help you with Christmas festivities, I suggest keeping things simple and organized. On some years, I don't put everything out -- if I feel like going all out for home-baked Christmas cookies or doing the outdoor lights, great -- but sometimes not. No use stressing over it.

If you do want to tackle it all, then here are some tips you can try, to stay organized and avoid saying 'Bah Humbug'.

Plan: make a 3-ring Holiday Planner binder (or be sure you've addressed each of these separately or using your own system), including:

  • a "Greeting Card List", both who to send to and/or who sent you cards
  • favorite holiday dishes under "Recipes" and for planning any holiday parties or get-togethers
  • lists of guests and supplies for any parties you're hosting
  • shopping lists for gift recipients
  • a calendar showing important dates for the season

Shop:

  • shop online whenever possible; take advantage of free shipping and other discounts
  • buy presents for out-of-town friends and relatives first; wrap and ship them early to avoid paying high shipping charges
  • start buying as early as you think of things -- this lengthens the buying season so that your expenses are stretched out over a longer period. It also makes you less crazed as Dec. 25 approaches

Wrap:

  • keep all of your gift-giving supplies in one place, including scissors, tape, and a pen
  • keep all gifts in large storage tubs (for easy toting) near the wrap/supplies
  • gift bags make things a lot quicker and easier
  • spend a bit of time each day or every few days wrapping; avoid marathon sessions
  • if you get interrupted or have to stop, put items back in storage tubs and keep together out of sight
  • put name tags on finished gift-wrapped items back in bin; when all items are wrapped, tub will contain all the gifts and Santa can carry it all at once
  • keep stocking stuffers in labeled shopping bags (separated by person) so they're ready to placed into stocking

Decorate:

  • label storage bins according to rooms items are placed in, outdoor and/or contents (i.e. music, wrapping, tree decor). I have a Christmas bin that just stores holiday dishes and linens (kitchen towels, runners, etc.). Since it is labeled as such, I don't have to pull it out as early as I do the bin with the Christmas cards or music because I access them sooner in the month.
  • store notes, labels or other reminders with your holiday decorations to remember how you had things laid out, such as "goes in centerpiece" or "for mantel"

I'll have some other tips and ideas for de-Christmasing and Christmas item storage in the weeks ahead, too. Happy Holidays!!