Getting organized for the holidays makes me want to make lists. So I’ve made a list of things I like to do, in preparation for the holidays. These are just things that I’ve noticed make a HUGE difference in how the season feels and flows for us.Tailor these ideas to your needs, but I hope if anything that they give you an idea of how to make the holidays less stressful by planning and organizing ahead of time.
Top 10 List of Planning for the Holidays:
1- Set a budget NOW. Budgeting now means there is less chances that you will splurge last minute. Consider things such as shipping costs (for those gifts to loved ones who do not live close), extra food expenses either for big holiday meals with your family or if you plan on hosting a party, holiday cards, and gift cards.
2- If you are shopping for decorations or household items holiday specific, try and sneak in a few shopping trips BEFORE the busy season rolls in. You will avoid stressful overly packed stores this way.
3- As soon as you buy a gift – WRAP IT! I can’t tell you how much time this has saved, and how much stress it eliminates.
4- Set a deadline for Christmas gift shopping. Shoot for some time before December 20th. This will allow for you to really enjoy the holidays and also, you will be ready and available for those last-minute things that almost inevitably come up.
5- Clean the kitchen from top to bottom. I like to do this right before Thanksgiving. I clear out any Tupperware spare parts, make room for our holiday dishes, and bring my baking stuff to an easily accessible location in my kitchen. This is a great time to take inventory of those must-have holiday baking ingredients such as chocolate chips, marshmallows, cocoa, nuts, flour, shortening, sugar, etc.
6- After you’ve done #5, head on over to the store and grab those things you need. You will thank yourself those late cold nights that you and the family want to have some hot cocoa with marshmallows.
7- If you aren’t a freezer cooker/cook ahead type of person, I would suggest making one meal each week starting early or mid-October, and freezing it. Pull from this stock pile throughout the holiday season whenever you just don’t feel like cooking. There will be so many days filled with crafting, playing outside in the cool weather, making snowmen, sledding – and what better feeling than to know that you don’t have to cut your day short just to start making dinner!
8- PLAN TO SLEEP! Somehow people forget they needs sleep during the holidays, just as they need it the rest of the year. Schedules are busier than usual during these months, so sleep is crucial!
9- Exercise. In addition to sleeping less, we tend to slow down with our workouts. Try to get in at least 30 minutes 4-5 times a week.
10- Make a list! List out the things you want to do over the holidays. Put it up on your fridge, or in a place that you will constantly see it.