The holiday season is supposed to bring joy, celebration, and cherished moments with loved ones. However, with all of the tasks and events going on, the holidays can often feel completely overwhelming. Amid the festivities, keeping your home organized can feel like a challenge. From decorations to gifts and gatherings, maintaining order during this time is key to reducing stress and enjoying the season to the fullest. Here are 9 tips to help things run smoothly!
Tip #1 - Plan and Prioritize!
Start by creating a plan. Identify all of the holiday tasks that need to be accomplished and prioritize them from most important to least important. Make a to-do list, setting manageable goals for each day or week leading up to the holidays. Focus on essential tasks first, such as decluttering communal areas, organizing storage spaces, preparing guest accommodations, and writing out gift and grocery shopping lists!
Tip #2 - Create Automation!
If you have a ton going on this time of year, create some automation in your life! Set up reminders for tasks and events on your phone, leverage smart home devices to remind you of routine tasks, and explore calendars and apps that streamline your schedule.
Tip #3 - Declutter and Simplify!
As you start preparing for the holidays, go through each room in your home and do a quick sweep to identify items that can be donated. Go through your holiday decorations and pick out ones that are broken or no longer loved. Create a pile near the front door and load up your car to take all of these items into a local donation center. Clearing out unnecessary items helps make room for new decorations and incoming gifts. We always try to find wonderful local organizations to donate to instead of large corporations. Here are some ideas for where you can donate locally: Injoy Thrift Stores, Assistance League of Tucson, Safe Shift (Tucson Fire Foundation Thrift Store), Bringing Out the Best, Blessingdales's Boutique, Great Things Thrift Store, Casa De Los Ninos, More Than a Bed and many more!
Tip #4 - Apply the 1 in, 1 out rule!
If you already have a lot of holiday decorations, you can do the 1 in, 1 out rule. For every new decoration you buy, an old decoration needs to be donated or thrown away.
Tip #5 -Storage Solutions!
Take a look at your holiday storage containers- are they missing lids, cracked, or mismatched? Maybe it's time to replace some of them! There are wonderful new products on the market for organizing and protecting your items- especially for Christmas ornaments! If you don’t already have your bins nicely labeled, now is the time to do it! Your future self will thank you! Beyond the bins you may use in the garage, also think about utilizing under-bed storage, hanging organizers, or shelving units to maximize space in your home that will keep items easily accessible.
Tip #6 -Gift Wrapping Organization! If you are a big gift giver, we suggest putting up a folding table somewhere out of the way and creating a designated gift-wrapping station! If you have all your supplies in one place, it makes the task much more manageable! Take this time to also rethink how you typically store all your gift-wrapping supplies- is this system working for you? There are countless options for storing it all! There are upright wrapping paper containers, flat horizontal bins, and several other options for storing wrapping paper. Keep track of gifts by creating a gift list. Note recipients, gift ideas, and whether the gift has been purchased, wrapped, and given. Designate a specific area for storing gifts to prevent last-minute scrambling.
Tip #7 -Kitchen Prep!
The kitchen tends to be the heart of holiday gatherings. Streamline meal planning by organizing recipes, creating shopping lists, and preparing make-ahead dishes (that you can freeze). Clear out expired items from the pantry and organize it for easy access to ingredients. Are you planning to do a lot of baking this holiday season? To keep your ingredients organized, and your head straight, we recommend clearing a shelf in your kitchen or pantry that is dedicated just to your holiday recipes. If you have a large home and plan to do a huge amount of cooking- you can also buy a rolling shelving rack and use that for all of your holiday cooking ingredients.
Tip #8 -Hosting Essentials!
Create a guest room checklist so you can be sure to remember everything your guests might need before they arrive! Some ideas include a wifi password card, makeup remover wipes, extra blankets, a luggage rack, 3 towels per person (*washcloth, hand towel, and bath towel), extra hangers, a reading lamp, a wastebasket, a hamper, a sound machine, extra toilet paper, toilet plunger, and basic toiletries like hand soap, body soap, body lotion. Provide adequate storage space for their belongings in the bedroom and bathroom and ensure the room is welcoming and clean. You could even consider creating a welcome basket with essentials and local information to make guests feel at home. If you are visiting someone else's home this year, you can show appreciation to your host by bringing them a little host gift. While you are out and about, you can pick up a few universal items to create a grab-and-go gift hub in your home. If you don't happen to give these out during the holidays, you can always repackage them as birthday gifts!
Tip #9 -Alternative Gift Giving!
Have too much stuff in your house? Suggest to your loved ones that you would prefer a different kind of gift this year- one that doesn't take up space in your home. Alternatively, if you don't want to mess with all the wrapping and in-person shopping this year, you can choose to give alternative gifts too! Clutter-free gifts are a perfect way to show your loved ones how much you care without adding to their clutter. These gifts are thoughtful and practical, and provide experiences that your loved ones will cherish for years to come. Here are just a few alternative gift ideas!
-Gift cards (to a favorite local business, store or restaurant) -Memberships (gym, zoo, aquarium, museum, water park) -Subscriptions (streaming service, meal delivery, online game, magazine) -Tickets (concert, symphony, theatre, comedy skit, movie, sporting event) -Free experiences (a sleepover, home-cooked meal, massage, adventure)
By establishing clear systems for decorations, gifts, and schedules, you can alleviate stress and create a welcoming atmosphere for gatherings in your home. As much as the holidays are about sharing joy, to be honest, we also know they can be stressful. Make sure to establish boundaries with the people you love to maintain your sanity. Learn to say no to commitments that may overwhelm you. Setting realistic expectations and priorities can help preserve your energy and peace of mind.
Amidst the hustle and bustle, take moments to pause and appreciate the season's magic. Celebrate the efforts put into organizing your home. Share laughter, create memories, and savor the joy of the holidays with your loved ones. By planning, decluttering, and establishing organizational systems, you can create a harmonious and stress-free environment in your home for all to enjoy. Embrace the spirit of the season and cherish these special moments!
Happy Holidays- Felicia's Best! xxoo