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Keeping Organized During the Holidays

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Holidays have been a very hectic time for me over the last 20 years. During this time I worked in retail and would work 6 days a week from Thanksgiving to New Years. All the while trying to manage buying gifts, finding time to spend with family, baking Christmas cookies, and include all the traditions that come along with Christmas and Thanksgiving. As you can imagine I became a little disenfranchised with holidays. However, it did teach me how to stay organized and maintain my priorities! So here is some of my best advice for keeping yourself organized during the holidays.


Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize!

We do A LOT during this time of year, and many things are done ONLY at Christmas time. But one thing remains the same...we usually do the same things each year. Create a system that helps you keep track of what you want to accomplish each year, and then adjust it accordingly. Create a list and then line it up to a calendar. Do you buy all the gifts? Send Christmas cards? Throw a holiday party? Make Christmas cookies? Decorate your house like Clark Griswold? Whatever your holiday entails, make a list and check it twice!


Another important point...consider what makes your holiday special. You don't have to do it all. How do you want this season to feel for you and your family? Use that insight to help guide your priorities. And lastly, don't be afraid to decline an event or a task if it just feels like one more thing on your to-do list.


Break It Down

Once you've prioritized the tasks that are most important to you. It will be helpful to break down some of them into smaller to-do lists. I'll give you the example of Christmas cards. Here I've created a list to include all the items that lead up to this task.

  • Select a card or photo. If using a photo, set a date for a photoshoot if necessary, and have outfits selected ahead of time.

  • Decide what you're message will be on the card. Will you write a letter? If writing a letter, set a date for you to complete it.

  • Order cards if they are customized and give plenty of time to receive them prior to Christmas.

  • Have your list of addresses you'll be sending out to. Make sure you have stamps as well!

  • Enlist the help of your significant other or children to help stuff the envelopes and seal them.

  • Make sure the cards make it in the mail so they arrive prior to Christmas.


Breaking down your big tasks into smaller, bite-sized to-dos keeps you more focused and less overwhelmed. It also helps you remember the details. And it may even help you realize that the effort you're putting into something may not be worth it. Just saying...exactly how many people do you need to send Christmas cards to???


Declutter Your Space

I always suggest going through and decluttering before any gift-giving occasions, especially if there are kids involved. Filter through and set aside broken items or toys that haven't been touched in a while. While it may not be easy, consider involving your kids in the decluttering process. Decluttering is a skill that is so important to learn and to carry through life. We can't and shouldn't keep everything that we have ever received in our homes. The sooner we learn this, the better!


The second part of this is to consider where and how new gifts will be incorporated into your home. When you're buying an item, make sure you have space for it. For example, my husband has been secretly hinting at an espresso machine for a few years now and this may be the year it happens! Since I like clear countertops, I would consider exactly where this item would live before adding it to our kitchen counter.


Create A Wrapping Station

Have you ever gone to wrap gifts and you can't find the tape or the scissors, or even the wrapping paper? Trust me, you are not alone, in fact, these things often get lost as you are wrapping gifts!

Here are my best suggestions:

  1. Ensure the majority of your gifts are purchased before you get ready to wrap.

  2. Collect and/or purchase all the materials you'll need before wrapping.

  3. Enlist the help of a friend or family member and add some rockin' holiday tunes to keep you going.

  4. Set aside space where you won't be interrupted by gift recipients or in my experience...pets.


Keep a small tray next to you where you can place your tape, scissors, gift tags, and pen so you don't keep losing them!


The holidays are supposed to be a fun and magical time with friends and family. Taking some time to pre-plan and prepare can make this time even more enjoyable. Do you have a tip that helps keep you organized during the holiday season? I'd love for you to share it with me!


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