This time of year can easily get overwhelming. Now that Thanksgiving is over, take some time to sit down and calmly get ready for the next round. A little time spent getting organized will quickly pay you back with a more enjoyable, less stressful holiday season. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Clean Up Your Calendar
This might sound like a no-brainer but getting your calendar in order is the first step to a more relaxed December. Make sure you’ve deleted any outdated events and gotten any parties that are already scheduled in place. This will keep you from getting double-booked as more plans pop up.
2. Make a To-Do List with Deadlines
Write down all of the things you need to get done this month. Bake cookies? Send cards? Buy gifts? Give each to-do a deadline and add these to your calendar.
3. Simplify Traditions
Talk over with your family and friends which holiday traditions bring you joy and which actually cause stress. Do you enjoy driving an hour to cut down your own tree? Yes? Keep doing it! No? Head to the neighborhood lot instead.
Spend some time straightening up and making room for all the new things that inevitably make their way into your home over the holidays.
5. Keep Track of Gifts
Use a gift planner to keep track of your budget, what you’re giving who, and perhaps most importantly, where you are hiding the gifts you’ve already purchased or made! There are plenty of apps to help you stay on track, or you can use a cute printable like this one.
6. Set Aside Time for Normal Tasks
Walking the dog, laundry. It all still needs to be done. Be sure to reserve some time during this busy season to keep your everyday life going.
7. Plan Meals
Whether it’s a weeknight meal, part of a festive feast, or your signature cookies, make and freeze whatever you can ahead of time. Be sure to label everything clearly!
8. Get Help
When your aunt offers to bring a dish, say yes. A friend wants to help you cook? Put them in charge of all the chopping! Don’t put pressure on yourself to do it all yourself, accept all those offers. And consider hiring some help too. A housecleaner or dog walker, even if it’s only for a couple visits can really ease your load.
9. Organize your Holiday Décor
This year as you unpack your decorations sort through it. Get rid of things you haven’t used in years. Label where everything will go at the end of the season. If you’re really into it, take pics of where you set everything up and put the photos in the boxes so that setup will be twice as quick next year!
10. Have an UnDecorating Party
We love this new tradition! Avoid post-holiday blues with one last gathering. Keep it low key and relaxed. Invite friends over that you didn’t get to see much during family functions and take down all that décor together. Listen to some non-holiday music, exchange holiday stories, and enjoy some takeout and adult beverages together.
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