Crafted: Six tips for organizing your holiday preparations

Don’t hate me for saying this, but Christmas is, quite literally, around the corner (four weeks, and counting—yikes!). If you’re like me, you like to get ahead of things because as soon as December rolls around, it’s the season of holiday parties, holiday shopping, holiday cooking, baking, you name it.

I’ve found these simple solutions really help in keeping me organized – and sane – before the Christmas rush, so hopefully you can find something helpful here for your own holiday preparations. 

Practically-speaking, make a holiday list

Start by jotting down all of your holiday tasks in a notebook (or your smartphone Notes) and segment your lists into gifts, groceries (for those special recipes you make every year), along with highlighting dates you are going to a party, or perhaps hosting your own. Doing a “brain dump” will take the remembering out of remembering, and you will feel almost instantaneously in control!

Make some deadlines

When you set a deadline you are likely to keep it! So try and inject some deadlines into your calendar, like when you plan on sending out your holiday cards; do your baking and wrapping your presents. If you have the date set, you will take the stress out of doing everything last-minute or the night before Christmas!

Push big projects (and the like) until after the new year

Christmas is a busy season, and in the blink of an eye it’s over for another year. You really want to enjoy the time with your friends and family, so instead of trying to keep pace with some of your bigger projects – whether it’s something as large as a room renovation, or even re-organizing your closet – just push it a bit until the new year. The projects aren’t going anywhere; besides January is a new start after all! It’s a great month for new beginnings.

Take inventory of what you have before you go shopping

Before you go and buy new decorations, décor, wrapping paper or holiday-inspired dishware, take inventory of what you have already so you’re not duplicating purchases. (You would be surprised how much you forget!) A good tip: Purge anything you haven’t used, or brought out, in a couple of years.

De-clutter your space 

This is a personal fave of mine – I love de-cluttering my home, regardless of the time of year! I’m always of the mind that less is more, so in light of decorating your home for the holidays, take away (and store) a few pieces, sculptures, and the like, so you have room – and the space – to decorate with your new things.  

Book off “preparation days” in your calendar

I love this one: Grab your calendar (whether on your smartphone or a physical wall calendar) and book off days for prep time: the days you need to go gift shopping; the days you need to wrap your presents, write your cards and bake your holiday cookies. Once you see everything in one place, and every task has a designated day to it, you will alleviate a lot of stress in trying to cram everything in at once!