Stress less this holiday season with our organizing tips
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In an ideal world, the holidays are a stress-free time when you visit with family and friends, bake batches of cookies, and enjoy relaxing moments sipping hot chocolate curled up by a roaring fire. If you’re like most people, however, your holiday season is usually anything but relaxing — you’re busy shopping, wrapping, standing in long lines, and entertaining guests all while juggling your usual hectic schedule. This holiday, we’d like to help take some of the stress out of your holiday season. The key is early planning and getting organized. Read our list of organizing tip, tricks, and ideas. Who knows? Maybe this season you’ll have time to sit by the fire.
Gift-giving can be overwhelming especially if you have lots of people to buy for and don’t seem to have enough time to get all your shopping done. Not to mention trying to figure out what to buy the person who has everything. Help make gift-giving a pleasurable experience with these gift organizing tips.
If your extended family has grown over the years, gift-giving can get out of control and expensive. Consider drawing names so everyone focuses on buying for just one person, or agree to buy gifts for only the children.
Shop early to avoid last-minute frantic shopping or expedited shipping fees
Not sure what to buy your teenage nephew or picky best friend? The pros at Reducethechaos.com suggest using the Amazon.com “wish list” feature. Ask friends and family to pick items from Amazon.com they’d like to receive and have them save the items to their “wish list.” Once their list is completed, they can share it with others via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
When you come up with a great gift idea throughout the year, be sure to jot it down or type it in a spreadsheet. This way, when the next holiday season rolls around, you’ll have a list of ideas ready.
Stock up now on tape, wrapping paper, ribbons, and gift bags so you’ll have your gift wrapping station set up.
Wrap gifts as soon as you purchase them or wrap a few gifts each day to avoid having to wrap heaps of gifts at the last minute.
Shopping online saves you the hassle of having to fight for a parking space, navigating large crowds, and standing in long lines to pay. If you do visit a brick and mortar store, shop during non-peak times: early weekday mornings or during the early evening hours.
Organizing Holiday Meals
Plan your holiday menu as far in advance as possible. The extra time lets you tryout recipes and stock up on non-perishable ingredients in advance.
Not sure what to make or want to try a different recipe? Search websites such as Allrecipes.com or Pinterest for endless inspiration.
Cook and freeze items ahead of time.
Ask family members to contribute by bringing an appetizer, dessert, or side dish
Not a fan of cooking? Have the meal catered
Stagger your cleaning tasks. Trying to get your entire house or apartment clean in one day is overwhelming.
Ran out of time and guest will be arriving the next day? Don’t panic, focus on cleaning the rooms and areas of your home guests will actually be using — the bathroom, kitchen, and living room.
When preparing food, spray pans with non-stick spray before cooking to cut down on the scrubbing and soaking time later
Make a list of all the things you’d like to get done during the holiday, then edit the list, keeping only the tasks you can realistically accomplish.
You can’t do it all; delegate whenever you can.
Leave some space in your schedule to take a break and to relax.
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