Get Organized for the Holidays!

The holidays are almost here! Is your To-Do List making you feel stressed? Here are some tips to help you get everything done, save money and start enjoying the holidays:

* Stay Calm and Delegate!
The holidays are supposed to be about spending time with family and friends, not about feeling stressed trying to do everything all by yourself! Make sure your To Do List contains only those things that are absolutely necessary and then delegate half of it. Family members should help with all aspects of the holidays- shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, decorating etc.

* Shop Smarter and Save Money!
Without proper planning, you are setting yourself up to overspend. Before heading out to shop, make sure you make a thorough shopping list. The list should include gift ideas, sizes and the budget for each person. Remember, don’t leave home without your store coupons, customer loyalty cards and/or store apps loaded on your smart phone. The savings can be big and the rewards great. Plan ahead and you’ll save time and money! 

* Shop On-Line and Avoid the Crowds!
Many retailers have on-line specials and even offer free shipping. Take advantage of coupon codes posted on websites such as retainmenot.com or promocodes.com and save big!

* Create a Holiday Card Box!
Use a plastic container, basket or shoebox to keep everything you need all in one place to write out your holiday cards. It should include your cards, several pens, return address labels, stamps and address book (or for those super organized folks, your printed address labels). If your card list is long and you want to include a personal note in each one, set a goal of writing 10-15 cards a day. Bring the box with you and make your wait at the doctor’s office productive!

* Create a Gift Wrapping Area!
It can be a corner of an unused room or a box under your bed, whatever works. It should include: gift wrap, bows, ribbons, gift tags, pens, scissors and tape. Everything in one area will make it easier to wrap all those holiday gifts!

* Wrap gifts as soon as you buy them!
There is nothing worse than being stressed out on Christmas Eve because none of your gifts are wrapped. With your wrapping area already set up, it should be a breeze. Wrap the gifts when you get home from shopping or soon thereafter. You’ll be glad you did!

* Plan your holiday meals!
It’s nice to have a home cooked meal, but if you are entertaining several times during the holidays, consider catering a meal or two! Order early because some restaurants stop taking orders by the middle of December.

* Schedule fun time with family and friends!

Go see a holiday movie or watch one at home in your pajamas, have a tree trimming party, go sledding or out for a special dinner. It’s important to have some “relax” time during the busy month of December. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen!

* Send gifts to out of town family and friends early!
The post office is a busy place in December. The earlier you can get those packages in the mail, the better! You can order a FREE Holiday Shipping Kit from the Post Office. Print Labels at home and even schedule a pick up!

* Give to those less fortunate! There is something very special about giving to others, especially during the holidays. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, adopt a family or donate gently used items to a non-profit organization in need. This is the true meaning of the holidays and will teach your children the importance of caring about others!  

For an easy and affordable way to track many of the items on your holiday To-Do List,  get The DeClutter Coach’s Holiday Planning Guide at www.decluttercoachdeb.com under the “Shop/DeClutter Products” tab. The guide includes a cover sheet, a month-by-month To-Do list as well as tracking sheets for gifts, holiday cards and more. Print the sheets, place them in a binder in clear plastic page protectors and you’re on your way!

Enjoy your holiday season!