It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. We know all too well that it can also be the most stressful. The calendar fills up fast and the overwhelm kicks in knowing there are many tasks you need to complete before those dates quickly approach; gift shopping, extra grocery runs, baking, the list goes on! It can cause a lot of anxiety.
From a Professional Home Organizer, below are 5 easy ways to save time, money (and quite frankly, your sanity!) this holiday season.
1. Be intentional with your time
Take back your time this year. Only say yes to the events you always look forward to and that make your heart happy. Eliminate what hasn’t been working and introduce new traditions or events that bring you and your loved ones joy! Coming back to the intent of Christmas can be a good reminder of what’s truly important and where you can spare your energy.
~ What helps with time organization is placing everything into a calendar where you can see each week at a glance. Block off days in-between events so that you can prepare or replenish your energy.
2. Declutter to prepare for what’s coming in
We know this time of year is busy enough, so this declutter doesn’t need to be an overhaul of the entire home! Just give notice to the things laying around; particularly toys, games, and clothes that may be outgrown or disinterested in and start a donation bag! ‘Tis the season for giving and what a perfect way to give than to support a local organization and help a child or family in need.
We encourage you to do the same thing as your decorations come out. Establish your special pieces and then those that you no longer feel connected to. Donate the latter; often less is more, and there are people who may both need and love your donated pile! With seasonal decorating, little touches go a long way, and remember: whatever gets put up, must get taken down. Keeping it simple will prevent your space from feeling too cluttered and will lessen the burden once the holidays are over, while still allowing for a festive atmosphere!
~ Create 3 separate categories as you purge: donate, sell, discard. Have a box or bag ready for each category so that it’s simple to assign as you go.
3. Prepare your gifting station
Gather up all of your gifting supplies so you can take stock of what you already have: tape, scissors, wrapping paper, tissue paper, bags, ribbon and gift tags.
We see this often in clients' homes when the sorting begins, that these items (particularly gift bags) accumulate in large amounts because they’re not in a single spot to see what you already own. By gathering everything and sorting it, you might surprise yourself that you already have everything that you need on-hand! For anything missing, start a shopping list. Then set out once to get the shopping done.
We highly encourage containing all of the gifting supply in one storage container. Something that stores nicely on your shelving units or can be slipped under a bed. Then when the season rolls around, all you need to do is bring out the container! It is a small investment that will do you wonders! Not sure what to do with all of the ribbon that comes undone and gets tangled? We’ve also have simple ribbon storage ideas for you too!
Trust us, your future self will thank you for investing the time into this. It means no last-minute panic runs and waiting in long lines, money saved on items you never needed in the first place, and setting yourself up for success next year!
~ Sort all of your gifting supplies. Take stock of what you have plenty of and what you still need, and start a list of needed supplies. Set out to purchase the needed supplies in one outing. Consider purchasing a container that stores all of your gifting supplies in one place.
Now that you’re already off to a strong start….
4. Create a gifting bin
For a quick win, reuse a box or bin that you already own to hold all of the gifts you intend to give (Tip: avoid clear so that the littles don’t get curious and snoop around!) . This can also include gifts you meant to give out a long time ago or gifts you’ve purchased for specific people in your life. Whatever you don’t use this Christmas can simply remain contained for other events like unexpected birthday parties.
Again, taking stock prevents unnecessary spending. Little unintentional purchases here and there add up. When you know what you already have, you’ll feel less inclined to impulse spend and it keeps clutter to a minimum. It really is a win-win!
~ Grab any unused box or container around the home and store it somewhere out of reach from the kids. No need to label it- you’ll want to keep it top secret! Add previously purchased gifts to it so you can see what you already have on hand. Continue to add to it as you make gift purchases.
5. Make gift wrapping fun - Enlist the kids!
Now it’s time to actually wrap the gifts, which can feel like a daunting task. It might help to actually make this an event in your calendar: one for the kids’ gifts and one for extended family and friends gifts, where the kids can get involved. We suggest setting them days in advance of Christmas so that you can actually allow yourself to enjoy the days leading up to it.
Instead of focusing on the perfectly wrapped gift, let the kids try their hand at it! If you already have large-size craft paper, they can draw on it with fun colours and then use it as gift wrap (or work with holiday wrap you already own). Not only will this be a fun activity that keeps them occupied, but it will be fulfilling for them to know they’ve contributed. It won’t be perfect but it will be given with love from their little hands and that creates bigger impact than perfection!
~ Schedule gift-wrapping days in the calendar so that it’s not a scramble later. Enlist the kids (or anyone who actually enjoys gift wrapping if you don’t). Let go of the idea of perfection and have fun with it!
For more great ways to simplify your life this holiday season, check out our ‘Simplified Holidays’ on Pinterest!
If you could use an organizer in your life to help make this happen or have a specific question that you’d love for us to blog about, please connect with us. We’d love to hear from you!
Wishing you and your family a season full of love, joy and room to breathe!