7 Incredibly Easy Ways to Organize the Holidays
To say the holidays are hectic would be an understatement. Between knocking everything off your to-do list and hopping from one activity to the next, there’s a lot to stay on top of. To save your sanity, it helps to keep it all organized.
So today I’m bringing you 7 incredibly easy ways to organize the holidays.
From making sure everyone is at the right place at the right time to keeping track of food and gifts, I’ve got you covered.
So grab your wine, turn on 25 Days of Christmas, and let’s get organized!
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Organize Your Holiday Activities
One of the most difficult things to keep organized this time of year is all the different activities you have going on.
You have to keep track of all the different dinners, parties, and potlucks you’ve been invited to or are hosting.
You have to make sure everyone knows when the kids’ recitals are.
And, if you have family staying with you, you have to know who’s showing up when, how they’re getting there, and how they’re getting back.
To make sure everyone is on the same page — and that nothing slips through the cracks — it’s helpful to have one calendar to keep track of everything on.
If you need to keep people who don’t live with you up to speed, you can always do this digitally through an app like Trello. You would set everything up and invite everyone who needs to be in the know.
If you just need to keep your own household in line, you could put up a big calendar in your family command center, on the side of the fridge, or spice up your wall calendar.
To keep things simple, create a couple of different categories and color code. For example, put all holiday parties in green, recitals in purple, church stuff in red, and so on. Then, write each activity in that color so you know, at a glance, what kind of activity you have coming up.
This will also help you see what you might need to prepare ahead of time. Which brings us to the next point.
Organize Your Holiday Cooking Commitments
Most of the parties you attend are going to require you to bring something — usually food.
So save yourself some frustration and plan ahead!
If you have 3 different potlucks one week, could you offer to bring similar dishes to each one? This way, you can use the same ingredients, which makes your shopping easier. Plus, if it’s something you can make ahead of time, you can set aside an afternoon and knock it all out at once.
If you have different parties staggered throughout the month, though, you will just need to remember what you have going on and what you need to bring.
The family calendar will help you keep track of where everything is. Plan ahead what you’re bringing to each, and then give yourself time to get it done.
Organize Your Holiday Cooking
In addition to all the food you will have to cart from place to place, you also need to have the dishes on hand to get it there.
Keep in mind that you may not always get your dish back that night. So if you need to use that same dish again the next day, you will either have to annoy the host or go buy another one. And last minute shopping this time of year is no fun.
It’s so much easier to plan out what you’re going to need ahead of time. If you need the same dish for two back-to-back parties, do you have enough dishes in the size you need? If not, put your Amazon account to good use and grab a matching set ahead of time.
The point is to plan ahead so you don’t find yourself panicking last minute.
Organize Your Kids’ Gift Lists
Another good thing to stay on top of is the different things your kids are asking for.
Grandma’s going to want to know. So is Aunt Sue.
Having a list ready to go saves you the headache of trying to think of what they want off the top of your head.
But, that doesn’t stop Grandma and Aunt Sue from getting them the same thing.
One easy way around this is a gift registry.
My personal fav is an Amazon wish list. It goes perfectly with your Prime account.
Yes, it sounds a little weird — or greedy — to register what they want. But the purpose isn’t to demand that every single thing is bought for them.
It’s to save yourself and your family time and energy.
You can easily tell everyone what they want. And your friends and family can easily see what’s already been bought.
It really is a win-win for everyone.
Organize Your Holiday Gift Exchanges
In addition to staying on top of what your kids want, you will also more than likely need to keep track of all the different gift exchanges that you’re in.
For friends, family, and Secret Santa’s, it’s helpful to jot down who all you need to buy something for and what you want to get.
If you have to buy some gag gifts for white elephant exchanges (or something similar), then see if you can knock them all out at once.
Even better, if you have two different white elephant parties on different sides of the family, just get two of whatever you find!
Stay Organized if You’re Regifting
Okay, so regifting may be frowned upon. I personally think it’s genius.
For one, I hate clutter. And getting stuff that you aren’t going to use just adds to the clutter. You can always just give it to someone else right away. But, if you have room the room, hold onto those things and regift them later.
But make sure that you keep track of what gave you what and where. You obviously don’t want to regift it back to the person who gave it to you. But you also don’t want to give it to someone else next year right in front of them. They may not remember, but it will be pretty embarrassing if they do.
To save yourself a headache, you can keep it all written down. To keep it simple, I just grab a post-it, write down who it was from (and where if I need to), and stick it on the gift. Then next year, I have a few things on hand already for the different holiday parties.
Keep Your Holiday Wrapping Supplies Organized
Finally, it’s super important to keep your supply closet organized! This way you always know what you have — and what you don’t have.
I keep all my gift bags and tissue paper folded up inside of another gift bag. I can easily see the different bags I have, as well as the different colors of tissue paper. If you have a lot of gift bags to keep organized, you could sort them by what type of bag they are (birthday, holiday, general purpose, etc.) and then store each type in a separate bag.
I keep all the ribbons and bows in another bag. Again, if you have a lot of ribbons, you could always attach the spools to the back of the closet door where this stuff is stored. Or you can add a tension rod to keep them organized.
And you can keep your wrapping paper organized in a couple different ways. I personally have them in a tall skinny box in the corner of my closet. The box is short enough so that the tops of the rolls are sticking out so I can see what I have. But it’s long enough to keep them upright and away from the toddler. These plastic crates work great, too.
If you have a larger area where you store your supplies, you could always hang the rolls up horizontally so you can easily pull and cut off what you need.
The organizer in me wants to warn you to keep your supplies to a minimum, though. Only hang onto what you need and will actually use. Too much will just clutter up the space and stress you out.
If you didn’t get a chance to download the free Holiday Organization Bundle, make sure you do that now! Have fun organizing!
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