Holiday Organization: Piece it all together
Lansing State Journal- Nov 12, 2006 Christine Rook
1. Plan ahead
That means getting time-consuming tasks out of the way.
"Getting your decorations up on or by Thanksgiving weekend - five weeks before Christmas - isn't such a bad idea," Bornor said. "It is one way to enjoy them, and it completes a large time-consuming step."
Another plan-ahead idea is to ask for gift lists now.
2. Eliminating extras
Move non- holiday knick-knacks to a back room or closet to make room for holiday decor. Look for ways to downsize. Perhaps the kids have unwanted toys that can be donated to a charity.
3. Time management
Create a master calendar showing events the family must attend and deadlines for tasks to be completed. Post it on the refrigerator for all to see. Get every member of the family involved.
Determine now how much money you can spend and on what or whom you'll spend it. Keep receipts to stay on top of what has been spent. To save money, Bornor recommends being creative with gifts of your time.
5. Hidden gifts
Hunt down those holiday gifts you purchased throughout the year. Check them over to make sure they're still what you want to give. For example, the kids may have outgrown what you bought.
Keep a gift-ideas folder. Whenever someone gives you an idea or you think of one on your own, slip it into the folder.
7. Wrap early
"Last-minute wrapping can be daunting," Bornor said. Wrap presents as they are purchased.
8. Holiday gatherings
Slowly stock up on foods and beverages for the holidays. Prepare and freeze what can be made ahead of time.
If you send an annual holiday letter or send cards, schedule your family portrait now so you can review the proofs in time to mail them. Studios are taking reservations for photo sittings now.
10. Mail early
Send out all of your packages, cards and letters three weeks in advance. That allows everything to arrive on time without having to pay for premium delivery service.
The holiday crush is here.
And what a crush it can be, from the shopping, cooking and partying to playing nice with relatives you don't much like.
Were Christmas the only holiday to worry about, a simple prescription of Zoloft might suffice. But no, the season encompasses numerous secular and religious celebrations.
What to do? Get organized.
"People will get overwhelmed. They'll get very concerned. They're getting concerned now," said Jackie Bornor, owner of Stuff the Clutter in Haslett. "Let's make it fun. Let's simplify."
A list may be your No. 1 tool.
"It can be a list of lists," said Kelli Patterson with Organize-It, a Shelby Township company dedicated to helping people get it together.
Lists allow a person to organize everything from a single day to an entire month. Patterson prefers melding a to-do list into a planner that shows the times each task needs to be finished.
For example, such a list might show dinner runs from 5:30 to 6 p.m., that Kid 1 must be dropped off at choir practice at 7:30 p.m. and Kid 2 needs to be at the basketball game by 8 p.m.
At a quick glance, such a planner shows exactly how much time you have for each task and therefore, that it is doable.
"There's never a fear you're not going to have enough time," Patterson said.