They call it a “holiday break,” but the holidays aren’t always relaxing. From holiday shopping and food prep to work responsibilities and travel arrangements, there’s plenty to make you stressed around this festive time of year. However, with good organizational systems, the early winter months need not be headache-inducing. Here are some organizational strategies to make holiday preparation a breeze:
Write it down.
A to-do list is an important tool in any organizational arsenal, but this strategy becomes especially useful when the holiday season starts to get crazy. Treat yourself to a nice notebook or a fat stack of Post-It notes and learn to get into the habit of writing things down. Keeping a to-do list is beneficial on two fronts. On one hand, tracking your errands in one place will make sure nothing slips your mind. On the other hand, a to-do list is a great way to reduce stress. If you’re prone to laying awake a night worrying about the next day’s responsibilities, keeping a running list will help to clear your head. When in doubt, write it down!
Pencil it in.
The holidays can creep up faster than you’d expect. One minute you’re complaining about department stores stocking holiday décor in October, and the next minute you’re eating the last of your holiday chocolates. To prevent time from slipping through your fingers, start tracking your errands on a calendar. Designate a separate holiday planner and divide your to-do list tasks across the weeks leading up to the big day. Dividing tasks over time will help to prevent procrastination and stressful, last minute rushes.
Budget, budget, budget.
When it comes to holiday planning, money can be a major stressor. Whether you’re pinching pennies or spending big, having a budgeting strategy ahead of time will help you to avoid any unwelcome fiscal surprises. Some innovative holiday budgeting strategies include saving loose change in a jar, designating a monthly cash budget in labeled envelopes, or eliminating small luxuries like your daily cup of cappuccino from the corner cafe from your daily routine. Whatever option you choose, having a plan ahead of time will save you a headache around the holiday rush.
Do your research.
Everyone imagines a holiday dinner filled with inspired décor, sumptuous food, and groovy music, but accomplishing this vision takes planning. To help find inspiration and keep track of your goals, join a sharing and storage website like Pinterest. On these sorts of sites, you’ll find loads of inspiration for everything from tree trimming to menu ideas. Be sure to follow your favorite blogs, magazines, and food bloggers.
Do it yourself.
If you plan ahead adequately, you’ll have ample time to take on some of the DIY tasks you never thought you’d be able to accomplish. Did you always dream of stringing your own popcorn? Making your own latkes? Good planning allows you to save money and avoid stress by leaving time for cost-efficient DIY endeavors. The holiday seasons can be stressful, but with these simple tips, you can avoid headaches and keep the festivities running smoothly.