5 Tips for organizing for a H.A.P.P.Y. holiday

Here are some tips for holiday planning to make a H A P P Y month.

Holiday Decorating

You may be feeling overwhelmed or disorganized by the number of items on display in your house.  Try putting the non-seasonal items away to reduce the number of items on display.

Keep decorations simple

Decorate with flowers

Think about decorating with fewer items but larger size items.  This means there are fewer items to pack and unpack which will reduce the amount of time you need to prepare your home.

Take advantage of using linens to cover tables or end tables and pillows to decorate couches.  They may be less bulky to store and cover a larger area making your home seem completely decorated while taking less time to get the job done.

Use items that self destruct so you don’t need to pack them away, flowers, paper towels, tissue boxes all give your house a festival spirit but don’t need to be packed away and stored.

When you go through your decorations part with the ones you know longer need early in the month so thrift store have an opportunity to sell them and so they don’t need to store them until next year.  Some stores don’t take holiday décor in January and then you will be stuck storing them for another year.

What tips do you have for a H.A.P.P.Y holiday season? Click To Tweet

 Accept Help

Acknowledge that you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed and when people offer to do things say yes.  We all love to help people so let people feel good about themselves by allowing them to help you.

Parties may be much smaller this year. It is a good time to try a new way of doing things.  Allow people to help clean up dishes on their way out the door.  In fact be ready for it.  Have a place to put cutlery to soak.  Have out a container for compost.  Put glasses or coffee mugs directly into the dishwasher.

You may need to accept help with setting up an online party.  Put one of those “youngsters” in charge.

Planning is important

Use a to do list. Divide your to do list into to pick up, to e-mail, to call, to buy then you can plan your day and route to get things done and not be driving back and forth all over town.  The trick here is to actually look at the list and use it not just make it.

Keep your plans from year to year, record your menu, grocery list quantities, timelines.  Each year you can reuse, revise and update the plan.  This year’s plan may need a lot of updating.  Look at it as a way to try new things.

 People and relationships are the reason for the season

Some people like to send cards in December.  I keep my cards and addresses and stamps altogether.  When I am going somewhere where I will be waiting I pick up the supplies and take them along and write my cards.  I have done it in many places including my van. .  I usually leave replies to someone who has sent me a longer letter until January.

Use your spare moments to write cards

If you want to automate the card-sending operation there is a company called Send Out Cards.

Gift-giving may be an area where you are developing a system. Have you thought about Clutter-free gift giving?

Consider the idea of a gift that self destructs.  See my post on Clutter Free Gift Giving last week.

Yes you can 

Being organized is more about an attitude than how something looks.  It is not about having the perfect home, party or gift. It is doing the best you can with the time and resources that you have. The only way to get better at organizing is to practice. It is a skill that can be learned and with practice it becomes easier and easier.  This year’s challenge maybe technology.  Ask for help and practice ahead of time.  You might want to play Yahtzee at your gathering.  Try using these 2 sites.

Score sheet http://www.playonlinedicegames.com/scoresheet/yahtzee

Dice roller https://www.elversonpuzzle.com/yahtzee-dice-roller.html


POC Gold Leaf Member

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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  1. I’m laughing over here about the term “self-destruct!” That is so funny, and such a good idea. I’ve become so mindful when buying gifts and decor to seriously think about where the items will live, both in season and out of season. I’m moving toward more consumables for myself and for those to whom I give.

  2. Accepting help is a BIG thing. This is something that I continue to work on. I’ve come to understand just like I like to help, other people like to help too. It feels good to help. So accepting help is another way of making your guests feel welcome. Offers to bring food, clear the table, load the dishwasher, fill up the ice bucket, or “anything you need,” have become easier for me to accept.

    I know that sometimes it’s a challenge to figure out what I can delegate if asked. So I try to keep that in mind as I’m getting things ready. And if there’s something someone that wants to help can do, I like to say, “Sure! How about….?” It’s a double feel-good, plus it really is helpful.

  3. I love your tip about decorating with fewer, but larger sized items. That will really make the decorating and putting away process easier. I also agree with your tip to donate decorations that you will not use earlier in the month, so maybe someone else can use them this season!

    • My big treat is my son offered to bring 3 desserts for Christmas (without me asking). I took my own advice and said yes please bring them. Pumpkin pie, pecan pie and a surprise pie.

  4. This post is so timely! This year I did just what you suggested, tried decorating with more of the bigger Christmas items and kept an entire rubbermaid bin of the smaller items packed away. I’ve decided that as long as I don’t miss them this season (so far, I don’t), I will donate them in January. It has been so freeing to not have so much Christmas clutter around the house. I now need to work more on the “planning” part of the Christmas season, as I feel like time gets away from me around the holidays. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • I am glad to hear you are trying something new. If you enjoy it fantastic if not you can go back to using the smaller decorations next year. I really enjoy the cleaning and packing up when it takes less time to put it away in January. Happy holidays.

  5. SO much wisdom in this post. I love the idea that being organized “is an attitude, not the way something looks.”

    One decorating technique I’ve had great success with is using the same bases and changing out the embellishments. We have a lot of glass containers in different shapes and sizes and I use those as bases for holiday floral, filler, candles, and other decor that’s either easy to store or replace. It cuts down on clutter and time significantly. We’re also big into holiday linens. It’s a great excuse to rotate in fresh blankets, pillows and towels every week or two.

    • I have used the same candle holders that are out all year and added one more Christmas candle to the grouping. It is a simple step to change the decoration without spending a lot or taking much time. It is similar to your bases and glass containers.

  6. Because I don’t celebrate Christmas, I am often overwhelmed, just as an observer, by how much effort goes into making the holiday celebrations just right. I love your decorating suggestions (and giggled at the self-destruct option). And the idea of using fewer but larger items to decorate makes so much sense! Great tips!

    • I help a lot of clients get their decorations out for Christmas. I see that some enjoy the process and some are overwhelmed by it. Making all parts of the holidays easy makes the season enjoyable. Sometimes we forget to change our traditions as the situations change. Still keeping the joy and reducing the stress.

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